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Pregnancy is a fantastic time to prepare for the physical demands of labor and motherhood, and if you’re expecting, you may be wondering what kinds of exercise to focus on and what’s actually safe.

The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists recommends getting 150 minutes of moderate-intensity cardio per week, but it’s important to remember that every body and every pregnancy is different. If you’re pregnant, make sure to clear any new exercise program with your doctor before you start — even one that’s designed for pregnant people, such as these Pilates moves for pregnancy from expert Pilates instructor and The Bump Plan founder Hollie Grant.

Of course, pregnancy is just the start of a long journey. Common parental accessories like car seats, strollers, and diaper bags — not to mention your baby — are heavy, so pregnancy workouts can be a way to train for “this upcoming endurance marathon,” Grant says. She adds that it’s essential to train some key muscle groups during pregnancy in order to help maintain good posture, reduce your risk of pregnancy-related lower-back pain, and ensure you’re feeling strong when your baby (or babies) arrive. You’ll want to focus on the glutes, upper-back extensors, transverse abdominis, and the pelvic floor — and the five exercises ahead are designed to target each one of them.

Best Prenatal Pilates Moves

Equipment needed: none

Directions: Perform these five exercises a few times a week. Read on for directions on how to do each exercise.

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