Are you trying to stay active during pregnancy, but aren’t sure of the safest way to do so?
When you’re pregnant, some exercises you are used to might be off limits.
The good news is, there is a whole style of exercise designed just for pregnant women, which can be done from the comfort of your own home.
We’ll help you get familiar with prenatal exercise and share the best prenatal exercise DVDs currently available.
- Includes four 20-minute, calming yoga practices
- Customizable menu
- Easy to follow and effective
- Video created for dancers
- Enjoyable exercise
- Gradual transition of exercises
- 5 dynamic body band workouts
- Compact and ultra-efficient
- Will tone and reshape whole body
- Awarded top 10 Best Workout DVDs
- Gradual progress based on fitness level
- Offers workout plans for beginners
- Integrates strength, cardio and flexibility
- Well-rounded workout
- Featuring 4 powerful segments
- Complete pregnancy workout set
- Program based on trimester
- Comes with free 9-month calendar download
- Energy-boosting program
- Adapted for all three trimesters
- Challenging without being too difficult
- Fun, invigorating workout
- Focused on cardio and toning
- Intimate, non intimidating approach
- Gentle yet effective and challenging
- Especially effective for new mothers
- Includes private instruction section
- With a sculpting workout
- Designed for lower body workout
- Super affordable
How Will Prenatal Exercise Benefit You?
Some of the benefits of prenatal exercise include:
- Increases stamina and strength: Pregnancy and labor can take a toll on your body, but exercising can help target those troubled areas you may need more support in.
- Improves balance: When you’re pregnant, your center of gravity seems to shift more and more every day. Exercises like yoga can help you improve your balance and become well adjusted to your new body (1).
- Relaxes your body: The deep breathing associated with working out can help you become relaxed and clear your mind.
- Prepares you for labor: Yoga is based greatly on breathing, and the same goes for labor. You will learn techniques to work through the tension that will help you when you go into labor. Some mothers view yoga as practice breathing sessions for labor.
- Increases circulation: When you exercise, your circulation is increased and this can help decrease a significant amount of that pregnancy-induced swelling.
- Gives you nurturing time: Exercise allows you to have a designated time to focus solely on your body and your developing baby. This is a great way to increase your maternal bond and become more accustomed to your changing body.
- Better sleep: Some pregnant women tend to find that exercising has helped them sleep better and significantly reduced their stress and anxiety.
Prenatal Exercise DVD vs. Classes
Some expectant mothers may have trouble choosing between a prenatal exercise class or DVD, but they both have benefits.
It might be best if you visit a class at least once so you can learn firsthand how to do certain positions or workouts and receive some useful input. A class also allows you to meet other expectant moms and broaden your support system.
A prenatal exercise DVD is perfect for the woman who wants to work out, but doesn’t want to leave her house. A DVD allows you the freedom to exercise at any given time and in the comfort of your own home.
Strike While the Iron is Hot
Qualities You Need In a DVD
You have to find a prenatal exercise DVD you will be comfortable with. Some DVDs are designed for the beginning of pregnancy, while some may be targeted for the third trimester.
Some prenatal exercise DVDs may have more advanced routines on them, so you should try to find one similar to your experience level. You can still partake in prenatal exercise if you weren’t exercising regularly before you became pregnant, but you should always ask your doctor for a stamp of approval.
The length of the routine varies for each DVD. You should find a DVD that has a routine with a certain length that you desire. You can always stop in the middle of a long routine, but you can’t add minutes onto a short routine unless you rewind.
The Best Prenatal Exercise DVDs of 2021
Here are our favorite prenatal exercise DVDs on the market.
1. Gentle Yoga With Jessica Smith
There are different types of yoga, but prenatal yoga is designed for pregnant women. The gentle yoga allows you to focus on your changing body and relaxation/breathing techniques.
This DVD has exercises for individuals of all levels, regardless of experience. You will be able to choose between four 20-minute programs that focus on the hips, knees, back, chest, neck, shoulders, and your total body.
All of the yoga poses and exercises will help you improve your balance, flexibility, mobility, and relaxation. Who wouldn’t welcome a calmer mind during their pregnancy?
If you are looking for a gentle way to stay active and in shape, while also learning techniques to benefit you during labor, then a prenatal yoga DVD is a great selection for you.
2. Suzanne Caesar's Rhythm For Life
This is a great DVD with a variety of dances. The workouts are low-impact, so they do not take a toll on your body. At 50 minutes long, it’s probably as long as you’re going to want to workout in one session.
In addition to the different dances, there are also brief breathing exercises and kegel exercise demonstrations.
Many users found this DVD to be fun and they even completed the workout with non-pregnant friends. But beginners should be aware there is some terminology used that someone with no dance experience may not understand.
Overall, this DVD is a perfect solution for expectant moms wanting to stay active in a fun and inviting way.
3. 10 Minute Prenatal Pilates DVD
Pilates is a great method of working out when you are pregnant. This DVD includes five different exercise routines that can target many areas of your body.
If you’re looking for exercises that will increase flexibility, strength, balance, and stamina, then this DVD is perfect for you. There is an exercise to focus on each of these areas.
Many expectant mothers struggle to find the energy to complete daily tasks, so exercise might seem impossible. If you can dedicate at least 10 minutes to one of the routines on this DVD you should notice an increase in your overall well-being — whether your experience mental benefits or physical ones.
There is also a bonus postnatal workout for all those moms who are wanting to bounce back right after delivery. This DVD offers many options, all of which are quick and easy to complete.
4. Fit and Sleek Prenatal Physique DVD
This DVD is a comprehensive training DVD that gives you the freedom to choose specific exercises throughout all three trimesters of your pregnancy.
There are varying lengths of the routines, so you can choose a more advanced workout or a simpler one. The length of the workouts range from 5 to 15 minutes.
There are seven different workout aspects you can choose from. This DVD a great option for the pregnant woman looking to focus on her entire body, rather than just core areas.
This is a full body workout, so it is best performed by those who are used to higher levels of exercise.
Beginners can use this DVD if they view each routine as a segment, rather than completing all of them as a whole.
5. Suzanne Bowen's Prenatal Barre Workout
This prenatal workout DVD is for those women who are looking for a little more out of their pregnancy exercises.
These routines are best for women who were physically active before becoming pregnant, and are wanting to maintain their strength, flexibility, and stamina.
You will have the opportunity to complete four different workouts instructed by your own personal fitness expert.
The routines vary from lean lower body, slim upper body, cardio sculpt, and aligned stretch. All of the exercises have been modified to be safe, but effective during pregnancy.
All of the included routines are safe for pregnancy, but also continue to be effective even into the postnatal stages. With this pick, you can invest in an exercise DVD that can go accommodate your entire pregnancy journey.
6. Complete Pregnancy Workout for Beginners with Lindsay Brin
This workout DVD is perfect for all expectant mothers and even beginners because it includes detailed instructions for each trimester.
The DVD is broken down into each trimester, but there are also multiple DVDs per semester. Users have the choice of doing the moderate workout or the advanced workout. So, newbies can begin with moderate and maybe transition to the advanced after some time.
There are 3 to 4 workouts included on each disc and they all vary in length. A typical disc will have workouts focusing on toning, cardio, and the upper and lower body.
As a bonus, each DVD in the complete set includes a yoga and flexibility segment that many moms seem to enjoy.
If you are somewhat hesitant about working out or not quite sure where to start, this is a great choice. You will be able to embark on your pregnancy fitness journey while having your own personal trainer by your side for each trimester.
7. Denise Austin: Fit & Firm Pregnancy DVD
This DVD includes workouts for all trimesters. It is hard to find one DVD that covers all months of pregnancy.
There are five different routines that have times of 5 minutes, 10 minutes, or 20 minutes. All exercises follow the guidelines of the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists, so they are safe for pregnancy.
The included exercises will help you soothe sore muscles and maintain your core strength.
This might be a good choice of DVD if you are looking for one DVD to last you the duration of your pregnancy and you want to maintain your core strength and cardio.
8. Prenatal Fitness Fix DVD With Erin O'Brien
This DVD allows you to be instructed by a certified prenatal exercise specialist. This lets you know the exercises you will be doing are safe for pregnancy.
You will find fun and challenging workouts designed for fitness newbies and fitness enthusiast moms-to-be.
There is a 40-minute cardio/toning workout included on the DVD, as well as a 20-minute partner workout that can allow you to get your significant other in on the fun.
The exercises are safe and fun, and will also keep you fit and firm during your pregnancy.
If you are looking for an exercise DVD that focuses on cardio, strength, and balance training, controlled weight gain, and assistance in relieving tension, then this is a great solution.
9. Power Pilates Post Baby Workout DVD
The exercises in this video are gentle, yet still very effective and challenging. The exercises have been adapted to meet the special needs of postpartum mothers.
There are options on what the ideal form of a move should be, and also modifications in case your body isn’t quite ready.
You are in control of the length of your session and it can last anywhere from 15 to 47 minutes in length. You can save the longer workouts for days you’re feeling more energetic and power through shorter workouts on those days you just want to sit on the couch.
Pilates is a great postpartum exercise because it helps you strengthen and tone those abdominal and back muscles that have been supporting your little one over the past 9 months.
10. Fabulously Fit Moms: Lower Body Burn
Many moms will tell you that no matter what they do, they just can’t seem to lose the baby weight.
This DVD is designed to target your abdominal area specifically and help tighten, tone, and sculpt your waist.
This workout is not super challenging, but it will push you. The workouts emphasize your abdominal area, but will also help tone your legs and glutes.
If you recently had a baby and are looking for something to help you shed a couple of inches from your waistline, this DVD is a good pick. The instructor in the video is actually a mother of two who has seen incredible results.
It is possible to get that pre-baby body back, and this workout DVD can help you begin to lose some of that weight.
What Does Prenatal Exercise Involve?
Prenatal exercise is typically a modified version of regular exercise. It does not involve strenuous activity, but rather low-impact and gentle exercises. The most important part about prenatal exercise is that your baby’s safety comes first.
Some components of prenatal exercise include:
- Light stretching.
- Gentle workout.
Risks Associated With Prenatal Exercise
If you have a high-risk pregnancy or are at risk for premature labor, you shouldn’t partake in prenatal exercise without the green light from your doctor. All women should consult with their doctor before beginning any prenatal exercise routine to ensure maximum safety.
Prenatal exercise is designed to be safe during pregnancy, but there are certain positions that can become dangerous later on in pregnancy. Some poses that are safe in the first trimester probably aren’t safe in the third trimester. That’s why you should find a DVD that coordinates with the trimester you are in.
To keep you and your baby safe, you should follow these guidelines:
- Consult your doctor: Seek your doctor’s approval before beginning an exercise regime.
- Keep your goals realistic: Pregnancy isn’t a time to push yourself and try to prove that you can be Wonder Woman. If you are tired, stop. You don’t have to complete a routine each time.
- Pace yourself: Prenatal exercise is supposed to help you stay active and to relax. You don’t have to try to rush through a routine quickly. Take it slow and enjoy the process.
- Keep cool and hydrated: It can be dangerous if you overheat and become dehydrated when you are pregnant, so it is important you try to keep yourself cool and drink plenty of water.
- Avoid certain positions: If your workout requires a certain position that makes you uncomfortable, don’t do it. Also, you should always bend from your hips and not your back. Stay away from twisting positions that put pressure on your belly and positions that require lying on your back or belly — these are sometimes safe in the first trimester though.
- Don’t overdo it: You know your limits and you should stick to them. There is no shame in not being able to complete a routine. Some days you may exercise for 30 minutes, and other days it may simply be 10.
The Bottom Line
Our top pick for the best pregnancy yoga DVD is Gentle Yoga with Jessica Smith.
The DVD is great for all expectant moms regardless of experience level, and it is designed specifically for pregnancy.
Yoga is a great method of exercise, and not only does it help the expectant mom stay active, but it also helps encourage the learning of relaxation and breathing techniques that can be used during labor.
Which do you think is the best pregnancy exercise DVD? Let us know in the comments below.