Yoga for pregnant women

 Exercise makes life easier - for the pregnant woman and the baby. We have developed a workout that perfectly combines dynamic endurance training with calm yoga.

Women who are physically active during their pregnancy suffer less from fatigue, nausea, cramps, back pain, varicose veins, or thrombosis - according to a new study by the Cologne Sports University, which followed 60 women six weeks before and twelve weeks after giving birth. And not only that: moderate training during pregnancy helps to get rid of excess pounds more quickly later and to cope better with the birth itself - sporty women need significantly fewer painkillers! Moreover, an additional survey of a total of 1514 pregnant women showed that they generally feel better, sleep more deeply, eat healthier - and have a fivefold reduced risk of suffering from depression after giving birth. According to the latest scientific findings, the best workout for expectant mothers is a mix of gentle endurance training and special exercises that take pressure off the body, strengthen the back and train deep breathing. 

Which sport is right for me? And am I really not taking any risks?

Marion Sulprizio, head of the research project at the German Sport University Cologne, answers the most important questions about exercise for pregnant women

What influence does sport have on the unborn child?

While the mother is active, the baby's heart rate also increases; it is exercising along with her, so to speak. Studies show that the baby is less likely to suffer from obesity or diabetes later in life.

What exercise is particularly recommended?

Gentle endurance training such as walking or cycling - but yoga is also ideal: the light strengthening exercises and relaxing breathing techniques are ideal preparation for the birth. However, other types of sports are also permitted if the woman did them regularly before pregnancy. If the belly bothers you at some point, swimming or aqua gymnastics are a great alternative. They limit water retention - and since the pulse is lower in water, you can exercise more intensively.

Which sports give you advice against?

Watch out for workouts with a high impact load: jogging, for example, exerts high pressure on the pelvic floor and cervix. In addition, sports with a high risk of falling and injury should be avoided, for example, mountain biking, skiing, horseback riding, inline skating, and squash. Or sports with contact with opponents, such as handball, basketball, or martial arts. Intense heat or cold is also not good for pregnant women when exercising. If the straight abdominal muscles open up from the fifth month, you should only train the diagonal muscles, i.e. only do oblique sit-ups. And, of course, extreme loads such as marathon running, mountain climbing over 2500 meters altitude, or diving are forbidden.

Part 1: Endurance training

To really get into the swing of things, it's best to put on Latin music to accompany the program: To do this, shoulders and hips swing almost by themselves, the whole body is supplied with blood and oxygen. During the workout, keep straightening your spine and pulling your shoulder blades together: This exercises the back muscles relieves tension, and keeps you upright even as your belly grows. 

Do each exercise for about three minutes, as you feel comfortable. In between, Wellness Marching a few steps each time, so there are no breaks and you stay moving for about 20 minutes. From the 36th week of pregnancy, reduce the workout to 15 minutes, so do each exercise for only two minutes.

If you have any questions or problems, have your doctor check you out before you start exercising.

Wellness Marching

March swingingly on the spot - bent arms swinging loosely with knees slightly bent. Lift your legs only as far as is comfortable - and let your hips swing loosely along.

 Then with the inhale, bring the arms up to do this alternately in a large arc, lowering as you exhale.


Stand with feet closed. Tap the right toe to the side, shifting weight to the right side, hips, and arms swinging loosely with it, turn the head to the right with power.

 Close feet again.

 Change sides.

Double Step Touch

Take a big step to the side with the right foot, pull the left foot after. And again: step right to the side, bring left in. With each side step, bring your hips down, coming back up as you approach. At the same time, bring the back of the right hand in front of the forehead and pull it toward the ears. The torso is straight, shoulders are low. And alternate sides.

Open & Close

Stand again with closed feet. Now first step to the right with the right foot, then step to the left with the left foot. While doing this, stretch your arms wide open upwards. And back again: first bring the right foot inward, then the left. Cross your arms in front of your stomach and around your back at the same time. Alternate.


Step right foot forward, lift left heel briefly, and shift weight forward. Touch down the left heel, bring right foot back, shift weight - and briefly lift left heel again. 

While doing this, extend the left arm, circle the right arm backward, and let the hips swing loosely with it. 

Switch sides.


Step forward with the right foot and lift the left knee slightly. Now place the left foot at the starting point - and also come back with the right foot. 

To do this, bring the extended arms from the bottom up until they cross above the head. Change sides.

And after the birth?

Start with gentle pelvic floor exercises at first. But as soon as the gap between your straight abdominal muscles has closed, you can also exercise this part - usually, after three months at the latest, it's best to ask your gynecologist.

 Core training is particularly effective: just as in Pilates, you tense the core of your body, i.e. your abdominal, buttock, and pelvic floor muscles, throughout the exercises.

 In this way, the deeper muscles are challenged - they act like an inner corset that tightens the abdomen and waist. 

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