The Best Pregnancy Workouts for At-Home Classes
When you're expecting a little one, the temptation to spend your free time (while that's still a thing) vegging out on the couch or sleeping through your usual 8 a.m. workout is all too real. And while there's no reason to test your limits right now or expect to have the same pre-pregnancy energy, for most soon-to-be parents, staying active throughout those 40-ish weeks can do a lot of good.
In fact, exercising throughout pregnancy — including walking, indoor cycling, dancing, and participating in resistance and aerobic exercise — has been associated with minimal risks and significant benefits, according to the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists. More specifically, observational studies have shown that people who exercise while expecting have a decreased risk of gestational diabetes, cesarean delivery, and preeclampsia (aka high blood pressure), as well as a shorter postpartum recovery time, per the ACOG. Plus, strengthening the abdominal and back muscles throughout pregnancy could help ease lower back pain — a complication more than 60 percent of pregnant folks experience, according to the ACOG.
That said, you can't expect to (nor should you) go from zero to 100 with your fitness level while pregnant. If you were lax on your workout routine before pregnancy, opt to gradually incorporate low-intensity physical activity into your lifestyle — high-impact HIIT workouts or long-distance runs may have to wait unless you were already doing these types of workouts and you get your doc's okay. These individuals who were regular exercisers pre-pregnancy and have no complications should be able to continue their higher-intensity routines during those nine months, according to the ACOG. Regardless, chat about your fitness plans with your doc before you start tackling pregnancy workouts and continue to check in with them throughout your journey. (Related: 4 Ways You Need to Change Your Workout When You Get Pregnant)
Once you have the all-clear to break a sweat, ease into a fitness routine or switch up your current exercise schedule with these online pregnancy workouts. With options for every workout style and budget, these on-demand classes will help you stay healthy and active while you're expecting — without ever having to leave the comforts of your home.
Best Pregnancy Workout Program Overall: The Bloom Method
If powering through the same style of workout day after day bores you to tears, turn to The Bloom Method. The on-demand pregnancy workout platform offers more than 350 prenatal and postnatal fitness classes focused on yoga, strength training, cycling, cardio, core, and more. The bulk of the workouts are just seven to 30 minutes long, so you can fit in a sweat session even when you're tight on time. Plus, you can be sure the workouts are safe for soon-to-be parents: The Bloom method was founded by Brooke Cates, a certified personal trainer, and prenatal and postnatal corrective exercise specialist, and the coaches all have expertise in prenatal fitness, according to the company. (P.S. Emily Skye wants to remind you it's okay to lift while pregnant.)
Get it: $29/month with a 7-day free trial; thebloommethod.com
Best Pregnancy Workout Program for Low-Impact Movement: The Sculpt Society Mama
Created Megan Roup, who's certified for prenatal and postnatal training, The Sculpt Society Mama is an at-home workout program designed to keep you sweating from your first week of pregnancy all the way through your postpartum journey. The low-impact, "body-sculpting" workouts and yoga classes are organized by trimester, so you'll never have to guess which sweat session is right for your body. All of the workouts can be performed without equipment, but you can up the intensity by adding in light hand and ankle weights, booty bands, and a Pilates ball.
Get it: $20/month with a 7-day free trial; thesculptsociety.com
Best Pregnancy Workout Program for Barre: barre3
Designed to help you maintain strength, minimize aches and pains, and keep your energy levels high, barre3's virtual pregnancy workout classes feature a mix of strength training, cardio, and mindfulness, so you'll get a body and mind workout. All the sweat seshes are organized by trimester and led by instructors who practiced these moves during their own pregnancies. Translation: They've been in your sneakers and can give the guidance and modifications you need to have a safe, effective workout. To get the full barre experience, the company recommends stocking up on a core ball, resistance band, and 3- to 8-pound handheld weights, though all workouts can be done without any equipment.
Get it: $29/month with a 14-day free trial; barre3.com
Best Pregnancy Workout Program for Personalized Support: Knocked-Up Fitness
Thanks to Knocked-Up Fitness, you can get the support of a trainer without ever leaving home. The online platform — created by Erica Ziel, an expert prenatal and postnatal fitness coach — offers more than 40 prenatal workouts, all of which are planned out on a weekly schedule to help you spend less time browsing classes and more time moving. Once you sign up for a membership, you'll have a call with a prenatal coach and a small group to get personalized recommendations and advice for your fitness journey, and you'll also unlock access to monthly, small-group coaching calls and a private support group. (Related: How to Find the Best Personal Trainer for You)
Get it: $39/month; knocked-upfitness.com
Best Pregnancy Workout Program for Core Strength: Every Mother
Previously known as The Dia Method, Every Mother offers an ob-gyn-endorsed program called EMbody Prepare, which focuses on moves that help strengthen the abdominal wall and prevent diastasis recti (a separation between the left and right side of the rectus abdominis muscle that can occur during pregnancy). Each of the on-demand full-body workouts — including strength, cardio, yoga, and HIIT — has a core focus and ranges from 10 to 30 minutes. And don't expect your pre-pregnancy fitness equipment to collect dust in the corner: The workouts incorporate gear such as light and heavy weights, medium-weight resistance bands, towels, and a stool. (Once you give birth, mix these core-engagement drills into your routine.)
Get it: $45/three months; every-mother.com
Best Pregnancy Workout Program for Yoga: Glo Prenatal Yoga
Whether you're in the mood to fully decompress or your body is craving some heart-pumping movement, Glo is sure to have a prenatal yoga class to satisfy that itch. The pregnancy workout platform features everything from 45-minute vinyasa flows to 20-minute mash-up classes with yoga, barre, and Pilates, many of which are taught by instructor Ivorie Jenkins, who has completed a 60-hour prenatal yoga training. Plus, you'll have access to a 20-minute tutorial on how to modify your yoga practice while you're expecting, so if you feel comfortable with the assigned prenatal yoga classes, you can apply those learnings to the other 3,000 yoga videos offered online and in the app. (ICYMI, even Ashley Graham is a fan of prenatal yoga.)
Get it: $24/month with a 7-day free trial; glo.com
Best Pregnancy Workout Program That's Free: @vibebychristina
Thanks to Christina of @vibebychristina on Instagram, you don't have to drop a dime to get your sweat on while you're growing a human. A certified personal trainer with prenatal and postnatal certifications, Christina offers hundreds of workouts to keep you moving throughout pregnancy and beyond, including low-impact cardio and strength training, resistance band burners, and core sessions. Since the pregnancy workouts take 15 minutes or less and require zero or travel-friendly equipment (e.g. resistance bands, gliders, a towel), you can fit in a sweat sesh practically anytime and anywhere. (Related: How Peloton Is Working to Change the Narrative On Prenatal Fitness)
Get it: Free; instagram.com/vibebychristina