I have been contemplating writing a workout guide for my 2nd trimester, but I decided instead just to give some tips and guidelines that I follow if you want to do the same.
This is in no way medical advice and all exercise while pregnant should be approved by your doctor. These are just ways that I workout and tricks that I use so feel free to follow suite if you please :)
1. Wear a good sports bra
No one wants their engorged or growing boobs bounding around during a workout. Make sure you have a good, supportive sports bra when exercising during pregnancy. I love these thick Champion bras from Target or my Fabletics bras.
2. Try walking- It does wonders for your back
If you aren't an experienced gym buff, you don't have to fake your knowledge of a weight room to get a good workout. Most days, I just walk the neighborhood. I try to hit at least 30 minutes if I am solely walking for that day's exercise. When my back is hurting, this is the best remedy.
3. If you can't make it outside or to the gym, try workout videos
I have tried tons of prenatal workout videos in the past few months. Here are my 3 favorites.
#1- A leg and butt routine
#2- A fun, dance-based cardio routine
#3- 3rd Trimester Toning
4. My favorite Leg and Butt Exercises
Sumo squats- I use an exercise ball underneath of me and a barbell on my shoulders. I squat all the way until I am sitting on the ball.
Dead lifts- with a barbell
Lunges- while holding dumbbells. Stationary lunges are easier than moving lunges for me because I lose my balance.
Squat and lift without weights- With the ball under your butt, squat until your butt touches the ball. As you stand up, kick one leg out to the side as far as you can. Repeat with the other leg on the next squat.
Pelvic Dips on an exercise ball- Only your back should be on the exercise ball with your body extended out in front of the ball and your feet flat on the floor. Lower your butt to the ground and raise it back up until your body is again parallel to the ground.
Calf extensions- either on a machine or on a raised surface
Weighted ball twists- I do this while sitting on an exercise ball. Using an 8lb ball, I twist the ball around until it touches each hip and repeat this for a set amount of twists.
Leg Extensions- Place your foot into the strap on one of the multi-workout machines (I don't know their real name:) and extend your foot out to the side or behind yourself.
5. Exercises that I avoid for legs and Core
Sit Ups- Too much of a strain on your abdominals
Bench Press- Laying on my back makes me nauseated
Planks- Some women do these throughout pregnancy, but right now my belly touches the ground when I do planks which is awkward and uncomfortable.
Burpees- Too much jerking and jumping for pregnancy
Jumping Jacks- Same issues as with the burpees. Most trainers don't recommend these for pregnant woman even though some continue.
6. Loose clothes are better
I was stubborn early on in my pregnancy and wanted to keep wearing my tight workout pants. Just because they fit doesn't mean they are the most comfortable thing to wear! If your clothes are nice and loose, you will be able to move freer and take less breaks to adjust your tight pants around your bump!
7. Swimming Laps
I got to swim laps this past week and it was AMAZING! I took it easy and made sure not to spend long periods underwater without breathing. I was absolutely wiped out afterwards! When I started breathing heavy I would just walk up and down in the shallow end. I also did elbow to knee exercises and squats when I need a break from swimming.
8. Don't drink and then lay down
When you drink or eat and then lay down, when pregnant, it can cause Acid Reflux, heartburn, or just embarrassing burps when you sit up! I always try to drink water before a standing exercise rather than a floor exercise.
9. Eat before AND after
Everyone tells you to eat after working out to replenish your calories that you lost, but many forget to mention eating before hand. If you go to the gym with a less then happy stomach, chances are you won't have much energy to exercise.
10. The proper way to get up off of the floor
If you are worried about putting unnecessary strain on your abdominal muscles, here is the proper technique that pregnant women are suppose to use when getting down onto or up off of the floor.
11. Abdominal strengthening
I do almost all of my core and abdominal exercises on a yoga ball. It takes the strain off of my back and is easier on my stomach.
12. Take Breaks
I was always the one who wanted to work out hard without stopping to make sure that I burn lots of calories. While pregnant, burning calories is not the objective. You want to tone and strengthen rather than burn fat and lose weight. I take plenty of breaks to make sure that I don't over heat or get dehydrated.
13. Don't worry if you don't break a sweat
In conjunction with #12, sweating isn't really your goal anymore. I can count on 1 hand the amount of times a workout has made me sweat in the past month. However, I will still be super sore from my workout! That might just be my hormones working out of wack, but don't feel the need to push it to a sweat to get a good workout.
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I am 25 years old with a 2 year old son and a wicked handsome husband living in Birmingham, Alabama.