How to do a proper push up and modify for pregnancy

March 30, 2012 · 2 comments

pin it button How to do a proper push up and modify for pregnancy

Tatum Maguire of Total Mommy Fitness teaches how to do a proper pushup, and modify pushups safely for pregnancy. This video was at filmed at the Castle Hill Yoga Studio in Austin, TX

Pushups are a fantastic upper body workout! After 8 years in the Army I developed a love/hate relationship with the pushup. It made me appreciate how a challenging workout can take place anywhere with no equipment, and made me realize there is really no room for excuses. All you need is your own body.

Pushups are safe throughout pregnancy. For new moms, you can even put your baby underneath and give them kisses on the forehead with each repetition. I promise they will love it!


  • Bethany Learn – Fit2B Studio

    I love how you clearly present so many options for the pushup. You also address the wrist, which so many instructors don’t. I did pushups through both of my pregnancies, modifying them as I got further along. However, I wish I had just skipped them totally once my belly started to grow. I could have done upright exercises for the chest with resistance bands or used a machine or done wall-pushups… anything to take that downward pressure off my linea-alba. You mentioned relaxin, and with all the research I’ve done on diastasis, I’m convinced that relaxin affects the connective tissue that holds the rectus abs together, allowing it to come apart to make room for baby. I’ve become closely involved with a physical therapist that specializes in post-natal work with women who have severe diastasis and she’s supplied me with countless stories of women who do more pushups and crunches during pregnancy and immediately after birth having worse diastasis which makes it harder for them to recover. That explained so much for me. And I realized it doesn’t really matter if we bend our knees or do them on our feet because the weight of the belly pushing down on the linea alba stays the same… I’m all for women staying VERY active during pregnancy, but if I can nail down a few exercises that make their diastasis worse and therefore also make their recovery harder later, well, that enables me to protect my client and get her back on feet that much faster! Because it’s really a health issue, inot just about their aesthetics and the look of their “pooch.” Diastasis is directly related to stress incontinence and chronic lower back pain. This I’ve experienced for myself, because once I went through ab rehab after my second pregnancy, I quite peeing my pants every time I sneezed! LOL! Anyway, you have a gorgeous site, and I wish you all the best. Just thought I’d chip in my thoughts. I’ve written a ton about it, you can also find quite a bit through and if you’d like. Namaste!

  • Tatum

    Hi Bethany, thanks so much for your thorough feedback. I really appreciate your thoughtful response and kind words about my site. I am well aware of the diastasis issue that many pregnant women face, and have helped several new moms rehab their abs post baby. The reason that I continue to have women modify pushups, planks, crunches, and do exercises that they did prior to getting pregnant (as well as the bands, wall pushups, and machines you mentioned) is because I believe that it is important to have a very well rounded program that does not neglect any muscle. I believe in functional training.
    For example, if you never do push ups what happens when you push yourself up of the floor after looking for a lost shoe under the couch, or if you are not supposed to crunch what happens when you sit up out of bed in the morning. Strengthening these muscles safely with correct form prepares the body to handle real world situations when your form may not be the best, in my opinion.
    Lastly, in all my years of training new moms and pregnant women, I have done modified crunches and planks and push ups with each of them. The only women that have had trouble with diastasis are the ones that I did not train until after their pregnancy. The ones who had neglected working their abs so the muscles had become weak and separated. So, from my personal experience, I firmly believe that keeping the core strong during pregnancy far outweighs the risk of diastasis. But, I respect your opinion, and also teach my clients about the Tupler technique. Your site is great. It looks like you have a wonderful service.

Previous post:

Next post: