Prenatal Arm Workout For A Fit Pregnancy

Fitness: Workouts

By: // May 24, 2016

Most busy moms, at some point, wish they had a third arm—but since that’s unlikely, lets work on making the arms you have stronger instead. If you are pregnant, your upper body is going to be your lifeline for many weeks to come! From carrying a baby that continues to get heavier, to lifting a car seat in one arm and grocery bag in the other, you will need strong, capable arms to get you through each day! Now is the time to get started with this prenatal arm workout.

This prenatal workout is a safe, effective way to strengthen your upper body and stay fit while pregnant. Once the baby arrives, you can continue to work on those mama arms and keep them strong for every exciting moment to come! For each exercise below, follow the instructions for proper execution. If you finish the routine and have more energy, start back at the top and complete it a second time through. As always, check with your doctor to be sure it is safe for you to exercise.

Inclined Push-Ups

Do moves like the inclined push-up to build strength during your pregnancy.


Getting on the floor for a push-up goes from awkward to impossible as your stomach gets bigger. Putting your hands on a wall or elevated surface allows you to get the strengthening benefits of push-ups  throughout your pregnancy! Try this push-up variation:

  • Place hands shoulder-width apart on a wall, countertop or high bench.
  • Step your feet back so your body is in an inclined plank position
  • Slowly lower your chest, making sure your body stays in alignment.
  • Exhale as you press back to the plank start position. Try 10 push-ups.

Shoulder T-Lifts

Try these dumbbell moves for a great prenatal workout.

You are soon to carry the weight of the world on your shoulders. Keep them strong and capable with this move—just be sure to use light dumbbells to accommodate the long arms that bring the weight far away from your body.

  • Hold a light pair of dumbbells against the front of your thighs with palms facing in.
  • Slowly raise arms up in front of body to shoulder-height.
  • Keep arms at shoulder height and open them to the sides of the body.
  • Slowly lower arms down to sides of body. Now reverse the action.
  • Slowly raise arms up along the side of your body to shoulder height.
  • Keep arms at the same level as you pull arms back in front of your body.
  • Slowly lower arms back to front of thighs. That is one repetition. Try for 5 complete repetitions.

Tricep Overhead Extensions

Stay strong and fit throughout your pregnancy with this prenatal workout.

Yes, the back of your arms helps with overall strength. But let’s face it, you also want to keep those beauties from getting soft and saggy. For this, tricep extensions are the best!

  • Hold one heavy or two lighter dumbbells straight over your head.
  • Keeping elbows close to the sides of your head, slowly lower the dumbbell behind your head until elbows are at a 90-degree angle.
  • As you exhale, press the weights back up until arms are long again. Try 10-12 repetitions.

Related: 20-Minute Prenatal Cardio Workout

Baby Bicep Curls

Baby Bicep Curls

One of the most challenging parts of being a new mom is holding onto that little body for hours on end, especially in the middle of the night! Isometric training is the key to strong, capable biceps. This might look like a basic bicep curl, but pay close attention to the description; your job is to COUNT while you hold it at the half-way mark, basically rehearsing your future!

  • Hold a medium-heavy pair of dumbbells in your hands, palms facing forward, arms long next to your sides.
  • Curl the weights half-way up and hold, counting slowly to 3.
  • Now curl them all the way to your shoulders.
  • Lower them back to half way and count slowly to 3.
  • Now lower them back to the start. That is one repetition. Try this 8-10 times. Keep it slow and steady.

Lat Raises

Lateral Raises

Your latissimus dorsi, or “lats”, are the strong, powerful back muscles located around your shoulder blades that help you pick up heavy items or hold them for long periods of time. Think of these muscles as the assistant to your arms and shoulders when it comes to toting your precious new cargo.

  • Stand with knees slightly bent, upper body hinged slightly forward, and hold a medium-heavy pair of dumbbells facing each other with elbows bent close to rib cage. (Like you are holding two ski poles)
  • Keep your elbows bent as you open your arms apart, squeezing your shoulder blades together until palms face forward and elbows are at a 90 degree angle.
  • Slowly lower arms back to start position. Try 10-12 repetitions.

Tricep Kickbacks

Tricep Kickbacks

What? You say we already did our tricep exercise? Yes, we did but doubling up never hurts! This exercise is a bit more focused on triceps alone, whereas the overhead extensions tend to recruit shoulders to help out. And because they are going solo, this move might require weights that are just a bit lighter.

  • Stand with knees slightly bent, upper body hinged slightly forward and hold a medium-heavy pair of dumbbells facing each other with elbows bent close to rib cage. (Like you are holding two ski poles)
  • Press weight slowly behind you until your arms are almost straight, pause, then return to the bent position. Try 10-12 repetitions. Be sure to actively squeeze your triceps as you press back.

That’s it! For more great upper body workouts using Chris Freytag as your personal coach, check out GetHealthyU TV and try our Upper Body Resculpt workout!

Want to save this workout? #PinItForLater!

Stay toned and fit throughout your pregnancy with this awesome arm workout.

READ THIS NEXT: 10-Minute Prenatal StrengthWorkout

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on September 9, 2016 at 6:15 PM Reply

Both demonstrations of the tricep kickback on your website are terribly flawed. If the elbow is pretty much facing the ground during the exercise then gravity is bring the dumbell downwards and not the work of the tricep. The tricep should be parallel with the ground in order for it to left the dumbell against gravity. I could get a good pump on the way shown on your website by just flexing my triceps downwards without a dumbell. If I am wrong then please explain (However the overwhelming majority of pictures and demonstrations on the internet show the exercise done as I have stated).

    on September 16, 2016 at 9:55 AM Reply

    Hi James - I agree that hinging over further from your hips and making your triceps more parallel to the ground will activate more muscle in the tricep. But you are still activating your tricep in the position shown, although less. For a lot of people when they lift their tricep parallel, they end up scrunching their shoulders which creates bad form.

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