Quick Reference: Exercises to Avoid During Pregnancy

Avoid the activities on this list until after you give birth.

Contact Sports

  • Kickboxing
  • Hockey
  • Soccer
  • Basketball

Fall-Prone Sports

  • Skiing
  • Riding your bike outside
  • Running on an uneven surface
  • Tennis, squash, or racquetball
  • Horseback riding

Lying on Your Back

  • Crunches or sit-ups (for prolonged periods - more than a minute or two at a time. Being inclined is a better option)
  • Leg raises
  • Certain yoga poses

Overdoing It

Too Much Heat

High-Altitude or Below Sea Level

  • Any exercise 6,000 feet above sea level or higher
  • Deep sea diving

Bouncing, Jarring Activities

WebMD Medical Reference Reviewed by Nivin Todd, MD on October 17, 2016



U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Office on Women’s Health: “Pregnancy - Staying healthy and safe.”

American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists: “Exercise During Pregnancy and the Postpartum Period,” “FAQ: Exercise During Pregnancy.”

Heather J Alker, MD, obstetrician & gynecologist, Amherst, Mass.

Riley L. Pregnancy: The Ultimate Week-By-Week Pregnancy Guide. Meredith Books, 2006.

Brookside Associates Medical Education Division: “Activity Modifications During Pregnancy." In: Obstetric and Newborn Care - I.

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