Is spinning safe when you’re pregnant?


Keep your handlebars above saddle height so you’re not compressing your core. (Picture: Boom Cycle)

If you’re in to spinning – you’re probably really in to spinning. People tend to get a bit addicted to these high-energy workouts, and it’s not hard to see why.

Spin classes are the nightclubs of the fitness world. With low lighting, loud music, and wildly energetic instructors, it’s no wonder spinning has become a firm favourite for people seeking a fun cardio fix.

But with all that bouncing and high levels of exertion – is it safe to keep spinning when you’re pregnant? And if so, how long can you keep going?

Gentle exercise during pregnancy is good (and safe) for you and your baby. It helps you maintain your fitness, range of movement and flexibility, and it also helps prepare your body for labour.

But it’s also important to choose the right kind of exercise – and that can depend on where you are in your pregnancy, and also the specific needs of your own body.

Spinning can be a great form of exercise during pregnancy. It is relatively low impact, while still getting your heart rate up and your blood pumping.

But, like any exercise during pregnancy, you may need to modify the workout as your body changes. We asked the experts at Boom Cycle for their top tips on spinning during pregnancy.

‘We believe it’s all about doing activity to feel as good as we possibly can, and we support our expecting Mum’s in feeling their best mentally and physically,’ Hilary Rowland, co-founder of Boom Cycle tells Metro.co.uk.  

‘Pregnant women with an uncomplicated pregnancy who are already active can safely continue their physical activities throughout their pregnancy, and women with an uncomplicated pregnancy new to activity can gradually build their activity level to improve their mental and physical wellbeing.’


Spin class

Gentle exercise during pregnancy is good (and safe) for you and your baby. (Picture: Julian Finney)

In fact Hilary says there are many benefits to doing so: It’s good for mobility, builds strength, increases circulation providing nutrients and oxygen to a developing foetus.

‘Exercise helps reduce high blood pressure problems,’ Hilary adds, ‘and helps prevent gestational diabetes, helps in controlling weight gain, improves sleep, improves mood and can ease labour pain and even decrease length of labour. 

‘Spinning is a great way for expectant mothers to stay fit because it’s low impact, you can get your heart rate up whilst sitting and as always at Boom Cycle, you can take it at your own pace.’

Expectant mothers should always check with their doctors about which forms of exercise are safe for them – particularly before starting something new. But once you are confident, Hilary has shared an easy to follow guideline to ensure you’re keeping safe while spinning.

Tips for spinning during pregnancy

  •  Ease into the warm-up.
  •  Take everything at your own pace.
  •  Never let go of handlebars, they stabilise.
  • You may want to go one shoe size up for comfort.
  • Especially if in third trimester, keep your handlebars above saddle height so you’re not compressing your core, are more balanced and also a bit closer to the handlebars.
  • Centre of gravity must be back over the saddle. If you cannot maintain position of weight back over the saddle while standing, remain seated.
  • Always go by the ‘talk test’, if you have pushed it so far that you couldn’t hold a conversation, back it off.
  • Do not overheat, stay hydrated.
  •  If you feel light-headed at any point, stay on your bike and slow your legs until you feel better rather than hopping off he bike right away.
  • Always get off the bike slowly and only after a proper cool down. Due to hormonal changes you are more likely to faint if you stand up too quickly, especially after a workout. Also, your centre of gravity may not be where you’re used to it being, so extra care should be taken. 
  • Stop or slow your legs down when doing any weights on the bike and avoid holding weights over your head (shoulder press, overhead tricep dips) and any twisting (sometimes people twist a bit during rows).
  • Important stretches after indoor cycling while pregnant include chest openers, stretching quads, hip flexors and adductors and doing some hip circles will feel really, really good.
  • However, be careful to not over-stretch as you’ll have the hormone relaxin in your system when pregnant.      



Is it safe to work out when you’re pregnant?

Exercise is not dangerous for your baby. According to the NHS, there is evidence that active women are less likely to experience problems in later pregnancy and labour.

The more active and fit you are during pregnancy, the easier it will be for you to cope with labour and get back into shape after the birth.

Safety tips:

Don’t exhaust yourself.

As a general rule, you should be able to hold a conversation as you exercise when pregnant. If you become breathless as you talk, then you’re probably exercising too strenuously. 

If in doubt, consult your maternity team.

Always warm-up before exercising, and cool-down afterwards

Try to keep active on a daily basis – 30 minutes of walking each day can be enough.

Avoid any strenuous exercise in hot weather

Drink plenty of water and other fluids

If you go to exercise classes, make sure your teacher is properly qualified and knows that you’re pregnant, as well as how many weeks pregnant you are

Exercises that have a risk of falling, such as horse riding, downhill skiing, ice hockey, gymnastics and cycling, should only be done with caution

For further advice go to the NHS website, or speak with your doctor directly

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