How to Tone Your Arms While Pregnant

Male instructor training woman with dumbbells
Prepare your arms for motherhood with these exercises. (Image: Chris Clinton/Digital Vision/Getty Images)

Pregnancy is an added stress to your body, and regular exercise can prepare you to better handle the new load. If you did resistance training before you became pregnant, resistance training to tone your arms during your pregnancy is safe to do as long as you and your baby are otherwise healthy. Once you pass the first trimester, your baby has grown to a point where it is not safe for you to exercise flat or nearly flat on your back. Incorporating standing arm exercises will enable you to tone your arms even with an expanding belly.

Dumbbell Curls

Step 1

Hold a dumbbell in each hand and stand with your feet close together, your knees slightly bent.

Step 2

Contract your right biceps muscle to bend your elbow, drawing the dumbbell toward your chin. Slowly lower the dumbbell back down.

Step 3

Contract your left biceps muscle to bend your elbow, drawing the dumbbell toward your chin then slowly lower the dumbbell back down.

Step 4

Rotate your palm so that it is facing up when the dumbbell is near your chin; rotate your palm so your palm is facing the side of your thigh when you lower the dumbbell back down.

Step 5

Continue to alternate arms, completing three sets of 12 to 15 repetitions, toning the front of your arms.

One-Arm Dumbbell Extensions

Step 1

Grab one dumbbell in your right hand, standing with your feet together and your knees slightly bent.

Step 2

Raise the dumbbell above your head, keeping a straight elbow with your upper arm near your right ear.

Step 3

Bend your right elbow, lowering the dumbbell to just below your head. Contract your triceps muscles to straighten your elbow, toning the back of your arm. Do one set of 12 to 15 repetitions then switch arms.

Step 4

Complete three total sets of 12 to 15 repetitions per arm.

Dumbbell Lateral Raises

Step 1

Hold a dumbbell in each hand, standing with your feet close together and your knees slightly bent.

Step 2

A rotate your palms so they are facing the sides of each leg.

Step 3

Bend your elbows slightly then raise each arm out to the corresponding side until your arms are parallel to the floor.

Step 4

Slowly lower your arms back to your side and repeat for one set. Perform three total sets of 12 to 15 repetitions, toning the sides of your upper arm.

Tip

Rest between sets of exercises, catching your breath as needed. Exercise only to a point of comfort; pregnancy is not the time to train to beat personal records. Use lighter weights than you used in your pre-pregnancy workouts. Focus on increasing your number of repetitions, not increasing the amount of weight you use.

Warning

Check with your doctor prior to engaging in a new exercise program.

REFERENCES & RESOURCES
Comments
PARTNER & LICENSEE OF THE LIVESTRONG FOUNDATION

Copyright © 2018 Leaf Group Ltd. Use of this web site constitutes acceptance of the LIVESTRONG.COM Terms of Use, Privacy Policy and Copyright Policy. The material appearing on LIVESTRONG.COM is for educational use only. It should not be used as a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. LIVESTRONG is a registered trademark of the LIVESTRONG Foundation. The LIVESTRONG Foundation and LIVESTRONG.COM do not endorse any of the products or services that are advertised on the web site. Moreover, we do not select every advertiser or advertisement that appears on the web site-many of the advertisements are served by third party advertising companies.