Our expert staff have experience and knowledge in all aspects of physiotherapy and sports injury management.

Subscribe to our newsletter

Exercise during Pregnancy

By Holly Brasher

International guidelines all concur with the view that walking, jogging, cycling and swimming (at moderate intensity), muscle strengthening exercises (including pelvic floor exercises), water based exercise, and pregnancy-specific exercise classes are both safe and beneficial for pregnant women.

If you have never been physically active – it’s also suggested that now would be a great time to start.

So what is actually recommended?

Exercise during pregnancy for previously inactive women

Pregnant women who were inactive prior to pregnancy should be encouraged to be active during pregnancy, commencing with low intensity activities such as walking or swimming, and progressing to the lower end of the range recommended (i.e. 150 minutes per week or 30 minutes per day of moderate intensity activity on most days). Activity can initially be accumulated in short (say 15 minute) bouts, building towards bouts of longer duration. Pregnant women who were inactive prior to conception are advised to consult a health care provider before commencing physical activity/exercise.

Exercise during pregnancy for previously active women

For healthy pregnant women who participated in physical activity/exercise prior to pregnancy, and are experiencing an uncomplicated pregnancy, physical activity/exercise can be continued throughout pregnancy, or until such time that it becomes uncomfortable to do so.

A typical ‘prescription’ for a moderate to vigorous intensity physical activity/exercise program that can be continued during healthy pregnancies (free of medical and/or obstetric complications) is as such:

Aerobic activities:

Frequency: Daily.
Intensity: Intensity (12-14 on Borg rate of perceived exertion scale (RPE) – perceived as somewhat hard, can talk but not sing).
Time: Accumulate 150-300 mins (30-60 mins on most, if not all, days each week. Longer duration (closer to 300 minutes, instead of 150 minutes/week) is associated with more benefits i.e. reduced risk of excess weight gain and gestational diabetes.
Type: Brisk walking/running/jogging, cycling (stationary bike), swimming, aerobics etc.
As a general rule of thumb, count each minute of vigorous intensity exercise as two minutes of moderate intensity exercise (i.e. 75 minutes of vigorous intensity exercise equates with 150 minutes of moderate-intensity exercise).

Muscle strengthening exercise:

Frequency: 2 sessions per week.
Intensity: Sub-maximal intensity using own body weight, light weights and/or resistance bands (exhale on effort).
Type: Work all large muscle groups
Programming: 1 set of 12-15 repetitions of up to 8-10 exercises.
Please note: It is important that all pregnant women (inactive, active, sportswomen and athletes) consult with their health care providers (which could include a GP, obstetrician, or midwife) about physical activity/exercise during their pregnancy. A list of activities/situations which should be avoided can be supplied if required.

Our Pregnancy Pilates program at SquareOne develops individualised programs for each of our clients based on their bodies needs. Our pregnant ladies can therefore access our entire timetable of classes to ensure you can fit in this important part of preparing for your baby. Our classes are suitable for those who are newly pregnant through to 40 weeks.

Book your assessment online or phone 9968 3424.

May 29, 2018 0 Comments

Reader Comments

There are no comments on this post. Be the first!

Add Your Comments

(not published)


SquareOne Physiotherapists are experts in the diagnosis, treatment and rehabilitation of musculoskeletal problems.

Read more


SquareOne Remedial Massage Therapists are experienced in a wide range of soft tissue therapy techniques.

Read more

Clinical Pilates

Clinical Pilates involves the conscious recruitment and control of muscular movements in the body.

Read more
  • Runners Knee
  • "Running will ruin your knees," a phrase I’m sure we have all heard. Despite what your well-meaning but potentially ill-informed neighbours, co-workers, and relatives may have told you, there's no evidence that regular running damages knees.

  • Menopause, Exercise and Physio
  • Whilst menopause comes with many (not so pleasant) symptoms, the great news is that you can help manage many of them with exercise.
    Exercise has many benefits post menopause including maintaining and improving:
    • Muscle strength
    • Bone density
    • Mobility
    • Joint flexibility
    • Posture
    • Balance
    • Mood and general wellbeing

    There are many different types of exercise so you should choose something that you enjoy, fits in with your lifestyle and helps manage your individual symptoms.
    Types of exercise:
    Aerobic exercise: This type of exercise works your heart and lungs, and is also important to prevent or manage heart disease, high blood pressure, high cholesterol and high blood sugar. This is any exercise that gets you huffing and puffing including activities such as cycling, swimming, tennis and gardening. It is important to avoid high impact activities such as running and jumping to protect your joints and pelvic floor as these are weaker post menopause.

    Flexibility: Stretching and gentle respective movements increase the length of your muscles, resulting in improvement in your range of joint movement. Yoga is a great form of exercise to achieve this.
    Resistance/Strength Training: This exercise uses weights, exercise bands, or body weight to help strengthen your bones and muscles whilst also improving your balance and coordination.

    Functional Training (Clinical Pilates): Training your pelvic floor muscles to contract and relax as needed assists you to regain or prevent incontinence and prevent prolapse symptoms. This functional training is best done with an individualised exercise program that is designed to suit your individual needs. These exercises also enhance any strength training program and assist in flexibility or balance.
    At SquareOne we use Clinical Pilates equipment to rehabilitate the function of pelvic floor muscles and deep abdominals, so that they automatically work during everyday activities. Clinical Pilates combines with a specific home exercise program will assist in achieving optimal function more quickly.

    What can a Women’s Health Physiotherapist do for you menopausal symptoms?
    A Women’s Health Physiotherapist can assess you individually and tailor an exercise program to address any particular issues and goals that you may have.
    At Mosman Women's Health, our physiotherapists have extra training in managing older women and in particular exercise prescription for the different needs of the menopausal woman.


  • Exercise during Pregnancy
  • International guidelines all concur with the view that walking, jogging, cycling and swimming (at moderate intensity), muscle strengthening exercises (including pelvic floor exercises), water based exercise, and pregnancy-specific exercise classes are both safe and beneficial for pregnant women.

    If you have never been physically active – it’s also suggested that now would be a great time to start.  

  • A Sports Physiotherapist turned full-time Mum
  • We interviewed Lauren earlier this year about her experience at the Commonwealth Games in the Gold Coast while juggling the new role of being a first time Mum. 

  • Pilates with a Physio - Why is it better?
  • What benefit do I get?

    Here at SquareOne, our Philosophy is to not only fix your injury but send you away stronger, fitter and more resilient – in other words, less likely to injure yourself again.

    Our Pilates programs help deliver our evidence based exercise programs to those who are in pain, those rehabilitating or those just wanting to move and exercise more.

    When taking our clients through their programs we not only have what exercise you are going to do next front in mind we are thinking of a multitude of different things. Our knowledge of anatomy, pain science, biomechanics, load management, pathology and rehabilitation allows us to consider many different facets in developing your program.