Can I Exercise With Pelvic Pain?


During pregnancy, your joints are less stable due to the relaxin running through your system. Relaxin is great for helping the pelvis and ribcage expand to fit your growing baby. This joint instability can lead to pelvic pain during pregnancy.

The baby’s head rests — or should I say constantly burrows — in the pelvic girdle, especially as you near the end of your pregnancy. It’s no wonder pelvic pain during pregnancy is somewhat normal, especially in consecutive pregnancies. With each pregnancy, pelvic pain can be felt earlier in the pregnancy, usually in the second and third trimester. It is important that you know the difference between pain and dysfunction.

It is important to keep working the core with the pelvic tilts, kegels, and foundation moves. Download our Prenatal and Postnatal Exercise Guide for more info! Additionally, some women find it feels better to have compression through the pelvis and use a maternity support belt.

It is best to avoid certain moves and exercises. You should avoid the following:

  • Abductions (where the leg moves away from the body)
  • Uneven leg distribution, such as side squats
  • Moves where the feet are further than hip width apart
  • Or any move that causes pain or distributing the pelvis area unevenly, such as crossing the legs

Exercises for Pelvic Pain During Pregnancy

As long as you have established with a health care practitioner that you do not have SPD (see below), you can use these pelvic floor exercises as well as the many functional core routines in our pregnancy workout programs. It is important to strengthen your pelvic floor, abdominals, back, and hip muscles.

Hold Ems

Squeeze and lift the pelvic floor muscles by thinking of pulling on both ends of that hammock I talked about. You can also think about using the muscles that you use to stop the flow of urine or hold in gas.

Hold for 5–10 seconds (you should be able to talk while you do these so you don’t hold your breath). And relax for 10 seconds. It is just as important to learn how to relax these muscles as it is to turn them on, so don’t skip that step!

Do 10 contractions. Try to get in about 4–5 sessions of these puppies a day.

Quick Squeezes

Now contract those same muscles quickly 5 times. Don’t hold. We’re training motor control here … fancy term for retraining that brain to turn them on/off quickly. Relax for 10 seconds after your fifth quick contraction.

Repeat 10 times.

Is it Pain, Pressure, or Symphysis Pubis?

It is important that you know the difference between the pelvic pain, pressure, and dysfunction. Pubic pain or pelvic pain is common later in pregnancy. It can hinder the way you walk and exercise. But if you are feeling pressure, cramps, groin pain or a backache, you could be in the beginning stages of labor. If Symphysis Pubis Dysfunction (SPD) is the issue, you might hear a clicking noise when you move. All of these pains should be discussed with your OB.

What Is Symphysis Pubis Dysfunction?

SPD is a condition that can be almost debilitating to a pregnant woman and can produce symptoms months after delivery. The pain results from a separation of the symphysis pubis joint. To ease the symptoms, you should work the pelvic floor muscles. It is best that you work one-on-one with a medical professional, physical therapist, or physiotherapist.

Download the Prenatal and Postnatal Exercise Guide

Smart fitness for moms in any stage: bump, new baby, and beyond.