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  • © 2019

Exercise and Sporting Activity During Pregnancy

Evidence-Based Guidelines

  • Examines the research evidence on the implications of bodily changes during pregnancy for exercise and sporting activity

  • Explains the relevant evidence-based and practice-oriented guidelines

  • Describes exercise selection and adaptation

  • Presents the pooled knowledge of international experts in sports medicine, physiology, and gynecology

  • Includes online access to videos showing exercises

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Table of contents (11 chapters)

  1. Front Matter

    Pages i-xvii
  2. Physical Activity, Exercise, and Health Promotion for the Pregnant Exerciser and the Pregnant Athlete

    • Mireille van Poppel, Katrine Mari Owe, Rita Santos-Rocha, Hélia Dias
    Pages 1-17
  3. Body Composition Changes During Pregnancy and Effects of Physical Exercise

    • Nuno M. Pimenta, Mireille van Poppel
    Pages 57-93
  4. Biomechanical Adaptations of Gait in Pregnancy: Implications for Physical Activity and Exercise

    • Rita Santos-Rocha, Marco Branco, Liliana Aguiar, Filomena Vieira, António Prieto Veloso
    Pages 95-134
  5. Evidence-Based and Practice-Oriented Guidelines for Exercising During Pregnancy

    • Anna Szumilewicz, Aneta Worska, Rita Santos-Rocha, Miguel Ángel Oviedo-Caro
    Pages 157-181
  6. Exercise Testing and Prescription for Pregnant Women

    • Rita Santos-Rocha, Isabel Corrales Gutiérrez, Anna Szumilewicz, Simona Pajaujiene
    Pages 183-230
  7. Exercise Selection and Adaptations During Pregnancy

    • Anna Szumilewicz, Rita Santos-Rocha
    Pages 231-308
  8. Therapeutic Exercise Regarding Musculoskeletal Health of the Pregnant Exerciser and Athlete

    • Augusto Gil Pascoal, Britt Stuge, Patrícia Mota, Gunvor Hilde, Kari Bø
    Pages 309-326
  9. Nutritional Requirements for the Pregnant Exerciser and Athlete

    • Maria-Raquel G. Silva, Belén Rodriguez Doñate, Karen Nathaly Che Carballo
    Pages 327-345

About this book

This clinically and practice oriented, multidisciplinary book is intended to fill the gap between evidence-based knowledge on the benefits of physical activity and exercise during pregnancy and the implementation of exercise programmes and related health promotion measures in pregnant women. It will provide medical, sports, and fitness professionals both with the knowledge needed to allay undue fears regarding the consequences of exercising during pregnancy and with the practical expertise to offer optimal guidance on exercising to pregnant exercisers and athletes. 

Readers will find up-to-date evidence on the psychological, social, physiological, body composition, musculoskeletal, and biomechanical changes that occur during pregnancy and their implications for physical activity and exercise. Detailed descriptions are provided of the components of exercise testing and prescription for pregnant women, the current evidence-based and practice-oriented guidelines, and exercise selection and adaptation during pregnancy. Exercises specifically targeting musculoskeletal health are discussed separately, and a concluding chapter explains the nutritional requirements in pregnant women who exercise.


  • Biomechanics
  • Body composition
  • Exercise prescription
  • Exercise testing
  • Gait
  • Guidelines
  • Low back pain
  • Nutrition
  • Pelvic floor
  • Pelvic girdle pain
  • Pregnant exerciser
  • Physical activity
  • Physiology
  • Psychology
  • Sports


“The audience is health professionals, exercise and sports professionals, researchers and students. … There are several color pictures that demonstrate different types of exercises pregnant patients can do. To my knowledge, this book is one of a kind. It is of high quality and does an excellent job of comparing the literature that is available.” (Melissa Anne Novak, Doody's Book Reviews, May 17, 2019)

Editors and Affiliations

  • Sport Sciences School of Rio Maior, Polytechnic Institute of Santarém, Rio Maior, Portugal

    Rita Santos-Rocha

  • Laboratory of Biomechanics and Functional Morphology, Interdisciplinary Centre for the Study of Human Performance, Faculty of Human Kinetics, University of Lisbon, Cruz Quebrada-Dafundo, Portugal

    Rita Santos-Rocha

About the editor

Rita Santos Rocha is Associate Professor at the Sport Sciences School of Rio Maior (ESDRM) – Polytechnic Institute of Santarém (IPSantarém), Portugal, that she supervised as Director between 2011 and 2015. She is Coordinator of the Master Degree in Physical Activity in Special Populations and Professor of the Bachelor Degree in Sport, Fitness & Health (ESDRM), in Exercise Testing and Prescription, and Public Health and Physical Activity. Researcher of the Neuromechanics of Human Movement Group of CIPER (Interdisciplinary Centre for the Study of Human Performance) – Faculty of Human Kinetics (FMH) – University of Lisbon. Deputy Director of the Research Unit of IPSantarém, Professor Santos Rocha has being involved in several research projects funded by the Portuguese Foundation for Science and Technology (FCT) and other National and European bodies. Her research interests are focused on gait biomechanics and the effects of exercise programs on pregnant women, and other populations. She was the leader of the EuropeActive’s Educational Standards for the Pregnancy and Postnatal Exercise Specialist published in 2016, which refers to European Qualification Framework. Professor Santos Rocha holds a seat on the Scientific Board of the Gymnastics Federation of Portugal, and has being collaborating with the Professional Standards Committee of EuropeActive (former European Health & Fitness Association) since 2010.

Bibliographic Information

Buy it now

Buying options

eBook USD 109.00
Price excludes VAT (USA)
  • Available as EPUB and PDF
  • Read on any device
  • Instant download
  • Own it forever

Tax calculation will be finalised at checkout

Other ways to access