10 Pilates Exercises For Pregnancy

Written by GHBY Team on Fri, 11 November 2022

Key Highlights

  • Up to 60% of women have an inactive lifestyle during pregnancy which predisposes them to mood swings and pregnancy complications.
  • Pilates is a safe and effective exercise to kick away inactivity and strengthen muscles for a stronger pregnancy.

Let's face it. Pregnancy is an extremely joyous occasion; however, it is physically and mentally taxing at the same time. During this period, your body will grow and you'll have to carry additional weight! Including a light exercise regimen like pilates for pregnant women can go a long way in having a stronger and healthier pregnancy.

It is believed that, on average, a pregnant woman has to carry an additional weight of 16 kilograms during her pregnancy. This weight includes the weight of the baby, placenta, amniotic fluid, and growth of organs like the uterus and breast tissue. A well-structured and planned exercise routine can help with this added load.

Pregnancy pilates exercises or pilates pregnancy workouts can help strengthen your muscles which will help you carry this extra weight with ease. This is just one of the many benefits of exercising during pregnancy.

Read on to learn more about the health benefits of exercise.

Stay Energetic With Exercise

Most people believe that during pregnancy, women require all the rest and help they can get. However, this is only true to a certain extent. It was revealed that up to 60% of women have an inactive lifestyle during pregnancy.

Too much inactivity during pregnancy has negative effects on your pregnancy. Evidence shows that women who had low physical activity during gestation had higher mood disturbances.

Pilates exercises for pregnancy including a 15-30 minute workout session in your daily routine will for sure help you stay fit and complication-free throughout pregnancy.

Here are some benefits of exercising while pregnant:

  • Improves muscle strength, lowers backache during pregnancy
  • Curbs constipation, bloating, and other gastrointestinal problems
  • Betters sleep quantity and quality
  • Aids in weight control and helps prevent unhealthy weight gain
  • Reduces the risk of gestational diabetes
  • Helps reduce the duration of labor

All it takes is some discipline and help from your family and friends to reap the benefits of exercise during your pregnancy.

The Key Is Moderation

We hope that the article so far has motivated you to get out your diary and jot down a few exercises you can do during this wonderful time. But before we go into the specifics of exercises you can do, we must inform you that not all exercises are safe during pregnancy.

You cannot just start doing deadlifts and chest presses when you are well into your second trimester! Doing such high intensive strength exercises will do you more harm than good.

Wondering if pilates is good for pregnancy? Then know that including low-intensity workouts like pilates or yoga is the way to go.

10 best pilates exercises for pregnancy

1. Embrace The Power Of Pelvic Tilts

A great and effective exercise to gain strength and remain active throughout the day! This particular exercise is known to work the lower back, pelvic, and leg muscles. Doing this exercise frequently will help get rid of that back pain that has been plaguing you for a long time.

Here is how to do a pelvic tilt with the correct form:

  • Lie down flat on your back, with your head and shoulders rested on a pillow
  • Bend your knees to a comfortable angle
  • Breathe out gently and push your lower back down with the help of your abdominal muscles
  • This will tilt your pelvis and raise your tailbone
  • Hold this position for a few seconds
  • Breathe in and slowly return to the starting position
  • Repeat this 5-10 times

Due to the many complicated steps, this exercise is best done under the supervision of a trainer or someone who is experienced.

2. Stretch Away Pain With This Exercise

Are you prone to slouching or sitting awkwardly? Staying in such weird and unnatural positions can put a strain on your muscles and thus land you in a world of hurt. Fortunately, the upper back stretch can resolve this issue in no time. Do this low-intensity exercise daily to see quicker improvement in your posture.

Here's how you do this stretch with proper form:

  • Sit cross-legged and upright. You can take the support of a wall or flat surface if this position is too uncomfortable for you
  • Place your hands behind your head and maintain a slow rhythmic breathing pattern
  • Breathe out and take your tummy in gently while stretching your upper back, rolling your shoulders back, and looking at the ceiling
  • Hold this position for a few seconds
  • Repeat 7-8 times

An easy and convenient exercise to improve your posture and gait during your pregnancy!

3. Get That Cat Like Flexibility

A strong core, back, and leg muscles can help pave the way for a stronger, healthier, and happier pregnancy. All these muscles contribute to maintaining proper posture, With the added load on your body, strengthening these muscles can help you bear the weight easier. The Pilates cat stretch is one such exercise that helps strengthen your core, back, and legs.

Here's how you perform a cat's stretch with the correct form:

  • Get down on all-fours
  • Make sure your hands are below your shoulders and your knees beneath your hips
  • Make sure your hands are below your shoulders and your knees beneath your hips
  • Breathe out and gently arch your back while pulling your stomach in
  • Bend your head down and look toward your stomach
  • Hold this position for 2-3 seconds
  • Breathe in a return to the original position
  • Repeat 5-10 times

Try including this exercise in your daily regimen for a stronger core, back, and legs. Have a stronger pregnancy with this stretch.

4. Leg Extensions For The Win

Like the leg extensions, you do in the gym, this exercise also focuses on your thigh strength and improves overall control over your body. The only difference is that this is a low-impact exercise and is safe to do during pregnancy. Here's how you do one correctly

  • Get down on all-fours
  • Make sure your hands are below your shoulders and your knees beneath your hips
  • Lift your left knee off the floor
  • Extend it till it's completely stretched out
  • Hold for 2-3 seconds
  • Return to the starting position

An easy-to-do exercise for a stronger and healthier pregnancy!

5. Embrace The Warrior Within

Strengthen your muscles and improve your posture with this sword arm exercise. The dynamic movements present in this exercise will no doubt provide you with stronger back and leg muscles. Furthermore, doing this exercise daily will go miles in helping you correct your posture and improve your balance. Here is how you do the sword arm exercise with the correct form and posture.

  • Start by kneeling with your right knee on the mat, your left leg stretched out, and both hands on the floor
  • Make sure your core is pulled in and your hips are raised
  • Breathe in and rotate your left hand skywards and look up towards your hand
  • Hold this pose for a few seconds
  • Breathe out and return to the starting position
  • Do this 5-6 times before repeating the same for the other leg

A great way to improve your balance and have a happier and stronger pregnancy!

6. Let Your Soreness Soar Away!

Do you often complain about sore legs after walking while being pregnant? One of the reasons might be that your leg muscles haven't gotten used to carrying the baby around. But fret not, for we have just the trick to relax your leg muscles and make them stronger. The Pilates thigh stretch is a simple exercise that primarily stretches your glutes and hamstrings. By doing this exercise daily, you will see a marked improvement in your soreness.

Here's how you do a thigh stretch with proper form:

  • Start by kneeling on a mat/soft surface and make sure your knees are hip-width apart
  • Ensure that your hands are at the side of your body
  • Breathe in and slowly lean back as though you are going to sit on your heels
  • Squeeze your buttocks and raise your arms while doing so
  • Hold the position for 2-3 seconds
  • Exhale and return to the starting position
  • Repeat this 5-10 times

Start your day off with this stretch to have a more active and energy-filled day!

7. As Simple As Breathing

People often forget the importance of having stable and rhythmic breathing while exercising. Once you incorporate such breathing into your exercise routine, there will be a paramount difference in your focus and concentration. One such exercise to help gain control of your breathing is the transverse abdominal breathing technique.

As the name suggests, this breathing exercise will help you strengthen your transverse abdominal muscles as well as better your concentration. Although a simple exercise, here's how one does it correctly.

  • Start by sitting upright on a mat
  • Take the support of a wall if you're not able to hold this position for long
  • Breathe in gently and slightly contract your abdominal muscles while doing so
  • After that, exhale through your mouth while making an 'sss' sound
  • Repeat this 5 times

A simple yet effective way to improve core muscle strength and better your mood at the same time!

8. Bring Out The Wonder Woman Inside!

A variation of the sword arm exercise, the sword is also an exercise that improves balance, flexibility, and core strength. Try alternating between the sword arm and the sword during your various exercise routines. Here's how you do it with proper techniques!

  • Start by standing on a mat with your feet more than hip-width apart
  • Bend your knees slightly
  • Breathe in and touch your left hand to the right knee
  • Exhale and raise your left hand to your left as if pulling a sword out of its sheath
  • Straighten your knees while doing so
  • Repeat the same for your right side

A convenient and effective exercise to improve balance, flexibility, and most importantly, joint strength!

9. Neck Stretches For The Win!

Your upper back, nape, and shoulder blades suffer as much as your lower back due to the added weight during pregnancy! Especially if you are prone to slouching or squaring your shoulders. This can occur at any point during your pregnancy, however, it's most commonly seen in the third trimester.

Here's an exercise to squeeze that pain out:

  • Start by sitting upright on a chair or sofa
  • Make sure your hands are by the side or holding the edge of the chair
  • Tilt your neck towards your right and try to touch your ear to the shoulder
  • Hold for 2-3 seconds
  • Return to the starting position
  • Repeat the procedure for the other side

An exercise safe for women in the third trimester of pregnancy!

10. Pallof Press For The Core!

This is one of the few equipment-based exercises you can do during your pregnancy. All you need is a light resistance band and you're good to go.

Here's how you do a pall of press correctly:

  • Attach one end of a close loop resistance band to a rigid support
  • Hold the other end in front of your chest and step away from the support
  • The support should be on either side of your body
  • The resistance band will try to rotate your body
  • Resist this motion
  • Now push your hands directly in front
  • Hold for 3 counts and bring them back
  • Repeat this 5-10 times on each side

If you are new to pilates, then this exercise is best done under supervision. Make sure you don't overwork yourself.


The benefits of physical activity during pregnancy are now widely accepted facts and one that you can very well adopt with credible health information now. Disturbing moods and pregnancy complications are just some of the adverse effects of leading a sedentary lifestyle during pregnancy.

Certainly, 15-30 minutes of pilates for pregnant women or Pilates pregnancy workouts can help in avoiding the risk of developing such negative effects. However, keep in mind that not all exercises are safe during pregnancy. The key to this problem is taking in the benefits of exercise such as pilates for pregnant women.

So, try to include these workouts in your daily routine. We wish you a happy and strong pregnancy!



GHBY Team comprises content writers and content editors who specialise in health and lifestyle writing. Always on the lookout for new trends in the health and lifestyle space, Team GHBY follows an audience-first approach. This ensures they bring the latest in the health space to your fingertips, so you can stay ahead in your wellness game. 

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