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Beyond yoga and Pilates The ultimate guide to prenatal workouts - Blog banner image (1)
UFIT Singapore9 Apr 20245 min read

Beyond yoga and Pilates: The ultimate guide to prenatal workouts

Are you a mum-to-be wondering if there's more to prenatal fitness than just Yoga and Pilates? Well, we’ve got some good news for you, the world of prenatal exercise is much broader and diverse than just these two great options.

But before you jump into what options are recommended for you, we must talk about your safety. Yes, exercise during pregnancy is safe and is widely regarded as highly beneficial for your body, however, you must consult your healthcare provider before starting any new training programme. Your pregnancy is unique and your doctor can provide personalised advice based on your medical history and current condition.

Why should you exercise during pregnancy?


Exercise during pregnancy offers an array of benefits for you, your body, and your baby. It can help alleviate some of the common physical discomforts caused by pregnancy, such as back pain, swelling, and constipation, as well as prepare your body for the stresses of childbirth (helping to make the process smoother and potentially shorter).

Staying active throughout your pregnancy can also help boost your energy levels and improve your sleep quality, improve your mood, and reduce stress and anxiety levels.

Find out more about the scientific evidence on the benefit of exercise during pregnancy in this research article: Exercise in Pregnancy

Essential factors to consider when exercising

While exercise is generally safe during pregnancy, there are some essential considerations for you to keep in mind:

  • Consult a healthcare provider: Yes, we already mentioned this, but it bears repeating. Always consult with your doctor or other healthcare specialist before you start or continue an exercise routine during pregnancy.
  • Listen to your body: Pay attention to how you feel during exercise. If something doesn't feel quite right or you experience pain, dizziness, or shortness of breath, you should stop and rest.
  • Stay hydrated: Drink an adequate amount of water before, during, and after exercise to avoid dehydration.
  • Avoid overexertion: What was achievable before pregnancy may not be achievable during pregnancy, and it’s not the time to push your limits. Focus on maintaining your fitness rather than pushing for new fitness goals.
  • Avoid high-impact activities: To ensure you don’t cause unnecessary trauma to your baby or abdomen, avoid exercises that involve jumping, sudden changes in direction, or increasing the risk of falling.
  • Regulate your temperature: As your pregnancy progresses, you become more prone to overheating, so it’s recommended that you avoid exercising in high heat or humidity. This is especially important when exercising outdoors in climates such as Singapore.

Which exercises are safe and effective?

When it comes to exercising during pregnancy, there’s no one-size-fits-all approach. The safest and most effective exercises for you will depend on your fitness level before pregnancy, current condition, stage of pregnancy, and personal preferences.

Strength training

Prental & Postnatal Training

Strength training can help you maintain muscle mass and strength during pregnancy. The importance of staying strong increases as pregnancy progresses, which is when your centre of gravity moves upwards and forwards. Focusing on specific muscle groups can help prepare the body to bear the weight of your baby and increase stability.

  • Back muscles: All of your back muscles play an important role in maintaining posture and supporting the spine during pregnancy. Exercises like rows, pulldowns, and back extensions can help strengthen these muscles and improve the overall health of your spine.
  • Abdominal muscles: A strong core helps support your growing baby, improves posture, and eases back pain during pregnancy. Be careful not to over-exert yourself when performing core exercises so that they are not strained excessively.
  • Pelvic floor muscles: Your pelvic floor muscles play a critical role in childbirth. Strengthening these muscles through exercises like Kegels helps with bladder control and uterus support, and can help ensure a smoother and quicker delivery.
  • Gluteal muscles: Strengthening the gluteus maximus, medius, and minimus helps ensure proper alignment of the spine and provides stability for the pelvis during pregnancy and childbirth.
  • Leg muscles: Not skipping leg day has never been more important than during pregnancy. Strong quads, hamstrings, and calves are essential for maintaining balance, stability, and mobility during pregnancy.

If you're unsure where to start or need guidance with strength training, consider enlisting the help of a qualified personal trainer.

Yoga and Pilates

Woman on Pilates Reformer

Prenatal yoga and Pilates are both fantastic options for mums-to-be as they focus on strengthening the core, flexibility, posture improvement, breath work, and relaxation techniques. It’s common for these types of classes to incorporate modifications and additional equipment to ensure safety and comfort for pregnant women. Whichever you choose to do, aim for 1–2 sessions weekly allowing for at least one day or rest between sessions.

Walking and swimming

Walking and swimming are excellent and effective ways to stay active during pregnancy. They’re both low-impact forms of exercise, which puts less pressure on your joints, are easy to do, and are accessible (most people have access to places where they can walk or public pools where they can swim). Aim for at least 150 minutes of light-to-moderate activity over 3–5 days weekly allowing for adequate rest between sessions.

Keeping mums-to-be happy and healthy

At UFIT, we're dedicated to your well-being throughout every stage of pregnancy. Our team of qualified experts, including personal trainers, physiotherapists, massage therapists, and Pilates instructors specialise in addressing pregnancy-related discomforts, such as lower back and pelvic pain and carpal tunnel syndrome. With personalised care and specialised services like prenatal massage.

We also understand the importance of staying active throughout your pregnancy, which is why we offer tailored prenatal exercise programmes designed to help you safely maintain your fitness and strength. Our experienced professionals are ready to create a customised exercise plan to suit your needs and goals.

Don't let pregnancy be a barrier to your well-being. Contact us to learn more about our prenatal fitness services and start prioritising your health during this special time.


UFIT Singapore

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