Can I Do Cardio With Elliptical While Pregnant? Safety Tips Included

elliptical while pregnant

Elliptical While Pregnant – Everything You Need To Know & Pay Attention

Pregnant women have a lot of questions about how to exercise elliptical while pregnant. The best way for you to stay healthy and fit is by keeping your heart rate at 130-140 beats per minute.

This can be done with any aerobic activity, but some people prefer the elliptical over running because it does not put as much pressure on the stomach as running does.

However, each person’s pregnancy is different and what works for one might not work for another. Consult your physician before starting an exercise program during pregnancy. 

Ellipticals are machines that give you a low impact workout which means they’re perfect for pregnant women!

You can do cardio and strength training on them without putting too much stress on your body or baby bump! In this post we will give you some knowledge and tips to use elliptical while pregnant for safe.

Disclaimer: This article is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition. Never disregard professional medical advice or delay in seeking it because of something you have read on this Website.

Can I Do Cardio With Elliptical While Pregnant?

The answer to this question is, “it depends.” You can certainly go ahead and start using an elliptical while pregnant if you were using it before your pregnancy.

elliptical-while-pregnant (1)

An elliptical trainer is a great cardiovascular exercise, but there are some precautions you should take when using it during the first trimester of pregnancy:

First Trimester Precautions

If you haven’t already been exercising regularly on an elliptical prior to becoming pregnant then we recommend that you don’t start until after the first trimester unless your doctor tells you otherwise:

During the first trimester (weeks 1-13) it’s important not to over exert yourself because major organs including the heart, lungs, uterus and kidneys have not yet had time to adjust their growth for supporting both mommy and baby.

The best way to ensure that you don’t overdo it is to let your body tell you when it’s time to rest. If you’re out of breath, sweating profusely or experiencing any type of chest pain then you need to stop immediately .

Second Trimester Precautions

If you were exercising on an elliptical prior to becoming pregnant then the second trimester (weeks 14-26) would be an excellent time for cardiovascular workouts using this machine.

At this point in the pregnancy your major organs including the heart, lungs and uterus have had some time adjust their growth for accommodating mommy and baby.

You can continue to use an elliptical with one modification: keep the machine below 100 revolutions per minute (rpm). Reducing speed will decrease your heart rate and make it easier for you to maintain an exercise intensity that is safe for you and your baby.

Third Trimester Precautions:

The third trimester (weeks 27-40) is when the baby bump has grown enough to make using an elliptical more difficult. The center of gravity in your body is changing which can cause frequent tripping or loss of balance making it difficult to use this machine with confidence.

If you are still using an elliptical during this time period, then keep speed below 70-80rpm since higher speeds are associated with larger changes in maternal heart rate and blood pressure.

You’ll need to increase your fluid intake while exercising on machines like elliptical trainers because they can dehydrate you. It’s also important not to stand stationary for too long on the side rails without moving feet around in order to prevent thrombosis in legs that is caused by lack of movement.

Tips for using an elliptical while pregnant

Walking in place in front of a mirror will help ensure that you’re keeping proper form and posture. If you notice any shortness of breath, discomfort or pain when using the elliptical during your pregnancy, then lower the speed on it immediately .

Reaching too far forward with arms may also cause back pain which is why we recommend not using arm handles during this time period.

Keeping legs apart at hip width while pushing backwards (not allowing knees to go over toes) will help prevent pelvic pressure and low back pain. You can keep track of how many calories you burn by wearing an heart rate monitor which you can check out for free here . 

You will need to work up gradually during each trimester, so allow yourself the opportunity to develop endurance with this machine. We recommend that you walk at a moderate pace of less than 3 miles per hour in order to keep your heart rate around 150 beats per minute for 20-30 minutes if possible.

You can also use this elliptical trainer with or without handrails depending on your confidence level . Keeping good posture is important when using an elliptical trainer because it ensures that baby will be getting optimal blood supply before birth through uterine contractions.

If you are uncomfortable sitting upright with back straight then try leaning forward slightly and putting your hands on either side of where your hips extend out from your body. Holding onto railings as needed will provide stability for this movement.

Running on an elliptical trainer is not advisable because it puts too much pressure on the hip joints which can cause pain. Most pregnant women will not have enough strength to push their bodies forward from a run without risking falling off of the machine.

Since you’re breathing harder during running this may also lead to dizziness or fainting if not hydrated sufficiently before doing so. In addition, there is a sudden impact that occurs with each foot strike while using an elliptical compared to jogging outdoors where you have a more fluid stride .

Avoid exercises such as jumping rope and shallow knee bends since they can create uterine contractions which are unnecessary at this stage in pregnancy .

The muscles in your feet, ankles and legs become fatigued more easily when using an elliptical trainer during pregnancy due to increased weight and fluid retention. This is why it’s best done in the middle of your exercise routine for brief periods rather than at the beginning.

When standing on this machine, make sure to keep knees slightly bent since they can lock or hyperextend if you attempt to move forward with legs straight . Keeping good posture will also help prevent back pain that may develop from standing too long.

Using handrails under your arms can provide extra support for standing upright, however avoid leaning into them heavily since it restricts proper hip movement . It may feel awkward wearing sneakers when using an elliptical trainer because you are usually barefoot or in socks while pregnant, but doing so will keep you balanced better while standing.

You can also adjust the incline to make it more difficult if needed later in pregnancy when your belly gets bigger. If you’re having trouble keeping balance on this machine then avoid stepping backwards (which can cause stress on back) and keep feet close together under center of machine instead.

This is all tips you should know & noted when elliptical while pregnant.

Benefits of using an elliptical while pregnant 

  • It is a low impact cardiovascular exercise that can be done anytime, anywhere indoors.
  • You can control your resistance on an elliptical. This allows you to go at your own pace and not have to worry about being pushed by anyone else.
  • An elliptical trainer provides different workouts. You can use low impact for a gentle workout, or increase the intensity and resistance up to high levels which will burn more calories and give you a better cardio workout.
  • You can control your heart rate by adjusting the incline and degree of difficulty so that it’s appropriate for your stage in pregnancy.
  • This is an excellent exercise since you can safely work out until 7 months of pregnancy without lying down on your back due to risk to baby . 

What NOT to do when using elliptical trainer while pregnant

  • Avoid riding the machine faster than 3 miles per hour if starting at a lower intensity level. You need to build up endurance gradually during each trimester to maintain balance and avoid injury. Pedaling too quickly will cause you to lose balance easier.
  • Avoid allowing your feet to leave the pedals when moving at high speeds since it can cause strain on ankles, hips and joints. Do not use machine in forward position if speed is above 4 miles per hour due to same reason.
  • Avoid exercising at a higher incline during pregnancy because it can force too much pressure on pelvic area which may lead to premature contractions . Save hill climbing for after baby arrives and you recover more.
  • Avoid using an elliptical trainer that has a wide base since it takes up too much room and might knock into walls or other equipment while trying to pass them by. Save this type of trainer for after baby arrives when there’s more space required.


Will my heart rate be too high on an elliptical while pregnant?

Ans: No

An elliptical provides a low impact workout that’s easier on your joints and ligaments than running or jogging . It allows you to exercise safely until the end of pregnancy by keeping your heart rate in a safe range.

Using handrails under your arms while standing on machine will help stabilize you and get you used to holding good posture during each workout.

How much cardio should I do while pregnant?

Ans:  30 minutes of cardio 3-5 times per week.

Although 30 minutes is generally considered enough, you can do more if you feel up to it. If you want to burn fat during pregnancy , avoid long periods of inactivity and reduce your caffeine intake. Try not to work out too intensely for a prolonged time period because this will burn calories rather than fat.

Can I use an elliptical during pregnancy to stay in shape and not gain weight?

Ans: Yes

Exercise will help you stay in shape and not gain weight during pregnancy. If you feel tired, go into the “manual” mode for a while because this will allow your body to rest more. However, if you want to use an elliptical to lose weight , it’s best to first consult with your doctor.

Try not to work out too intensely for a prolonged time period because this will burn calories rather than fat.

Is it safe for me to exercise with a baby on board?

Ans: Yes

It’s safe to exercise while pregnant with a baby on board. However, you should avoid certain exercises such as heavy weightlifting and high impact cardio like running or jogging . Make sure that you have your doctor’s permission before beginning any form of exercise during pregnancy.

Why is it important to maintain a healthy lifestyle when you’re pregnant?

Ans: The better you take care of yourself during pregnancy, the less likely you are to have a complicated labor and delivery.

In addition, it helps decrease your risk for gestational diabetes , preeclampsia , preterm birth, and cesarean section . When you maintain a healthy weight while pregnant, your baby is more likely to be born without complications.

Final words about elliptical while pregnant

Pregnant women should not work out too intensely with an elliptical since hard contractions may be created which are counterproductive for labor . It’s best to start at a lower resistance level and increase it slowly over time rather than starting high and decreasing as you get tired or weaker during pregnancy .

Using this equipment will strengthen muscles in your legs, ankles, hips and pelvis for much-needed support throughout pregnancy and birth . You should avoid doing too much on the elliptical trainer if your legs or feet start falling asleep, however standing on it while allowing your feet to move will prevent this from happening.

If you feel faint while standing then sit down and hold onto railings until feeling better again; this is more common during pregnancy when blood pressure changes due to increased fluid intake.

Hopefully we’ve answered whether or not you can do cardio with an elliptical machine while pregnant and how it may affect labor . Consult your doctor about any concerns you have before using it frequently since exercise is important for good prenatal health .

Always be sure to measure your heart rate (take pulse at wrist for 60 seconds) if using an elliptical trainer alone, especially in second and third trimesters where risks of jogging can be dangerous .

Read more: How To Protect Knees On Elliptical?