If you still love to get down with a good exercise DVD while you’re pregnant, you’re not the only one! You can find a wide range of DVDs and streaming services geared to this purpose. But not all exercise programs are safe to use during pregnancy.
So how do you know which videos are safe to try and which to avoid?
We got our butts in gear — literally — as we hunted to find the best prenatal exercise DVDs on the market. We had a lot of fun and came up with this list of ten great videos.
With a range of exercise styles, from yoga to aerobics to strength training, belly dance, and more, you’re sure to find one — or a few — to help you get your groove on and work your way to a strong and healthy pregnant body.
We’ll answer all your questions about exercising during pregnancy and help you find the perfect program to see you through to delivery and beyond.
- Four 20-minute yoga practices
- Customizable menu
- Easy to follow and effective
- Variety of low-impact dances
- Enjoyable exercise
- Gradual transition of exercises
- 5 dynamic body band workouts
- Compact and ultra-efficient
- Tones and reshapes the whole body
- Includes a variety of styles
- 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
- Includes free 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?
Prenatal exercise can seem daunting when you’re tired, nauseous, and struggling with moodiness. But the benefits are worth any effort you put in. These are some of the best benefits of prenatal exercise:
- Increases stamina and strength: Pregnancy and labor can take a toll on your body, but exercising can help target those troubled areas that may need more support.
- 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 requires you to have good breathing techniques, as does 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, you increase your circulation, which 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 find that exercising helps them sleep better and significantly reduces their stress and anxiety.
Prenatal Exercise DVD vs. Classes
Some expectant mothers may have trouble choosing between a prenatal exercise class or a video, but 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 pregnant moms and broaden your support system.
A prenatal exercise DVD or online video 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 have more advanced routines, so you should try to find one similar to your experience level. You can still partake in prenatal exercise if you weren’t regularly exercising before becoming pregnant, but you should always ask your doctor for a stamp of approval before you begin.
Routine lengths vary between programs. Choose a video that fits your desired workout time. You can always stop in the middle of a long routine, but you can’t add minutes to a short routine.
The Best Prenatal Exercise DVDs of 2022
Here are our favorite prenatal exercise DVDs on the market.
1. Gentle Yoga With Jessica Smith
Best Pregnancy Yoga DVD
Prenatal yoga is designed for pregnant women. The gentle stretches allow you to focus on your changing body, relaxation, and breathing techniques.
This DVD has exercises for women of all experience levels. Choose between four 20-minute programs which focus on the hips, knees, back, chest, neck, shoulders, and your total body.
The yoga poses and exercises help 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 while also learning techniques to benefit you during labor, then a prenatal yoga DVD is an excellent selection for you.
2. Suzanne Caesar's Rhythm For Life
Best Pregnancy Dance Workout DVD
This fun DVD offers a variety of dances. The low-impact workouts won’t take a toll on your body. But at 50 minutes long, it’s probably as long as you’ll want to work out in one session.
In addition to the dances, there are also brief breathing and kegel exercise demonstrations.
Many users enjoy using this DVD on their own or with friends — pregnant or not. But beginners should be aware that it includes some terminology that may be unfamiliar to those without previous dance experience.
Overall, this DVD is a perfect solution for pregnant moms wanting to stay active in a fun and inviting way.
3. 10 Minute Prenatal Pilates DVD
Best Pregnancy Pilates DVD
Pilates is an excellent method of working out when you are pregnant. This DVD includes five exercise routines that 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. It includes an exercise that focuses 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 mental and physical well-being.
There is also a bonus postnatal workout for moms who want to bounce back right after delivery. This DVD offers many options, all quick and easy to complete.
4. Fit and Sleek Prenatal Physique DVD
Best for All Trimesters
This comprehensive training DVD gives you the freedom to choose specific exercises throughout all three trimesters of your pregnancy.
The routines offered are of various lengths, ranging from five to 15 minutes, to fit within any busy mom’s schedule.
There are seven workout aspects you can choose from. This DVD is 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 used to higher levels of exercise.
Beginners can still benefit from 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
Best Slim and Toned Prenatal Workout DVD
This pregnancy exercise DVD is best for women looking for a little more out of their prenatal exercises. It’s especially useful for women who were physically active before becoming pregnant and want to maintain their strength, flexibility, and stamina.
You will have the opportunity to complete four workouts instructed by your own personal fitness expert.
The routines focus on a lean lower body, slim upper body, cardio sculpt, and aligned stretch.
All the included routines are safe for pregnancy and continue to be effective in the postnatal stages. With this pick, you can invest in an exercise DVD that can accommodate your entire pregnancy journey.
6. Complete Pregnancy Workout for Beginners with Lindsay Brin
Best Pregnancy Workout DVD for Beginners
This workout DVD is perfect for all expectant mothers — especially those new to exercise — because it includes detailed instructions for each trimester.
Users have the choice of doing moderate or advanced workouts. So, newbies can begin with moderate and maybe transition to advanced after some time.
There are three to four workouts on each of the three discs, 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 includes a yoga and flexibility segment many moms enjoy.
If you are hesitant about working out or unsure where to begin, this set is a great choice. You can 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
Best Pregnancy Aerobics DVD
It is hard to find one DVD that covers all months of pregnancy, but this DVD includes workouts for all three trimesters.
There are five different routines with sessions lasting 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 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. It’s especially helpful if you want to maintain your core strength and cardio.
8. Prenatal Fitness Fix DVD With Erin O'Brien
Best Pregnancy Strength Training DVD
Erin O’Brien is a certified prenatal exercise specialist, so you can trust that these exercises are safe for pregnancy.
You will find fun and challenging workouts designed for fitness newbies and enthusiasts alike.
The disc includes a 40-minute cardio/toning workout and a 20-minute partner workout that allows your significant other to get in on the fun.
The exercises are safe and fun and will keep you fit and firm during pregnancy.
If you are looking for an exercise DVD that focuses on cardio, strength, balance training, controlled weight gain, and assistance in relieving tension, this is a great solution.
9. Power Pilates Post Baby Workout DVD
Best Workout DVD for After Pregnancy
The exercises in this video are gentle yet effective and challenging. They have been adapted to meet postpartum moms’ specific needs.
The video includes modifications for each move if your body isn’t quite ready.
You control your session’s length, and it can last anywhere from 15 to 47 minutes. 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 your abdominal and back muscles that have been supporting your little one over the past nine months.
10. Fabulously Fit Moms: Lower Body Burn
Best Weight Loss DVD for Post Pregnancy
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 and help tighten, tone, and sculpt your waist.
It’s not a very challenging workout, but it will push you. Each workout emphasizes your abdominal area and helps 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 is a mother of two who has seen incredible results using this program.
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 their doctor before beginning any prenatal exercise routine to ensure maximum safety.
Prenatal exercise is designed to be safe during pregnancy, but certain positions can become dangerous later on in pregnancy. Some stretches that are safe in the first trimester may not be safe in the third trimester. You should find a DVD that coordinates with your current trimester.
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 whole routine each time.
- Pace yourself: Prenatal exercise is supposed to help you stay active and 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 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. However, these positions are sometimes safe in the first trimester.
- 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 an excellent exercise method, and not only does it help the expectant mom stay active, but it also helps teach relaxation and breathing techniques to use during labor.