Staying fit during pregnancy – What Works!

Staying fit during pregnancy – What Works!

Just a little while ago, I was posting an article about an array of tips for a healthy diet during pregnancy promising I will come back with an overview of workouts you can do during pregnancy.

Getting pregnant can be quite puzzling for a woman… On the one hand you’re happy you’re expecting a child; on the other hand you are concerned about the new curves of your body… not to mention that you may have already “Googled” ways to get back in shape after delivery from the day you found out you are pregnant… or maybe I should just speak for myself! ;)) BUSTED!

Overall, four weeks after delivery I am very happy to have bounced back to the initial weight I had before pregnancy. Surely my body is not as toned as it was before pregnancy. That is because – no rocket science here – during pregnancy I couldn’t do the same exercises I was doing before. My abs suffered the most, as I couldn’t do any core exercises starting the second trimester. Thus, abs are the first on my list after I hit the six weeks recovery phase and I can start working out. Obviously my target is getting back to my six-pack and I will surely be creating another challenge soon. But that will follow in another blog post… so, stay tuned!

I continued working out throughout my pregnancy, keeping in mind the following:

  1. I didn’t start any new sports and kept doing the same things I used to. This is because, I figured, the pregnancy is not the time to train my body something new, but to continue with the same set of routines my body is already accustomed to. Thus, just to be clear: The fact that I had tennis or weight lifting in my routine desn’t mean you should do it if you had never done it before getting pregnant. Also, I didn’t increase the intensity of my workouts. Quite the opposite, depening on each trimester.
  2. I quit abs exercises all together starting trimester 2.
  3. I didn’t do movements that felt in any way strange or uncomfortable. I followed my gut instinct a lot as well.

So, let me go through the types of exercises I did while pregnant:


Even if some of my girlfriends (who were pregnant) thought it would be a bad idea because of turning the abdomen while on the court, after having a talk to my coach, it was very clear that some pregnant women continue playing tennis until the end of the second trimester (or as long as they bodies allow it and their tennis experience before getting pregnant). Thus, I started feeling confident that it’s safe to do and I eneded up playing tennis once a week until the end of my second trimester.

Cross fit and weight lifting

I did cross fit and weight lifting twice a week until week 35, training at Vondel Gym with Rick from Vondel Fysio. During the first trimester I trained just as hard as I did before being pregnant – same weights and same amount of wraps. Starting the second trimester, I totally stopped doing abs exercises and for the back, chest, arms and legs I gradually decreased the weights and increased the number of wraps. Additionally, I continued doing more seated exercises than before, paused when I needed to and wouldn’t strain myself and drank more water than I would usually do during a one-hour training. Among the types of exercises I did all throughout pregnancy, there are the following:





Squats (galore!)

Dead lifts

Push-ups (changing towards the ones on a bench – more oblique after mind second trimester)

Push presses

Lats (at the lat machine)

This article was my Bible when it comes to working out during pregnancy ;)) I took the advise very seriously and I exercised very much according to it. I figured: if she can do it, I can!

Mom in Balance

Starting mid trimester 2 until the day before my delivery (to some of you may sound insane that I was still exercising until 40 weeks), I joined Mom in Balance. I was going once a week until week 35 (combining it with 2x gym) and after quitting the gym, I went 2x week. I have to say, Mom in Balance is awesome. And it’s outdoors, which makes it even cooler! I would be going to Vondelpark and exercising along side other pregnant women with trainers who specialize in workouts for pregnant women. It is fantastic to continue exercising, especially together women who are in the same stage of their lives. You combine the positive effects of working out with socializing and also sharing experiences and ideas. I found it so cool that now I’m looking forward to starting with their Back in Shape program. I totally recommend it.


All throughout pregnancy, I walked, on average, one hour a day. Even if it included walks in the park (especially after maternity leave when I had a bit more time) or walking the dog, or just choosing to walk to my appointments, I walked as much as I could. I find that, even if you don’t feel like working out or doing sports during prgennacy, walking is something you can definetly do (if you don’t have any complications).

There you have it! It can certainly be done! If you have a healthy pregnancy without complicatioms, you can continue working out! Except sports where there is a high risk of falling or getting hit (skiing, horse riding, boxing, etc.), you should be able to continue workouts that you used to do before pregnancy. Your body is used to it. Just trust your instincts and adapt according to how your body feels.

Enjoy your pregnancies,


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