The 6 Best Pregnancy Workout DVDs

Just a heads up: These review posts and a few others on my blog contain affiliate links. That means if you click on a link on one of my posts that takes you to another site where you buy a product I recommend, I get a small commission. I take that as a huge virtual high-five and thank you from my readers! So, if you like something I recommend enough to buy it, it would make my day if you used my link to make your purchase. But I hope you know that I have a staunch policy of ONLY including affiliate links for products that I actually own and think are incredible, as well as only linking to the best price I can find for any given product. 🙂


To stay look and feel my best this pregnancy, I’ve relied heavily on pregnancy workout DVDs. As far as I’m concerned, workout DVDs are awesome. They’re like having a personal trainer right in your home, ready to work out with you whenever you’d like. And prenatal pilates and barre workouts tend to be my very favorites.

 

prenatal pilates, barre, and strength DVDs
However, there are a LOT of options out there when it comes to pregnancy workout DVDs! This is both good and bad. Which ones were the best? Which would be challenging and fun, and which would be way too easy for my fitness level?

I read and read reviews on Amazon, which was helpful to some extent, but I still didn’t feel like I knew which ones I should buy. Before throwing down the cash on Beachbody’s Focus T25 last fall, for example, I really appreciated blogs like Dumbbells and Diapers and Dysfunctional Parrot that gave super in-depth reviews of not just the workout program overall but each individual DVD. Things like the runtime, calorie count, and what muscles each workout focused on were all really helpful and information for me and helped me decide that T25 was something worth investing in.

But nothing like this really seemed to exist for pregnancy DVDs. Yes, there were brief reviews on Amazon, but it was almost comical to see the wide variation in opinions there—”This workout was SO hard!” vs. “I’m pregnant, not dead!” for the exact same DVD.

So I decided to order any DVDs that looked good and then write the really detailed reviews I wish had existed a few months ago for other fit, pregnant girls like me who wanted the scoop and didn’t want to go through as much hassle as I did. So, drumroll please . . .

The 6 Best Pregnancy Workout DVDs

Here’s my list of DVDs that I loved and deemed worthy of keeping. Each one has a link to a detailed review where I tried to give as much info as possible to help you know if it’s a workout you might like too.

 

Where Can I Get These DVDs?

Each of these DVDs cost about $12 apiece (some a little more, some a little less). That’s nothing! Invest in yourself a bit and get a handful you can rotate through so that your workouts stay fresh and fun your entire pregnancy. Here are the links to the best prices I’ve found for each DVD if you’re interested in grabbing any or all of them for your own collection.

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How Can I Best Use DVDs to Stay Fit During Pregnancy?

Raise your hand if you like pretty, printable, FREE posters and charts! Yeah, me too. I like having cute, bright-colored calendars, quotes, printables, and charts to help me stay on track as I work towards various health and fitness goals. I find best results come if I track my progress with huge check marks in my favorite color of marker or invest in some shiny gold star stickers. ?

Once I’d found my list of pregnancy workout DVDs worth keeping in my rotation, I put together a schedule for myself so that I could cycle through all the DVDs without getting bored.  Here is the link to the PDF version of my FREE Pregnancy Workout Calendar. Grab it so you can print it out, hang it up, and rock a fit pregnancy right along with me.

The calendar has you working out for 45 minutes a day, 6 days a week.  Two days a week you’ll focus on strengthening your upper body, two days a week you’ll focus on strengthening your lower body, two days a week are cardio days, and you’ll take one day a week to rest.

pregnancy workout DVD calendar

I also put together a Beginner’s Calendar. Maybe you weren’t working out consistently before pregnancy. Or maybe you simply don’t have the energy to do 45 minutes a day. That’s okay! We are all different. Listening to your body is crucial when it comes to exercise during pregnancy. This version of the calendar follows the same format as the Advanced Calendar but has you putting in 20–30 minutes a day of exercise instead. Here’s the link to the Beginner’s Calendar PDF—which is also free. Woohoo!

pregnancy workout DVD beginner calendar

Buying all the DVDs this calendar requires costs about $90 total on Amazon. Yes, that’s a chunk of change, but I think it’s absolutely worth it to have challenging, fun, pregnancy-safe workouts I can rotate through without getting bored for these coming months. And, of course, if you want to buy fewer, you can write up your own calendar or use mine as a blueprint. For example, you could just do, say, Weeks 1& 2 plus Week 5 because those are the DVDs you bought, and then start back at the beginning of your own personal rotation from there.

So far following my calendar has kept my pregnancy workouts fun, fresh, and challenging. My weight gain has stayed right on track as well (I’m up a healthy 13 pounds at 22 weeks. Wahoo!). I like feeling like I’m moving in a specific direction and accomplishing something concrete rather than aimlessly shuffling through my pile of workout DVDs at random. For me, following (and then finishing!) a calendar or plan takes my workouts to a whole new level. My workouts become empowering and exciting rather than routine and mechanical.

Also: don’t despair if you don’t feel up to either workout schedule during your first trimester. I was lucky enough to feel crappy but decent for all but a miserable 2-week stretch of my first trimester. But many women (including very fit ones!) just aren’t up to exercising much in those hard early weeks. If you are one of those girls, my heart goes out to you, and I’d just remind you that these DVDs and my calendar will be right here waiting for you once you start feeling better again. Keep nibbling those saltines and hang in there!

Are there any great pregnancy DVDs I didn’t mention that I need to run out and try? Or are any of my reviews dead wrong? And what do you think of the calendars? Let me know in the comments! 

Review: Prenatal Physique DVD

I’d never heard of Leah Sarago before this pregnancy. Her prenatal workout DVD had so many positive reviews on Amazon, though, that I couldn’t not try it. Prenatal Physique proved to be an absolutely amazing workout! Heck, I’d even come back and do these non pregnant  because they’re so tough. The lower body workouts especially are killer!

This DVD is one of the best I’ve found and is definitely on my list of the Top 6 Pregnancy Workout DVDs out there. The DVD is broken into a brief warmup plus 6 segments that are 15 minutes apiece, each with a different focus. It’s a great DVD that I couldn’t recommend more. The best price you’ll find for it is on Amazon for $16.99.


Just a heads up: This page and a few others on my blog contain affiliate links. That means if you click on a link on one of my posts that takes you to another site where you buy a product I recommend, I get a small commission. I take that as a huge virtual high-five and thank you from my readers! So, if you like something I recommend enough to buy it, it would make my day if you used my link to make your purchase. But I hope you know that I have a staunch policy of ONLY including affiliate links for products that I actually own and think are incredible, as well as only linking to the best price I can find for any given product. 🙂


Leah Sarago

Here are my thoughts on each of the sections as well as the exact runtime and calorie count for each:

Warmup (4:47 and 15 calories burned)

Confession: I don’t usually take time for warmups and cool downs like I should. But this one is absolutely worth your time. It’s nice, light cardio that gets you ready for the tough muscle work to come.

Upper Body Mat Work (14:46 and 37 calories burned)

 This segment has you down on the mat doing lots of moves that strengthen your shoulders. This is definitely more of a “toner” than a “burner.” It won’t get your heart rate up much, but it will definitely challenge your muscles. I was also pleased to find that this segment includes a lot of moves that hit not just the upper body but the core. Hooray for an added bonus there!

Upper Body Cardio Sculpt (13:24 and 63 calories burned)

 Wow! I love love LOVE  how this segment blends free-weight work with moderate cardio. Whenever I do it I can feel my heart pumping and my arms working hard. I followed Leah’s weight recommendations throughout this segment the first few times through. However, I’ve found that in a few places I could move up to medium weights where she recommended light. Most prenatal DVDs that claim to offer cardio are wussy or hokey. But fear not: this is one of the few that actually delivers without making you feel like a fool. 🙂

Leah Sarago

Lower Body Barre (13:54 and 90 calories burned)

 Barre workouts are new to me as of this pregnancy. It’s a workout style I find tough but super fun. You’ll definitely want to follow Leah’s recommendation and use a chair for balance. I also found that while the description didn’t mention cardio, my Garmin clocked my heart rate north of 110 multiple times during this workout. It’s nice that Leah gives plenty of options to modify both here and on this DVD in general. I found that I needed to modify and drop my heels a time or two for this particular workout. I hope, though, that I can work up to following along with Leah all the way through eventually. 🙂

Lower Body Sculpt (14:34 and 88 calories burned)

Rather than the barre-style moves of the previous lower body segment, this workout has you do more traditional lunges and squats. Often, you’ve got medium or heavy dumbbells in hand as well. There’s one main thing you’ll want to know about this segment, though. Right near the end when Leah says that “you should feel your legs really engage” she actually means that your quads and calves will be descending into the fiery, burning depths of hell. Eeek! Don’t say I didn’t warn you! This section makes you burn and sweat in the best way possible. And its ‘ll without making you jump or do anything unsafe for pregnancy.

Prenatal Core (15:00 on the nose and 41 calories burned)

 I love this entire DVD, but I would have kept it in my rotation for the core segment alone. I think it’s hard for a trainer to come up with moves that work the core during pregnancy, since being flat on your back is a no-no and many of the typical ab moves would be awkward and uncomfortable once your belly expands much. But somehow, Leah does has but together a killer ab workout that is 100% pregnancy-safe. The moves especially target the obliques. And, as an added bonus, my thighs and booty were screaming during a few of the moves too. Love it.

Prenatal Stretching (14:31 and 14 calories burned)

As with warmups, I don’t work in the flexibility segments of my workout DVDs as often as I probably should, but my heart is happy every time I do make time to stretch a bit. This was a wonderful, relaxing 15 minutes that helped me lengthen out some of the muscles that these workouts challenge so much. I found that a bit of the cueing was iffy; it’s hard to see what you’re supposed to be doing when you are stretching in a position that doesn’t allow your head to look right at the TV screen, but even if I was a hair off from the stretches Leah was performing at times, what I was doing felt great.

I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: among the best healthy pregnancy tips is to work out regularly. And this DVD will help you put in prenatal workouts that are not just effective but fun and 100% safe as well. I highly recommend this Leah Sarago’s Fit + Sleek DVD. Simply put, it’s one of the best prenatal workouts on the market. You can grab it on Amazon for just $16.99.  I hope you enjoy (ha! or, in the moment, occasionally hate) these workouts as much as I have. This DVD is a winner!

Full disclosure: This page and a few others on my blog contain affiliate links. That means if you click on a link on one of my posts that takes you to another site where you buy a product I recommend, I get a small commission. I take that as a huge virtual high-five and thank you from my readers and am tickled when it happens, but I hope you know that I have a firm policy of only including affiliate links for products that I actually own and think are incredible, as well as only linking to the best price I can find for any given product.