10 of the best pregnancy fitness DVDs

Pregnancy DVDs

by Lorna White |
Updated on

While you are pregnant, it is important for you to keep active and have an exercise routine, so you and your baby stay fit and healthy. If you prefer exercising at home, singing along to the music, getting as sweaty as you want, and not having to worry about getting to the gym, then an exercise DVD is for you.

But the difficulty? You have to stick at it to see results. So make it a weekly date with yourself (or your partner, if you can persuade them to join in), check out our pregnancy fitness dos and don’ts, and get going.


Best pregnancy fitness DVDs

Pregnancy Yoga with Tara Lee1 of 10

Pregnancy Yoga with Tara Lee

If you want to calm your mind and body after a grueling day, stick this DVD on. Antenatal yoga expert Tara Lee has included eight options, allowing you to choose practices focusing on energy, strength and relaxation to help you prepare for your baby’s arrival. And best of all, it’s suitable for all levels, from beginner up. Plus, if you get on well with this DVD, you can invest in Tara’s post-pregnancy workouts.

One reviewer said: "Love this DVD! I used this throughout my pregnancy, from when I wasn't showing at all until my baby was 12 days overdue. There are so many different segments to choose from, which can be individually selected from the front menu. I particularly enjoyed the segment focused on the hips. Every move that might require an adaptation for the later stages of pregnancy has that adaptation described and demonstrated by the heavy pregnancy lady on the cover. Everything is described by the calming voice-over and is very easy to follow. I'm now enjoying the postnatal session that is also included in this DVD. Would highly recommend :)"

Complete Pregnancy Fitness with Erin O’Brien2 of 10

Complete Pregnancy Fitness with Erin O’Brien

Filmed when personal trainer Erin O’Brien was seven months pregnant, shot in her producer’s living room and featuring her actor husband James Denton (Mike Delfino from Desperate Housewives) this DVD features Erin’s own safe and effective workouts. Take part in her energising cardio and toning workouts to help keep any excess baby weight at bay and stretch and relax with Pilates and body sculpting routines.

One reviewer said: "Works up a sweat and gets the heart rate going! It's easy to follow and Erin has a sense of humour which makes the workout enjoyable. It's like having a friend in your lounge encouraging you to be good to yourself and your baby!

"I used to exercise quite regularly until reaching that point in your first trimester where you just have no energy and morning sickness just takes over your days and nights. Having reached my 11th week I felt like I wanted to try getting back to exercise again as I have missed it and decided to consider prenatal exercise... Erin has incorporated a warm-up, dynamic movement and then floor work that includes pilates to make sure you feel the burn. There's also a 20-minute segment of resistance training with your partner which I haven't yet tried. It's also worth noting that this DVD has both the prenatal and postnatal workouts included."

Suzanne Bowen’s Pregnancy Workout Lean & Toned3 of 10

Suzanne Bowen’s Pregnancy Workout Lean & Toned

Top fitness instructor Suzanne Bowen has incorporated cardio, strength and flexibility training into her fitness DVD to help you stay fit and lean throughout your pregnancy. Split into sections, you may want to try the standing work one day, the floor work another and the relaxation section after a tough day at work.

One reviewer said: "I normally go to 2 exercise classes a week so I would rate my level of fitness as quite good. So, when I received this DVD I found it a really good workout. I would say that anyone who was not used to exercise prior to doing the DVD might find it tough going(I was surprised at how many exercises you could still do whilst pregnant). It is very easy to understand and each exercise is explained very well. I am 3 months pregnant but think that anyone in the later stages may find it hard to do all the exercises. I would give it a big thumbs up for anyone looking to stay active during their pregnancy."

Davina - My Pre & Post Natal Workouts4 of 10

Davina: My Pre & Post Natal Workouts

After three babies, Davina McCall is pretty experienced at getting her figure back post-pregnancy, which may be why her down-to-earth DVD is still such a hit – six years after its release. Including simple, easy-to-follow and non-strenuous exercises to give you the stamina you need for birth, this DVD will help tone your body and encourage you to stretch and relax.

One reviewer said: "This DVD is excellent - for me anyway! If you like Davina and are pregnant then get it. It is a gentle workout - not too much of a heart raiser but the stretching, toning and pelvic floor sections are very good. It is easy to follow and has good posture checks etc which as a trained aerobic instructor I am happy to see.

"There is also a small section called Davina's tips, and as a first-time mum I really found that this settled some of my fears about labour and birth and being a new mum, I think because Davina is such a well-known personality you feel like its a friend talking to you! If Davina is a personality that you don't enjoy watching then this would not be a good DVD for you, but I love it!"

Tracy Anderson The Pregnancy Project5 of 10

Tracy Anderson: The Pregnancy Project

Best known for the Tracy Anderson Method (loved by celeb mums Gwyneth Paltrow and Madonna), Tracy created this nine-disc DVD collection to help mums-to-be stay healthy and fit throughout their pregnancies. For each month of your pregnancy, there’s a specific, low-impact routine, that’s great for keeping your arms, legs and bums as toned as possible. Plus, you can watch interviews with pregnancy experts and mums who have found the DVD effective.

One reviewer said: "I have been doing Tracy's DVDs for years and will rave on about the brilliance of her method to everyone who has asked about my workout routine. When I fell pregnant it was the best news ever however fitness is extremely important to me and I really wanted to keep healthy whilst being safe for my baby.

"Once again Tracy gets it just right with the Pregnancy Project and the really nice thing is that she is pregnant too when she works out alongside you month by month. As your body is changing the workout changes on a monthly basis to suit the journey your body is on. I would highly recommend this pregnancy project to whoever is looking for a good workout whilst pregnant. Good luck and congrats!"

@ Home with Hilaria Baldwin Fit Mommy-to-Be Prenatal Yoga6 of 10

@ Home with Hilaria Baldwin: Fit Mommy-to-Be Prenatal Yoga

Including a cute cameo appearance from hubby Alec Baldwin, Hilaria used her yoga expertise (she’s an instructor and co-founder of Yoga Vida) to create her first pregnancy fitness DVD. With three simple and effective workouts for each trimester, this DVD aims to make you more flexible and stronger before you give birth.

One reviewer said: "I'm so glad I chose to go with the Hilaria Baldwin Prenatal Yoga DVD over all the rest I was looking at. I usually do prenatal Yoga classes with instructors but due to lack of time this time around, I opted for the DVD. The benefits of a real instructor outweigh a DVD but, it covers all the areas of prenatal Yoga that I need to help alleviate the stresses of pregnancy on my body. I would definitely recommend this to beginners and more experienced in yoga.

"It does not say on the DVD what equipment you may need so I felt unprepared the first time I followed it. (Just so you know, you will need a yoga mat, a yoga block, and two fluffy pillows, and lots of floor space). All in all, she is pretty clear with instructions and gives you options based on ability and trimester."

10-Minute Solution Prenatal Pilates7 of 10

10-Minute Solution: Prenatal Pilates

Maybe you have a full on job or perhaps you’re juggling your pregnancy fitness workout with looking after your other kids. Whatever keeps you busy, this DVD won’t add to your load. Designed to fit into hectic lifestyles, this Pilates regime includes five workouts that take just 10 minutes each. Check out Mother&Baby's pick of maternity sportswear.

One reviewer said: "If you are used to Pilates then this is a fantastic DVD. I am 16 weeks pregnant and have been doing this workout from the beginning. I am used to using Pilates DVDs and had a fairly good level of fitness before falling pregnant. One of the things I love about this workout is there are 5 10 minute sections so you can mix and match to do as much as you want (or feel able to do!)this makes it easy to fit into your day even when you're feeling exhausted.

"The instructor does go through the workout pretty fast and there is a lot packed in but that's understandable when she only has 10 mins and after a few runs through I found it easy to keep up. She is also not too annoying (no time for silly anecdotes that become tedious on the 20th time through). I envision myself being able to do this workout for the majority of my pregnancy. The one downside is that (as with all Pilates workouts) it does not raise your heart rate so I alternate it with  Complete Pregnancy Fitness [DVD ] for a complete workout."

The Perfect Pregnancy Workout vol. 1 (2002)8 of 10

The Perfect Pregnancy Workout Vol. 1

After a more challenging workout? This is it. Following world-class acrobat Karyne Steben’s lead, you’ll be taken through a sculpting workout combining upper and lower body exercises such as labour squats, the Kegel exercise and a mental focus exercise. All exercises are designed to help make your labour experience easier and to reduce lower back pain. If you’re up to it, there’s also volume two…

One reviewer said: "When I first tried out this DVD, I was disappointed with how 'easy' it was. About 15 minutes in, I was eating my words! I've been doing this workout for a couple of months now, and I really enjoy it. It's a wonderful feeling to really be challenged and feel powerful after a day of everyone treating you like a hopeless ol' pregnant lady! The workouts are tough and just keep getting tougher as I progress through my pregnancy, but it's easy to go back and forth between the beginner and advanced moves. The music isn't bad, and the instruction is great. I suggest spending the time to watch the instructional intro to make sure you don't hurt yourself.

"After this workout, I'm completely spent. Also, don't expect this workout to make you look like the instructor - I still have accumulated some lovely cellulite and back fat. But my blood pressure is awesome, I feel great, and I look better in maternity clothes than I did in my last pregnancy when I wasn't really working out."

What To Expect When You're Expecting9 of 10

What To Expect When You're Expecting: The Workout

Designed to help you incorporate fitness into your routine through all nine months of pregnancy, these workouts can be customised to suit your fitness level, mood, and growing bump. With six, 10-minute routines, you'll find cardio, strength training, and stretch workouts to gently move and rejuvenate the body. From fun, easy-to-follow dance routines, to Pilates-based moves and target-toning.

One reviewer said: "I have been using this since I was 8 weeks pregnant. I am now 33 weeks. I initially chose this as I wanted to continue exercising throughout my pregnancy but was nervous about continuing my old exercise program. This DVD is suitable at any stage and I have used it almost daily since I bought it.

"It has 6 different 10 min workouts and I typically chose 3 to do. The workouts vary in intensity so even if I am feeling completely shattered I stick it on and do the easy workouts. It is fantastic, the presenters' energy is upbeat and there are plenty of modifications to accommodate changes in your body during pregnancy. I have combined it with swimming and a weekly yoga class. The stretching and core sections have kept my sciatica and back pain at bay and the exercises do not exacerbate my SPD."

 Pregnancy/Prenatal Pilates (Strengthen & Sculpt) with Caroline Sandry10 of 10

Pregnancy/Prenatal Pilates (Strengthen & Sculpt) with Caroline Sandry

Caroline Sandry is a qualified fitness instructor, writer and TV presenter who has carefully choreographed workout routines to help you sculpt, tone, and strengthen safely. Suitable for women in any trimester.

One reviewer said: "I have been doing Pilates on and off for years. I really wanted to find a good prenatal workout to keep me strong and fit during my pregnancy. After reading the reviews for this DVD I decided to purchase this and try it out. I was not disappointed. Caroline Sandry is a very likeable instructor who explains the exercises well and provides you with sufficient time to move from one exercise to another. She is very professional and comes across well. I have been using this video three to four times per week and really enjoy the pace. However, it is worth mentioning that this DVD is light and gentle exercise, there are no strenuous exercises here. I would recommend this DVD to individuals to beginners or low fitness levels."

Do workout DVDs really work?

Yes, but your progress will depend on your commitment to exercise. Fitness DVDs also offer a wealth of other benefits:

• You can exercise without leaving your home

• You can take all the breaks you need without trying to keep up with a class

• You can choose when you do the DVDs rather than fitting your schedule around a class timetable

• You may find it more comfortable to workout at home - whether that's because you'd prefer to be in closer proximity to a bathroom or prefer to workout in privacy

Free pregnancy workouts online

If you don't have a DVD player, fear not. There are lots of fitness instructors who offer workouts for free on YouTube. That way, you can also join in online with workouts and feel part of a group without having to leave the comfort of your home.

Along with his regular YouTube workouts, Joe Wicks, AKA The Body Coach, and his wife Rosie filmed a series of pregnancy-safe workouts while she was expecting their third child.

The videos are 20 minutes long and Joe says they are "gentle, low-impact workouts focused on maintaining strength and fitness throughout your pregnancy".

Pregnancy & Postnatal TV also offers prenatal and postpartum yoga and pregnancy fitness videos. Created by Jessica who studied to become a pregnancy and postpartum core exercise specialist (PCES), the channel was born out of her passion for fitness and to help other mums.

You can also check out our playlist of pregnancy fitness exercises to try at home, with help from Frame Studio.

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