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Circuit Training Workout for Pregnancy – Baby Got Back Workout

Baby Got Back Workout | Fit To Be PregnantThis was my workout for today, 26 weeks pregnant – the last week of my second trimester!

I was trying to decide what type of workout I should do this week, when I remembered how much I used to love circuit training sessions. Circuit training workouts are TOUGH and for a second I thought, I don’t think I can get through it…but as soon as I heard my brain say it, I had to try it. And as soon as I finished, I felt like I could conquer the world, as you can see by this text I sent my husband:text message to husband

So be warned, don’t try this workout unless you want to walk around the rest of the day feeling like a badass mama. (And of course unless you have your doctor’s permission.)

To read more about having a fit pregnancy, be sure to pick up a copy of my ebook – Fit To Be Pregnant: 12 Steps to the Healthy, Comfortable, and Fit Pregnancy of Your Dreams.

Workout Type

Circuit Training – moving quickly between supersets with no rest until 3 large muscle groups have been exercised, with 2 minutes of cardio in between each group. Each muscle group is pushed to failure through two strength training exercises, which are performed at 12 reps each back to back followed by 2 minutes of cardio. There is a 2 minute rest after all three muscle groups have been worked, and then the whole thing is repeated 1-2 more times. Choose weights that are challenging for you. Can be done at home or at the gym. Here is a more detailed explanation of circuit training.

Equipment Needed


Bent Over Rows – Stand with feet shoulder width apart, holding your bar, dumbbells, or sandbag. Lean over, keeping your back straight, and lift your weight up to your chest. Lead with your elbows, as if someone were pulling them up with a string.

Baby Got Back Workout | Fit To Be Pregnant

High Pulls – Stand with feet a little more than shoulder-width apart, like you’re preparing for a squat, that is wide enough to accommodate your belly. Hold your weight, kettlebell, or dumbbell with two hands in front of you. Squat down, touch the weight to the ground, and quickly stand up while pulling the weight up to your chin quickly, elbows straight out to the sides.Baby Got Back Workout | Fit To Be Pregnant

Squats – Hold dumbbells either at your shoulders or in front of you, wherever is most comfortable. Spread your feet to wider than shoulder-length apart, with room to accommodate your bump. Sit down into your squat, leaning back into your heels, keeping your back straight, until your knees are in a 90 degree angle. Don’t lean forward, and make sure your knees do not go past your toes.


Step Ups -Holding dumbbells, step up onto a bench, step, or chair with one leg, step back down with the other leg. Repeat on the other side.

Baby Got Back Workout | Fit To Be Pregnant

Tricep Kick-backs – lean over on a bench or chair, holding on with your resting arm and knee for balance. Bend your arm so the top is even with your back, elbow tucked in at your waist and at a 90 degree angle. Straighten your arm, using your tricep to pull the weight up towards the ceiling.

Baby Got Back Workout | Fit To Be Pregnant

Bench Dips- Using a dip station, chair or bench, face away from the edge, putting your hands behind you onto the edge of the bench, about shoulder-width apart. Walk your feet forward until your arms are supporting most of your weight. The further out you walk, the tougher the dip will be. Bend your elbows and lower your body, using your triceps, until your elbows are at about a 90 degree angle. Push your body back up until arms are straight again, this is one rep. Don’t hunch your shoulders as you dip.

Baby Got Back Workout | Fit To Be Pregnant

Cardio – You can choose any cardio movement here. I always liked jumprope, but you could also hop on a treadmill and run or walk, do high knees, run in place, do jumping jacks, burpees, box blasts, etc. For this workout I chose agility drills on our speed ladder.

Baby Got Back Workout | Fit To Be Pregnant

Doing high knee drills on the agility ladder for cardio

Workout Breakdown

Start with a 5 minute warm up. I do dynamic stretching (stretching while staying moving, unlike static stretches where you hold the stretch), progressing to some jumping jacks and high knees.

*Note-For a true circuit training workout, try not to take a break until you have completed all 3 sets — go straight from exercise to exercise. Of course, you’re pregnant, so if your body says take a break, take one!

Set 1

  • Bent Over Rows – 12 reps
  • High Pulls– 12 reps
  • 2 min cardio

Set 2

  • Squats with weight – 12 reps
  • Step-Ups with Weight– 12 reps
  • 2 min cardio

Set 3

  • Tricep Kick-Backs – 12 reps
  • Tricep Dips – 12 reps
  • 2 min cardio
  • 2 minute rest
  • This is one round. Repeat entire routine a total of 2-3x.

Each Round (3 sets) took me about 15 minutes. I did 3 rounds for a total of 45 minutes.

End with a 10 minute stretching cool down. I like to stretch out my arms, then my hamstrings, my inner thighs, my quads, and then perform a few sun salutations. I also add in cat/cow to stretch out my back and hips, and end in child’s pose.


For beginners or later in pregnancy:

Reps/Rounds – perform 8 or 10 reps instead of 12, or do 1 or 2 rounds instead of 3

Bent Over Rows, High Pulls, and Tricep Kick Backs– use less weight

Squats and Step-Ups – use body-weight only

Tricep Dips – Bend your knees and pull your feet towards you to make the dip easier

Benefits For Pregnancy

Anaerobic Strength/Circuit Training – Provides you and your baby with additional oxygen over the next 24-48 hours, builds and strengthens muscles and joints that can become weak and cause aches and pain. Regular intense exercise helps baby become accustomed to stress, which will help him tremendously during labor and delivery.

Bent Over Rows/High Pulls – strengthens back muscles for better posture and reduction of back pain

Squats and Step Ups– Squats are essential in preparing your body for childbirth by strengthening and stretching your child-birthing muscles, and also build core strength for supporting your growing uterus and stretching hip joints. Squatting also helps to prepare your perineum for stretching during the pushing phase of labor. Step-Ups help with balance as our body’s center of gravity changes.

Cardio – carries oxygen to the baby and the body, improves circulation, reduces swelling, and increases endurance.

Bookmark this page for weekly HIIT workouts for pregnancy posted each Tuesday!

*The information contained in this website is provided for general informational purposes only. It is not intended as and should not be relied upon as medical advice. The information may not apply to you and before you use any of the information provided in the site, you should contact a qualified medical, dietary, fitness or other appropriate professional. If you utilize any information provided in this site, you do so at your own risk and you specifically waive any right to make any claim against Fit To Be Pregnant, its employees or representatives, as the result of the use of such information.*

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