Push-Ups & Pregnancy | Personal Edge Fitness

Bump or No Bump: Are Push-Ups Safe During Pregnancy?


The Corporate EdgeFor expectant moms, pregnancy is a time of excitement and anticipation, but it is also a period when their bodies endure substantial changes. These modifications may have an impact on their daily habits, including exercise. As more women prioritize being active during pregnancy, more and more expectant moms are asking, “Are push-ups safe during pregnancy?”

In this post, we’ll look at the benefits of exercising during pregnancy, the safety concerns with push-ups, and expert viewpoints on whether or not push-ups are safe during pregnancy. So, bump or no bump, let’s dive in and see if push-ups are a safe pregnancy exercise option.

The Advantages of Push-Ups During Pregnancy 

During pregnancy, expectant mothers may be concerned about what exercises they can and cannot do safely. While push-ups have been a source of debate in the fitness community, when performed correctly, they provide several benefits to pregnant women. Let’s look at the benefits of push-ups during pregnancy and why they might be a useful workout for expecting mothers:

Upper body strength: Push-ups are an efficient approach to increasing upper body strength, which can be useful during pregnancy as your body changes and your center of gravity moves. Upper-body strength can help you maintain excellent posture and lower your risk of injury from falls or lifts.

Improved circulation: Push-ups can increase blood flow to your arms, shoulders, and upper back, which can be especially beneficial during pregnancy when your body is working harder to support your growing baby. Improved circulation can also help alleviate edema and other pregnancy-related discomforts.

Increased energy: Regular activity, such as push-ups, can help boost your energy levels and prevent exhaustion throughout pregnancy. This is especially beneficial during the first and third trimesters when many women suffer greater fatigue.

Mental health benefits: Exercise has been proven to boost mood and reduce stress and anxiety, which is especially important during pregnancy when hormones and physical changes can have an influence on mental health. Push-ups performed as part of a regular fitness routine can help enhance your general well-being and lower your risk of depression and other mood disorders.

Expert Advice on Push-Ups During Pregnancy

Several studies have been conducted to investigate the safety and efficacy of exercise during pregnancy, including push-ups. According to one study published in the Journal of Physical Therapy Science, modified push-ups on the hands and knees were safe and helpful for pregnant women, enhancing upper body strength and posture without causing any harm.

Healthcare practitioners and fitness experts may have different perspectives on the safety of push-ups during pregnancy. Some may advise avoiding traditional push-ups and instead switching to modified push-ups on hands and knees as the pregnancy progresses. Others may advise avoiding push-ups entirely and instead focusing on other pregnancy-safe exercises.

Hands-and-knees push-ups are typically considered safe for pregnant women, especially in the early stages of pregnancy. They offer the same benefits as regular push-ups without putting strain on the abdominal muscles or raising the chance of falling. 

Expectant moms should, however, listen to their bodies and check with their healthcare professionals before beginning any fitness routine during pregnancy. Furthermore, if any discomfort or pain is felt while performing modified push-ups or any other exercise, it is best to stop and seek medical attention.

Push-Ups vs. Modified Push-Ups: What’s Best for Pregnant Women?

Exercise is an essential element of remaining healthy and fit throughout pregnancy. If you’re wondering if push-ups are safe during pregnancy, it’s also crucial to be aware of your body’s changes and limitations when pregnant. A popular option is modified push-ups, but which is best for pregnant women? 

Here are the advantages of doing push-ups or modified push-ups during pregnancy so you can make an informed decision.

Push-ups provide the following advantages for pregnant women:

  1. Muscle strengthening in the upper body: Push-ups aid in the development of upper-body strength, which includes the arms, chest, and shoulders. Women may notice a shift in their center of gravity and increased strain on their upper body as their pregnancy advances. Push-ups can assist improve upper-body strength and make regular tasks easier.
  2. Increasing posture and decreasing back pain: Hormonal changes during pregnancy can cause changes in posture, which can lead to back discomfort. Push-ups help to strengthen the core muscles and improve posture, which can reduce the probability of back problems.
  3. Preventing gestational diabetes by encouraging healthy weight growth: Regular activity, such as push-ups, can aid with weight management throughout pregnancy. Maintaining a healthy weight helps reduce the risk of gestational diabetes, which arises during pregnancy.
  4. Increasing endurance and getting ready for labor: Labor is a physically demanding process that demands endurance and strength. Push-ups can help you build endurance and strengthen the muscles you’ll need for labor. Exercise on a regular basis during pregnancy can also help with postpartum recovery.

Modified push-ups have the following advantages for pregnant women:

  1. Reduced chance of diastasis recti: Diastasis recti is a condition that arises during pregnancy when the two halves of the rectus abdominis muscle separate. Modified push-ups relieve pressure on the abdominal muscles, lowering the risk of acquiring this illness.
  2. Easier to keep good form and alignment: Modified push-ups make it simpler to keep good form and alignment. This is critical for avoiding injury when exercising and getting the most out of your routine.
  3. Reduced wrist and hand strain: Pregnant women often experience wrist and hand pain, making it difficult to perform traditional push-ups. Modified push-ups reduce the strain on the wrists and hands, making the exercise more accessible for pregnant women.
  4. Similar benefits to regular push-ups: Many of the benefits of regular push-ups can still be obtained with modified push-ups, such as improved upper body strength, increased endurance, and preparation for labor.
  5. Easier for those who are already fit and strong: Modified push-ups may not be as difficult for you as standard push-ups if you were already fit and strong before pregnancy.

Other Pregnancy-Safe Exercises

Physical activity during pregnancy is essential for the health and well-being of both the mother and the developing baby. However, determining which exercises are safe and effective during pregnancy can be difficult. Fortunately, there are several exercises other than push-ups that are safe during pregnancy and offer numerous advantages, such as strengthening the body, relieving joint discomfort, and aiding in stress reduction.

Here are four safe and useful exercises for pregnant women: 

  1. Squats: An excellent exercise for strengthening the lower body and preparing for childbirth, can be done with or without weights and tailored to different stages of pregnancy.
  2. Walking: A low-impact exercise that is safe and easy for the majority of pregnant women, with cardiovascular advantages and aids in weight management.
  3. Swimming: A low-impact alternative that relieves joint discomfort, works the entire body, and can help with edema and soreness.
  4. Prenatal yoga: A gentle and safe approach to staying active during pregnancy, that aids in flexibility, stress reduction, and delivery preparation.

The Importance of Monitoring Exercise Intensity

It is important to keep track of the intensity of your push-ups. Several physiological and hormonal changes occur during pregnancy that affect how the body responds to exercise. To ensure that your activity is safe and effective, pay close attention to your body’s cues and evaluate the intensity of your workout.

Here are some of the reasons why it is critical to monitor the intensity of your push-ups during pregnancy:

  • Safety: High-intensity exercise can cause undue stress on the body and potentially harm the growing fetus. It is vital to monitor exercise intensity in order to minimize such risks and maintain a safe training program.
  • Prevent overheating: The body produces excess heat during pregnancy, and exercise can aggravate this situation, leading to overheating. Monitoring exercise intensity aids in the prevention of overheating, which can result in dehydration, exhaustion, and even preterm labor.
  • Avoid dizziness: As pregnancy continues, the body produces more blood, which can create dizziness and lightheadedness while exercising. Monitoring the intensity of push-ups aids in the prevention of these symptoms while also ensuring a comfortable and safe workout.
  • Manage weight gain: The number of calories burnt during your push-ups is directly proportional to the intensity of the workout. Monitoring exercise intensity assists in maintaining appropriate weight gain during pregnancy, which can benefit both the mother’s and baby’s health.
  • Optimize benefits: Monitoring the intensity of your push-ups ensures that the workout is tough enough without being too hard. A well-planned fitness program can maximize benefits such as enhanced cardiovascular health, a lower risk of gestational diabetes, and general physical and mental well-being.


Doing push-ups as a form of exercise during pregnancy has various advantages for expectant women. Push-ups are an excellent approach to improving upper body strength, circulation, energy levels, and mental wellness. Hands-and-knees push-ups are considered safe for pregnant women since they provide the same advantages as traditional push-ups without straining the abdominal muscles or increasing the danger of falling. 

However, before beginning any fitness routine, consult a healthcare professional, a personal trainer, and always listen to your body to avoid discomfort or pain. Push-ups and modified push-ups both have advantages, but the choice should be based on individual circumstances and fitness levels. 

Maintaining a regular fitness regimen throughout pregnancy can aid in the ease of birth and encourage a quicker postpartum recovery. To keep push-ups safe during pregnancy, pregnant women can incorporate them into their training routine to stay healthy and active with the proper precautions and coaching.