“You Shouldn’t Lift Weights”: Mamas Who Overcame Pregnancy Exercise Criticism

Your pregnancy means that you’re in charge–sounds simple, right? Taking charge of your pregnancy and your health is something that intimidates most women, so if you feel overwhelmed, you’re not alone.

We’re sure you’ve heard plenty of these old-school myths before:

“You can’t run when you’re pregnant!”

“Working out will hurt your baby.”

“Lifting weights, are you crazy?”

Earlier this week, we put some of the most common pregnancy exercise myths to bed in this post. Today, we’re sharing the stories of three women who didn’t let pregnancy slow them down–despite criticism from others. These are their stories.


Strength-training lover

My mom actually told me that I shouldn’t work out too hard because I would “juggle” the baby’s head. I think the older generation is used to the whole “pregnant with your feet up” idea, but that’s just not reality anymore (especially when you have 2 other kids running around)!

I’m still strength training 4 times per week and boxing once a week! I have definitely modified my workouts in certain ways. I’ve shortened them to about 30-40 minutes, and I do more supersets to incorporate more muscle groups into each workout.

I’ve put a pause on all abdominal exercises and focus on my deep core breathing to engage and strengthen my pelvic floor, and I don’t do any exercises that could be dangerous, like box jumps and burpees. Though if you can believe it, I miss those heart-thumping exercises so much!


Avid runner

The first thing I heard was “Oh, so you’re going to stop running now.”  My answer: “Umm..No” 

What people don’t understand is that when your body is used to moving and exercising then it can keep on doing that when you’re pregnant. Sure you have to back off a bit, but your body won’t allow you to overdo it. Your body will tell you when you’re tired and the key is to listen to what it’s saying. 

In my first trimester and first half of my second trimester, I kept running my normal program. This was challenging, so I made changes. My pace was a lot slower than normal and in my last part of my second trimester, I felt super strong, reaching my pre-pregnancy pace again! I did, however, have to settle for shorter runs not exceeding 6km to do what’s best for my body.


Yoga teacher & nutritionist

I was told a few things: “you shouldn’t lift weights”, “you shouldn’t bend down”, “if you exercise every day your baby could measure smaller than normal”. Although I know deep down that they are myths, when you’re told something over and over again you start to question yourself, especially as a first-time mum.

Now I’m in my 3rd trimester and still go to the gym about 4 days a week. I basically do lighter weights but more reps. I also use the stability ball to support me if I lift weights above my head.  

I used to do squats and lunges with weights in my hands and now I just use my own bodyweight. I teach 3 yoga classes a week instead of 10, and I do other forms of exercise like power walking instead of running. Ultimately, I try and include exercise for both mind and body.

Rather than us telling you how to Shape Your Pregnancy, we want to put the power in your hands. This January, we’re launching the Shape My Pregnancy campaign, and we want your voices to be front and center.

This will become Baby2Body’s central focus for 2021, and you will see us talking about #ShapeMyPregnancy across everything that we do. Why? Because we want you to take control of your pregnancy, own it, and have the tools to feel empowered to do so. If you can relate to any of these stories, head over to our Instagram to tell us about how you shaped your pregnancy!


Leave a Reply