Trying to Conceive? Exercise to Optimize Fertility

Nicole Crawford

Contributor - Women's, Family, and Kids' Fitness

Women's Fitness, Family and Kids


Regulating your menstrual cycle is the first step to regaining fertility and achieving pregnancy. I've designed the newest cycle of Mommy workouts to help you exercise with your cycle, not in spite of it.


What does that mean? It means observing your body and respecting its needs while also doing the things you love. You can have both.


The Fertility Workouts

The goal of this 28-day phase of the Fertility Cycle is to become accustomed to modifying your exercise routine based on where you are in your cycle. Regulating your cycle is the first step to regaining fertility and achieving pregnancy. Starting with the first day of menstruation, I will take you through a day-by-day approach to exercise, with a daily schedule provided for your entire 28-day cycle.


This cycle of workouts is intended for women who do intense exercise for five or more hours per week. It is based on my own research and experience. I used this approach to regain my own fertility after the birth of my second child, with great success.


You might find it challenging to cut back on the time you spend in the gym, but doing so will help your body establish regularity. It’s understood that you want to continue being active while trying to become pregnant. The plan includes at least one sport or activity day per week, depending on where you are in your cycle, so you can continue the activities you enjoy while increasing your fertility.


Of course, not all women have the same cycle length, so repeat or skip days as needed. I recommend keeping a log of other markers such as energy levels, sex drive, and vaginal discharge to help you track where you are in your cycle.


Week Five: Beginning of Second 28-Day Cycle

Days One Through Five: Menstruation

Aim to sleep for 30 minutes more than usual during this part of your cycle.
If cramps make exercise seem unbearable, opt for total rest or a gentle walk.


Days One and Two

Sport day – play a sport or other activity of your choice for 30 minutes at moderate intensity.



Day Three

45 minute run/walk – intervals of 1 minute run, 2 minutes brisk walk



Day Four

Kettlebell Workout 1 - use a weight you can comfortably press for 8 - 10 reps.

5 Rounds:

  • Pull ups – ladders of 1 (Round 1), 2 (Round 2), 3 (Round 3), 4 (Round 4), 5 (Round 5)
  • 25 KB swings per side
  • 10 KB thrusters per side
  • Push ups x 10
  • Side plank x 30 seconds per side
  • Rest in child’s pose for 1 minute between rounds


Day Five

Yoga Series 1:

3 Rounds, all poses for five deep breaths unless otherwise noted:

  • Bound angle pose
  • Seated forward bend
  • Child’s pose
  • Thread the needle
  • Child’s pose
  • Pigeon pose with bolster
  • Seated forward bend
  • Bridge pose
  • Child’s pose
  • Downward Dog
  • Warrior I
  • Triangle
  • Warrior I
  • Downward Dog
  • Plank x 30 seconds
  • Child’s Pose
  • Savasana – 10 minutes



Days Six and Seven: Transition to End of Follicular Phase

Rest day


Day Six

45 minute jog/walk – intervals of 1 minute jog, 2 minutes brisk walk




Practice an exercise you are working on – pull ups, push ups, pistols, or weight lifting movements with moderate weight (no more than 70% max) for 20 minutes. Compare your performance to your workout on the first day of the first 28-day cycle.


Day Seven

Sport day – practice your sport for 30 minutes at moderate intensity


Click on the number below that corresponds to the week of training you're in.


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