What Exercise Machines Can I Use While Pregnant?

Keep your baby safe by engaging in low intensity exercise.
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Exercise during pregnancy is safe for most women. It aids weight control, eases back pain, boosts energy levels and helps prepare your body for labor. The Mayo Clinic recommends 30 minutes of daily exercise, but even as little as 10 minutes each day offers benefits. Going to the gym is one way to fit in a workout during your pregnancy, but not all the machines available to you are safe. Follow your doctor's recommendations regarding an appropriate amount and intensity of exercise.


Running on the treadmill is an effective cardiovascular exercise that also tones your muscles. During pregnancy, running is safe for women who already engage in a running routine. If you're new to running, talk to your obstetrician to ensure its safety. Walking on the treadmill may be a better choice for beginners. The trick to staying safe on the treadmill is to scale back your speed, incline and tension to create a workout that isn't too hard on your body. Fast running during your final trimester is discouraged by the What to Expect website because your balance is often skewed due to your belly's size, which increases the risk of a fall.

Stationary Bike

The American Pregnancy Association recommends biking during pregnancy because it helps support your weight, which makes it less stressful on your growing body. A stationary bike reduces the risk of a fall while biking, making it an ideal choice at the gym. During pregnancy, you might fight yourself fatigued with your usual workout on the bike. Scale back the intensity to counteract this, which offers the benefits of exercise, but doesn't compromise your health.

Stair Climber

Stair climber machines are a good choice during pregnancy because the risk of falling is lower than with other kinds of machines. Adjust the tension on the stairs to make this choice easier as your pregnancy progresses. Keep your feet planted firmly on the steps as jumping and bouncing isn't recommended during pregnancy, according to the What to Expect website. Most stair climbers feature handrails. Hold on to them while climbing to help stabilize your body and prevent stumbling or tripping, which could result in an injury.

Weight Machines

Most doctors discourage lifting heavy weights during pregnancy, but using weight machines with a small pound load is beneficial. The Baby Center website recommends using weights in the five to 12 pound range. While several weight machines are safe during pregnancy, use caution that you don't hit your stomach with the weights and avoid lying flat on your back after your first trimester. "Fit Pregnancy" magazine suggests the seated cable row, lat pulldown and the seated leg curl for strength training during pregnancy. Free weights are also beneficial if you are uncomfortable using weight machines.

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