It’s time to slow things down slightly and focus on maintaining strength and working muscles that will aid labour and the first few months of being a new mum. Keeping mobile and active as we enter the final part of the journey into the third trimester, should definitely have it’s rewards later down the line…
The last 3 months (trimester 2) have definitely been a learning curve! My body has been through some big changes, and I’m certainly bigger and slower than the first trimester! So, I’ve adapted my workouts accordingly, and have especially slowed the pace of aerobic exercise in the last month. The good thing is I still feel aerobically fit and keeping my back muscles strong is definitely aiding it’s ability to take on that extra weight. Making sure I can talk through workouts and listening to how my body is responding has never felt more important. I’ve also had the support of great friends who’ve been keeping me company whilst out walking. I’ve found it relaxing and good to bend their ears on motherhood! I’d definitely recommend seeing if there are any other mums in the area, partners, friends or family that can keep you company and support you on your journey.
In the meantime, here’s some tips for working out in your second trimester.
As your bump starts to grow you’ll find different pieces of equipment will work better for you. Also some people grow sooner than others, so again it’s all about listening to your body. Try one of the following, with a reduction on the intensity in comparison to your first trimester;
- Treadmill (light jogging or walking, depending on fitness and how you feel. As you enter the last month I would suggest no high impact work, so take it down to a fast paced walk instead).
- Rower (only good if your bump does not get in the way and cause hip abduction).
- Cross trainer (only if you have good alignment in your pelvis).
- Upright bike.
You should warm-up for 10 minutes and include your dynamic stretches, as before.
This should last around 30mins and you should reduce the intensity from trimester 1. Remember you should be able to talk the entire time and you should not overheat at any point. Get windows and doors open to give a nice free-flow breeze. (Go back to “Exercise in Pregnancy’ blog to remind yourself of the do’s and don’ts).
Choose any of the CV equipment listed above that suits how you feel and the size of your bump.
You can still keep your body strong, and stick to 3 sets and 12-15 reps per set. For some you may now find that going to 2 sets is more comfortable. Again do what’s right for you.
Some of the exercises I used were similar to trimester 1, and included:
- Calf raises (great for maintaining balance, but hold on to a chair or stable surface if you’re finding it difficult to work with that extra forward weight!)
- 4-point kneeling gluteal raises
- Seated/Standing Internal and external shoulder rotations
- Seated/Standing Shoulder press
- Seated/Standing Lat pulldowns
- Seated with incline Chest press
- Seated row
- Seated/Standing Tricep extensions
- Seated/Standing Bicep curl
- Bent over row
- Seated/Standing Lateral raises
I used a variety of resistance bands and weights but took the intensity down by 5% for the first 6 weeks and then again by 5-10% in the last 6 weeks. For some exercises I reduced this even further where I found it too intense. It’s all about listening to your body don’t forget!
REMEMBER: In your second trimester it’s best to avoid lying on your back. Exercises should be performed seated or with an incline. Standing is OK if you still have good balance and posture. If your balance is starting to go them you could also try using a chair or wall for support.
Here, I kept with my 4-point kneeling arm and leg extensions. This helps to keep your back strong and concentrate on strengthening your TVA all in one move. It’s really important to take your time with this exercise and use good form. Take time to relax and breath through each movement.
Also keep doing those pelvic tilts and if your balance starts to go towards the end of the trimester, use a stability ball or chair instead of standing.
Cool down (should always last 5-10 minutes and include static stretches)
I would take a little walk for 5 minutes if outside or pop on a treadmill, but again use whatever CV equipment as above.
- Seated abductor stretch
- Standing calf stretch
- Standing hamstring stretch
- Standing quadriceps stretch
- Standing lat stretch
- Standing chest stretch
- Standing hip flexor stretch
In this part of my pregnancy I also turned to DVDs. This helped me keep motivated. A particular favourite was the Tracy Anderson Method: 9 Month Pregnancy Workout. This is a great resistance workout, but if you’re not familiar with her workout methods you may find some of the moves too challenging. Look on Amazon as there are plenty out and about.
This programme is for pregnant ladies who were already active going into their pregnancies.
For more information or guidance on your amazing journey, then why not try one of the pre/post natal exercise packages or a couple of one off personal training sessions. Contact Anna at firstname.lastname@example.org or 07557 375769
There are plenty of blogs for pregnancy – just check out the blog section on the website.