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Being an active person, I didn’t want to compromise on my regular exercise routine too much just because I was pregnant, which is how I came about finding the best online pregnancy workouts.
Naturally, you’re not going to exercise in the same way you used to. In the first trimester, I was too nauseous to do much apart from scoff cream cheese on toasted white bagel, and now that I’m in my third trimester, the extra weight and tiredness are starting to take their toll.
So, out with my regular boxing and pole dancing classes, and in with gentler exercises like barre and yoga. That said, there was still room for cardio, as you’ll find out by my round-up of the best online pregnancy workouts below. Disclaimer: these workouts were all safe for me, but it’s always advisable to check with your doctor prior to exercise, read our ‘can you workout when pregnant’ guide for more info.
Online pregnancy workouts
I did Barrecorre workouts in their studios and at home during the pandemic, so I was keen to try their online pregnancy workouts too. The BarrePRENATAL classes are all 45 minutes long and focus on your whole body, using the usual equipment: a chair for balance, small weights (optional) with the addition of a cushion for extra comfort for seated positions and on the mat. I enjoyed how the class didn’t vary too much from the barre classes I was accustomed to pre-pregnancy, though of course every exercise has been adapted to suit a pregnant body. I was also given clear instructions throughout, to tailor exercises based on trimester.
Membership to Barrecore on-demand videos costs £25 per month, with no joining fee.
I’ve mentioned before that I loved HIIT classes such as boxing, and whilst I love yoga, pilates and barre, I did miss working up a sweat. You’re typically not advised to raise your heartrate too much in pregnancy, since your diaphragm moves upwards and so the amount of air your lungs can handle decreases. The general rule of thumb is that you should be able to hold a conversation while working out.
Bumps & Burpees was founded by Charlie Launder in 2014, to help women feel empowered during their pregnancies. There’s a mix of pre and postnatal exercises, which range from HIIT workouts to yoga, upper body, core and leg workouts. Each one is clearly labelled depending on how many weeks pregnant you are.
My personal favourite classes were the cardio workouts to tunes from the Spice Girls and Britney Spears. I love the variety of classes on offer, so this is a great option if you’re after a one-stop-shop. You can do them from the comfort of your own home anytime you like, though there are also three live classes a week that you can join to feel part of a community.
You can sign up to Bumps & Burpees from just £10 a month if you just want the stretch and yoga membership, £19 to add pilates classes and £29 for the full membership. You can cancel anytime.
As the name suggests, the Bump Plan is part of the Pilates PT, aka award-winning Pilates instructor Hollie Grant’s workout plan. It’s divided into two sections, pre and post natal. Hollie devised the workouts when she was pregnant herself, so you know they’re on point and safe. I personally like the format: you have six workouts workout for each week of your pregnancy, though don’t be put off by the mount, it’s totally manageable. For example, this week I have three 30-minute cardio pilates class, two 20-minute pilates classes and one 15-minute stretch class. You can use equipment such as pilates balls and rubber bands to help with exercises and stretching.
The membership also gives you access to the Educational Hub, which has handy guides for everything from pelvic floor exercises to perineal massage, nausea management and what to pack in your hospital bag. Membership to the Pilates PT: The Bump Plan costs £25 per month.
If you love barre workouts like I do, you’ll no doubt have heard all about fitness expert Louisa Drake’s life-changing workouts, and I don’t use that word lightly. Her classes really sculpt and tone the body, and you have so much fun you forget you’re actually working out. So I was excited to find out she also offered online pregnancy workouts, which include low impact exercises suitable for all stages of pregnancy. They use little equipment (light weights and a mat) and prepare you for birth by keeping you fit. Classes last from between 25 minutes and an hour, so it’s not too daunting either, and there’s always plenty of time for stretching, a must when the extra weight puts a strain on your body.
You can also still enjoy the signature workouts, and simply modify or skip traditional core work in regular non-pregnancy classes.
Membership for The Louisa Drake method starts at £20 a month if you sign up for 12 months, and you can get a free 7-day trial.
Olympic gold-medal winner and mum-of-two Jessica Ennis is behind this clever app, which actually builds workouts around your menstrual cycle, so you can take the power back. On the app, you’ll also find exercises catered towards menopausal women as well as pre and post natal ones. A lot of the workouts focus on building up strength in the pelvic floor and core, which is key to a good delivery, though you can also work on your glutes and upper strength. Each one is adapted to your trimester and whether you’re beginner, intermediate or advanced.
The Jennis app costs from £14.99 a month, and you get a discount if you sign up for several months upfront.