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

  • Hot yoga
  • Prolonged exercising in the hot sun

High-Altitude or Below Sea Level

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

Bouncing, Jarring Activities

WebMD Medical Reference Reviewed by Nivin Todd, MD on January 16, 2019



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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