Working Out in Your Second Trimester

Yay for the second trimester! Not only will your energy return and nausea subside, but you are likely sharing your happy news far and wide! Trimester 2 is pretty much the best thing ever; the beginning of a cute baby bump, feeling the first little moves and kicks and everywhere you go people will smile at you and hold doors!

Trimester 2 is when you are likely to start making some changes to the movements you do during your workouts. Just as I shared in my last blog about exercise during trimester 1, please let your body be your guide. Listen to it. It will tell you all you need to know!

That being said, let’s go through the movements that you will likely want to switch out at some point in your second trimester:

Anything Prone

At some point, lying on your tummy will no longer be comfortable. It happens at different times for everyone. When you start to feel uncomfortable, it’s time to change things up. Most prone exercises can easily be substituted for other movements either on your knees or standing.  When you are making substitutions, try to figure out what the purpose of the movement is and substitute in something that serves the same purpose (ie. supermans are for backline strength and can be subbed for bird dog; burpees are generally for getting your heart rate high so sub in high-intensity cardio movements that feel ok, skipping, cycling, rowing, jumping jacks are all great examples).

Jumping and Explosive Movements

I have had women who comfortable jump through their whole pregnancy. (I was happily doing jumping jacks at 40 weeks pregnant). Many will start to feel uncomfortable at various stages along the way. Notice the theme? Listen to your body! If you are feeling too much “pressure” in your pelvis, feeling pubic bone pain, peeing, or experiencing pain in your joints or back from jumping movements, it’s time to stop. As your body grows everything gets to be more work, so doing the non-jumping version of things will very likely still get your heart rate up and work your muscles. Remember that just because the full-version doesn’t feel good to you doesn’t mean there isn’t value in slowing things down and finding a version of the movement that’s right. The goal is to find the way that exercise continues to improve how you feel overall, so modify away!

Core Specific Movements

While core specific movements aren’t necessarily harmful (there are varying opinions on this subject and I er on the side of caution and avoid in my pregnant clients), they aren’t super necessary. Notice how your tummy is bigger at night than it was in the morning? Your abs are tired from holding that baby in. They are working all day! The real job of your core is to balance and connect your limbs. Squats, lunges, deadlifts, overhead lifts, etc. all recruit the core in a very functional way and benefit your body so much more than crunches do. These are the movements I would focus on. If you are following a program, sub out core-specific movements for full-body and/or balance movements to keep feeling awesome and keep fit during your pregnancy.

Anything that Makes You Feel Bad

Most pregnant women will have a few moves that just don’t feel great. For me, it was lunges (I later learned that I have hip dysplasia which explains why they hurt so much). If I did lunges during my pregnancies, I could barely walk or sleep for days. This doesn’t mean lunges are bad during pregnancy; only that lunges were bad for me while pregnant. If there is a movement that feels bad, I would first seek the help of a professional to make sure that the movement is being executed properly. If you’re doing it right and still feels bad, then find a different way of working the same muscles and pick it up again on the other side of your pregnancy recovery.

#1 Thing to Remember

Listen to your body. it’s pretty smart and knows exactly what it needs!

This blog post was written by Coach Kate Laird