Exercises for Pregnant People

As I approach the second half of my final trimester of my 5th pregnancy, I am mindful of the wisdom God has bestowed upon me over the years via the soon-to-be 200 weeks of gestation I’ve enjoyed.  And by enjoyed, I probably mean endured.  And when I say endured, I should probably add the word grudgingly to the front.  Because I’m the very picture of maternal grace and fortitude, haven’t you heard?!  Gaw.

So in celebration of being almost almost done, I thought I’d share just a few of my tips and tricks for surviving pregnancy with all of you, starting with…..

Dwija’s 5 Favorite Exercises for Pregnant People

running shoes not required

1) The Clutter Buster

Locate an item of clothing or small toy that has been abandoned in the middle of the floor by a kind member of your family or their equally generous friends.  I mean, they obviously know you’re looking for a way to get in a workout.

Balancing on your left leg, use your right foot to pick the item up off of the floor, using your toes as if they were fingers.  Channel your inner monkey if you must.  Quickly pass the item from foot to hand.

Repeat with opposite leg.

Advanced Level: toss the dirty laundry or toy into its proper receptacle using your foot, bypassing any hand participation whatsoever.  Keep those abs tight, ladies!

2) The Kneeler Wobbler

Go to Mass.  Attempt to kneel without your belly ricocheting off the back of the pew in front of you.

Advanced Level: bring toddler(s) with you.

3) The Tub Lift

This exercise will focus on your upper body, particularly the bicep and shoulder regions.

Purchase a reasonable quantity of ice cream, “reasonable” naturally meaning you’ll be dealing with a handled bucket.  Lift and lower the bucket repeatedly as you walk from your car to your sofa.

Don’t forget the spoon!

Advanced Level: two buckets + two arms = fit and toned

4) The Hoover Mover

If you’re seriously pressed for time, this one will work your whole body. Time management for the win!

Turn on the vacuum cleaner without  clearing the floor first.  Attempt to maneuver your machine around the toys and clothing and pieces of tupperware whilst children careen about recklessly and accuse you of “really trying to ruin my stuff for real this time”.

Advanced Level:  Instead of walking while pushing, do lunges.

Super Advanced Level: Combine Clutter Buster and Hoover Mover for a truly aerobic experience.  You’re welcome.

5) The Flapping Flamingo

First, balance on one leg.  Without bending over, attempt to insert free leg into a pair of pants which you cannot see because your mid-section is completely obstructing your view.  When your toe gets caught in a belt look and/or pocket, flap your arms wildly in an attempt to remain upright.

Repeat daily.

Advanced Level: Perform this exercise during the last 3 weeks of pregnancy.

In some circles, this procedure may also be referred to as “getting dressed”.

Et voila!

You can thank me later.


post signature

Dwija Borobia lives with her husband and their four (soon-to-be-five!) kids in rural southwest Michigan in a fixer-upper they bought sight-unseen off the internet. Between homeschooling and corralling chickens, she pretends her time on the internet doesn’t count because she uses the computer standing up. You can read more on her blog house unseen. life unscripted.


Dwija Borobia lives with her husband and their five kids in rural southwest Michigan in a fixer-upper they bought sight-unseen off the internet. Between homeschooling and corralling chickens, she pretends her time on the internet doesn’t count because she uses the computer standing up. You can read more on her blog house unseen. life unscripted.

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  • Last weekend at Mass I made the very unwelcome (WELCOME!!!) discovery that my stomach is now so large that my expanding backside hits the pew behind me.  I decided that God was just telling me to sit down. Pregnancy win!!  And #5 threatens to do me daily harm 🙂  Loved this post…thanks for the laugh.

  • Don’t  forget “the Pendulum”, a.k.a. “Trying to get out of bed in the middle of the night for the seven millionth bathroom trip”.  Works those side abdominals like nobody’s business!  Love handles, begone!

  • Micaela

    Best workout list ever.

  •  I mean, it’s basically like we’re doing crunches.  Who needs a workout video?

  •  I was trying sooooooo hard to kneel like a normal person this morning, I swear, but I had to arch my back in a fairly obnoxious manner in order to make it happen.  So there I am, teetering precariously on the tips of my knees when BAM!  Bear hug from a 4 year old lands me on my rear.  Oops!

  • mombryan

    I do similar exercises daily! I am particularly fond of the “Lego Hop”. I’m sure that needs no explanation. =) Or just bending over, wow, that’s hard to do! Seems every one of these kids sits lower and lower…

  •  The Lego Hop!  How could I forget???

  • Now, if you can just explain to my husband the necessity of The Clutter Buster.  His response is always to freak out.  “Ewww!  You just touched that toy with your FOOT!  Nasty!!  Now that toy has to be burned.”  

  •  WHAT?????  Do you burn all your floors and your shoes and your bed and your socks every time a foot touches them?

    I rest my case.

  • This is hilarious. How about the butt exercises you get from keeping your legs in a semi-normal looking stance when you would prefer to walk around straddling the air?

  •  Ah yes, The Waddle Stopper.  We might need a part two of this post someday…

  • Fontgoddess

    Oh yes, having the toddler underfoot definitely ups the intensity of your pregnancy workout. I remember being pregnant with him (my first) … my main exercise was NAPPING. Sigh. Good times.

  • Ann-Marie

    I really thought the Tub Lift was going to be hoisting my huge body out of the bathtub. After a blissful soak, when the horror of gravity renters my abdomen with the draining of the water. . . It actually works those same muscle, biceps and shoulders.

  • Alishia

    I am so proficient at The Clutter Buster that I do it whether or not I’m pregnant. I guess I’m just lazy. The greatest gift, however, was when I noticed one of my daughters doing it of her own volition.  Awesome. She has learned something from me!

  •  I’m just impressed you’re able to find time to soak in the tub.  You should write a how-to manual for us on that!

  • Seriously laughed out loud at this. Oh my – I have done these too many times. And I am afraid to add up the number of months or weeks I have been pregnant overall. Either way, I have been pregnant or nursing or both since the Spring of 1996. I should be toned by now???!!!

  • Ana Hahn

    Hahaha, Dwija, this is the best thing I have read all week, maybe all month, you have outdone yourself. 

  • Michelle Lynch

    Oh-oh…you inspired me to add up how many weeks I have spent on gestation…483 weeks…that’s 9.28 years.  11 living offspring, 1 stillborn at 21 weeks, 4 miscarried.  Add in the breastfeeding from 12-30 months per child, and homeschooling for the past 24 years…I’ve spent a long time being a mother!  My youngest is about to turn 9.

    And I do believe I did everyone of those exercises you write about!  Good article!