Can I lift weights during pregnancy?



I often get asked  “Can I lift weights during pregnancy ? “

The answer : YES you can and if you have been lifting weights pre-conception there is no need to lower the weight straight away.

And YES, lifting weights is good for you. It just needs to be done sensibly and preferably under the guidance of a certified pregnancy trainer.

Once again, there are so many myths about what you can and can’t do during pregnancy and unfortunately when it comes to exercise and pregnancy there are a lot of myths.


One myth is that you shouldn’t life anything heavy during pregnancy. If you think about it though, it doesn’t really make sense …

Why lift weights during pregnancy :

  • Women need to be able to pick up their kids and this does not stop during pregnancy – an average toddler is anywhere between 10 – 18 kgs
  • Pregnant women still need to carry other items including prams, shopping, car seats, boxes of nappies (often at the same time as carrying another child)
  • Women have been carrying large / heavy items throughout history while they were pregnant as they didn’t have much choice when there were no cars, shopping trolleys and often no men around to help if they were off working in the outback etc. Plus think of the women in Africa how they carry items on their head plus a child on their back during pregnancy.


Why lift weights during pregnancy ?

  • If you want to improve the shape of your body, you’re going to need to build muscle. tone, definition, sculpting… whatever you call it, you’re talking about building muscle.
  • Building muscle is  going to help support your changing/growing body during pregnancy and ensure you are fit and strong for labour. Most importantly building muscle is going to help you burn fat post birth.
  • Done properly, weight training will also improve posture, prevent injury and strengthen bones. You are not going to get that by walking or running on a treadmill. And NO, lifting weights will NOT make you end up the size of the Hulk !

Guidelines for lifting weights during pregnancy ?

  • Listen to your body
  • Learn to lift weights correctly – use a certified trainer
  • Keep the intensity at 75% – 80% of your maximum – think of it like an 7 or 8 out of 10.
  • Decrease weight and change the exercises every 4- 5 weeks
  • If you feel any sharp pain / joint pain -STOP
  • Always exhale on the effort to protect your core. Learn exactly why correct breathing is important here.

So add some resistance to your workouts ! Here is a resistance based workout I designed. It’s a great place to start – check it out here.



P.S Registrations are NOW open for my my online pregnancy and postpartum membership THE BFAB METHOD starting soon ! In this course I will be using resistance training and weights safely and effectively with movements that actually train your core ! Doors opens soon – find out more.


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About Dahlas

Dahlas Fletcher is one of Australia’s most respected and successful certified and experienced Pregnancy and Female Fitness Trainers. Her goal is to help you be the happiest, most fabulous version of yourself, inside and out.

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