First Trimester Full Body Pregnancy Cardio Workout

Share this!

Full Body Prenatal Exercise Routine 

It is vitally important to exercise during pregnancy and this moderately difficult prenatal exercise routine is perfect for the first trimester and can be continued all the way through your pregnancy!

This workout is great because it can be done anywhere using only your body weight! You already have the best piece of workout equipment with you at all times, yourself! And when leveraged properly, you can gain muscle, strength, and endurance using nothing other than your beautiful mom-bod!

This is a workout from the newest and most revolutionary prenatal nutrition and fitness program called The Perfect Pregnancy Plan.

It has recently been discovered through the study of epigenetics that whether or not you workout throughout your pregnancy AND what you eat directly affects your growing baby’s health. Turning on “good genes” and off “bad genes” by your activity levels and diet.

Most moms aren’t told that, in fact I didn’t have any idea until I went back to school to study prenatal nutrition!

So as a personal fitness trainer who is also certified in Nutrition and Lifestyle during pregnancy I decided to compile all the important new findings about prenatal nutrition and fitness in 2 unique courses available now! 

The Perfect Pregnancy Fitness Plan will teach you how to exercise safely in each trimester, strengthens your ever changing body for all the strains of pregnancy, and prepares you for labor and postpartum… all while lowering your baby’s propensity toward diseases and disorders.

The Perfect Pregnancy Plan is your epic guide to the most healthy pregnancy and baby possible.

bodyweight full body pregnancy workout

Should you exercise during pregnancy and why?

It is not only safe to exercise during pregnancy, but highly recommended because there are many benefits!

  1. Less pregnancy weight gain and a better chance of gaining the correct amount of weight for a healthier and more comfortable pregnancy.
  2. More energy.
  3. Increase endorphins: the “feel good” hormone.
  4. More confidence in your ever-changing baby body.
  5. Proper exercise decreases the chances of suffering from Diastasis Recti, pelvic floor prolapse, and incontinence.
  6. Exercise can help eliminate toxins. (Learn other great ways to eliminate toxins for a more healthy baby.)
  7. Exercise during pregnancy is known to increase the baby’s heart health throughout their entire lives.

These benefits are gained assuming you exercise safely and correctly during your prenatal period. You can learn exactly how to exercise during pregnancy straight from a personal fitness trainer!


Why it is so important to do the right kinds of prenatal exercises.

During pregnancy, you will probably encounter aches and pains associated with being pregnant. As your pregnancy progresses many women suffer from a lot of back and hip pain.

As your joints loosen due to the increased hormone relaxin your hips and more really can begin to ache.

As your body adjusts to the additional weight and growing belly, many women have a tendency to let their belly hang forward, hips slide back, and shoulders round forward. 

By working out regularly while being sure to exercise the correct muscles in a safe way for pregnancy, and if you are cognizant of your posture and do specific exercises to strengthen your back, you can minimize if not eliminate these pains!

This workout routine is specifically designed to focus on exercises that improve:

  • balance
  • posture
  • abdominal weakness that may cause incontinence and poor posture
  • pregnancy safe calorie-burning cardio

There are a lot of modifications and pregnancy exercise tips throughout the rest of this post so I recommend reading through all the exercise descriptions. You’ll learn a lot about safe prenatal workouts.

the perfect pregnancy plan


Prenatal Cardio Workout (with VIDEO)

1. Standing Abdominal Bracing

abdominal bracing for first trimester pregnancy workout

abdominal bracing for first trimester pregnancy workout

Why is Abdominal Bracing Important in Prenatal Workouts?

Abdominal bracing is one of the most important moves to master during your first trimester. It is extremely important to focus on correctly strengthening your core once you become pregnant. Abdominal bracing should be practiced every few days and in different positions to help support the expanding abdomen and increasing weight there.

The primary reason you need to start these exercises now before you get too big is that they are easiest (and thus should be begun) lying on your back on the floor. Most women shouldn’t be lying on their back after the first half of pregnancy (and some even after only the first trimester) as it can cause dizziness and fainting.

As you strengthen the transverse abdominus lying on your back it becomes far easier to master the standing and kneeling versions of this exercise.


How to do standing abdominal bracing:

While standing in good posture take a deep breath in. When breathing out, pull your navel toward your spine. The muscles right inside your hip bones should tighten.

This will engage the transverse abdominus, which you can think of as an abdominal brace that circles your midsection. Hold this position for 10 seconds. 

Secret Trick: Count the seconds out loud so you remember to keep breathing while bracing!

Repeat 10 times.


2. Knee Up to Balancing Leg Lift

Knee raise to left lift for balance exercise during pregnancy

Knee raise to left lift for balance exercise during pregnancy

While engaging your core (That means that you want to brace your abs like we just worked on in the previous exercise, before beginning this and any other exercise in the routine), lift your left knee up in front of you. Tap your foot to the ground to regain balance and then lean forward while raising your left leg straight out behind you.

This is a booty, hamstring, AND balance exercise so be careful! Once you begin pregnancy (even before you start to show) your balance will be off. It will continue to get worse as the pregnancy progresses and your weight increases and shifts around to new places.

This is a great exercise to begin in the first trimester to help strengthen your balance muscles that will be tested during pregnancy. If you continue this workout through the second and third trimesters (which is just fine to do) it may be a good idea to use a chair to hold onto for this exercise to increase your balance.

Repeat 20 times on each side.


3. Lunge to Kick

lunge to kick cardio exercise for pregnancy

lunge to kick cardio exercise for pregnancy

Step your right foot far forward and bend your left knee to the ground for a split lunge. Lift back up into starting position and immediately kick your left foot forward and touch your toes if you can reach.

Safety concerns and tips to keep in mind during this exercise:

  • If a lunge causes any pain on your linea alba, modify the exercise by either stepping further apart or cloer together, or not lunging as deep, or omit it altogether. 
  • Do not curl forward to touch your toes on the kick. Keep good posture and instead just kick up as high as you can.

Repeat on each side 20 times.


Pregnancy Workout Tip! If you become winded take a 30-second break between exercises or really whenever you need it. It is important to take extra breaks and recovery periods when exercising during pregnancy. Hop over to a very thorough post all about exactly how to exercise safely during pregnancy.


pregnancy diet and prenatal workout


4. Speed Skaters

speed skaters pregnancy cardio workout

Speed skaters are very common cardio or HIIT workout move. They get your heart rate up fast and are an overall wonderful exercise. 

Bring your right leg behind you and your right arm down toward the ground. (Normally you would be touching the ground between each sideways hop, but depending on your belly size and comfortability level during your pregnancy, just reaching down toward the ground is totally sufficient.)

Hop to the side onto your right leg and bring your left leg behind you, and left arm toward the ground. Hopping higher makes it more difficult. A lot of jumping isn’t recommended (nor is very comfortable) during pregnancy, so keep the jump more lateral and less high for a safe preggo workout.

Imagine downhill skiers. 

Continue the motions back and forth for 40 repetitions.


5. Curtsy Squats to Lateral Leg Lift

curtsy lunge to lateral leg raise for a pregnancy cardio workout

curtsy lunge to lateral leg raise for a pregnancy cardio workout

First, perform a curtsy lunge by stepping one foot forward and the other slightly crossed behind it, just like you were about to curtsy.

While keeping good posture, lower your body down and bring both of your knees outward.

First, perform 10 curtsy lunges.

Now you will be doing 10 more curtsy lunges, but each time you return to starting position, lift your back leg out and to the side while squeezing your glutes! Focus on balance and take your time!

Repeat 10 more curtsy lunges with a lateral leg lift before switching legs and repeating the process on the other side.


6. Inclined Pushups

inclined pushups during pregnancy

inclined pushups for cardio prenatal workout


Pushups put a lot of pressure on your abdomen, so during pregnancy, it is ideal to do pushups at an incline to reduce that pressure. You also NEED to brace your abdominals prior to completing a pushup as to avoid putting excess strain on the linea alba and increasing risks of Diastasis Recti.

RELATED: How to Prevent Diastasis Recti During Pregnancy (Straight from a Doctor of Physical Therapy)

Brace your abdominals by sucking in your belly button. Lower your torso down by bending your elbows outward while bringing your shoulder blades back and together. Push up to starting position.

Repeat 20 times.

Pregnancy Workout Tip! When doing sets of 20, reset and rebrace your abdominals every 5 repetitions. It becomes hard to hold those abs tight but doing so is vitally important when exercising during pregnancy. So take the extra 2 seconds to reset the abdominal bracing every few repetitions.


7. Tricep Dips

Tricep Dips for your prenatal workout

tricep dips for prenatal workout

To keep working on that upper body to increase good posture and decrease pregnancy shoulder and back pain, lastly, you are going to do some tricep dips!

Place your hands on either a low table, chair, or anything about that height and face away from the item. Step your feet out a bit and lower your butt down toward the ground. Allow your elbows to slide straight back along your body, not out to the sides.

A little modification trick, stepping your feet farther away makes the exercise more difficult, and moving them closer to you makes it easier.

Repeat 20 times.


That concludes 1 entire round of your Full Body Prenatal Cardio Workout!

Repeat everything one more time for optimal muscle growth, more calorie-burning, and a burst of energy every pregnant woman needs. Scroll down for a quick video showing all the moves together!

the perfect pregnancy nutrition and fitness plans

I attempted to thoroughly explain every exercise, it’s benefits, modification,s and contraindications in this post. I would love to know if anything is unclear or your questions about exercising during pregnancy in the comments below


More Prenatal Resources from Vigor it Out


Full Body Prenatal Exercise Routine 


Share this!

Similar Posts


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.