When it comes to working out while pregnant, time and energy can be two of the biggest challenges we face. We ultimately feel better after we get a little sweat in – both mentally and physically – so let that serve as your reminder to get moving & shaking. We also know we need to modify our normal exercises.
Here, I’ll be offering up safe exercises specific to each trimester. You can focus on just these movements, and complete the circuit 2-3 times, resting for 60 seconds, for a quick, energizing strength routine or you can add these on to your daily walk or jog!
BENEFITS OF EXERCISE DURING PREGNANCY
Baby on board or not, your body benefits from exercise in a variety of ways
- Improved heart health
- Mental boost
- Increased energy
- More restful sleep
- Limits the risk of gestational diabetes
- Helps you achieve your labor goals
- Keeps baby weight in check
- Keeps baby’s weight in check too
- Makes for a better baby
- Increases your comfort level
PRO TIPS FOR EXERCISING WHILE PREGNANT
- Hydrate, hydrate, hydrate
- Avoid twisting movements
- Communicate with your doctor and trainer – ask for modifications
- Wear loose, comfortable clothing
- Learn to rest. Listen to your body.
- Make sure you can still carry on a conversation
- Don’t get your heartrate up too-too high (you can gauge this by your breath)
- Implement your Piston Breathing techniques
The First Trimester
1. SQUAT AND PRESS
Sculpts your legs, butt and shoulders.
Stand with feet hip-width apart, holding a dumbbell in each hand at shoulder height. Keeping your chest up and core engaged, lower into a squat position, keeping your booty back and thighs as close to parallel to the ground as possible. Driving though your heels, come back up to standing as you press the dumbbells overhead. Do 15 reps.
2. REVERSE LUNGE AND CURL
Tones your legs, butt and biceps.
For this first trimester exercise, begin standing with feet together, holding a dumbbell in each hand at your sides. Engaging your core, step your right foot back and lower until your legs are bent at 90 degrees and your back knee is hovering just above the ground. At the same time, curl the dumbbells up to your chest. Come back up to standing by stepping the right foot forward and lowering the dumbbells back down. Repeat on the other side. Do 12 reps on each side.
3. SINGLE ARM ROW AND TRICEP KICKBACK
Sculpts your back and triceps.
Begin with your left foot in front of the right, left knee slightly bent and left hand resting on your left thigh. Hold a dumbbell in your right hand, arm extended toward the ground. Row the dumbbell up to chest height, keeping your elbow tucked closely to your side, then extend your arm straight behind you. Reverse the motion back to start position. Do 12 reps on each side.
4. BIRD DOG
Tones your butt, arms and core.
Start this first trimester workout on your hands and knees with a flat back and core engaged. Extend your right leg straight behind you as you extend your left arm in front of you. Return to start position and repeat on the other side. Do 12 reps on each side.
5. SIDE PLANK CRUNCH
Sculpts your obliques and shoulders.
Start in a modified side plank position propped up on your left hand with your left (bottom) knee on the ground and right (top) leg extended out straight. Reach your right arm directly overhead. Bring your right elbow to meet your right knee as you engage your obliques. Return to start position and repeat. Do 12 reps on each side.
The Second Trimester
These second trimester exercises focus on strengthening your postural muscles so you stay strong, properly aligned and pain-free throughout your pregnancy. After all, you’ve got to support that growing bump! Do the following circuit two to three times for an amazing arm workout that tones your biceps, triceps, shoulders and postural muscles. Rest: 60 seconds in between circuits.
1. CURL AND PRESS
Sculpts your biceps and shoulders.
Stand feet hip-width apart, holding a dumbbell in each hand at your sides. Keeping your chest tall and core engaged, curl the dumbbells up to shoulder height, then press them overhead. Reverse the motion and repeat. Do 15 reps.
2. BENT OVER FLY
Sculpts your shoulders and back.
Begin this second trimester exercise by standing with your knees bent, holding a dumbbell in each hand, palms facing each other. Hinge forward at the waist, keeping a flat back. Raise both arms to the sides, maintaining a slight bend in the elbows as you squeeze your shoulder blades together. With control, lower the dumbbells back to start position. Do 15 reps.
3. SINGLE ARM ROW
Tones your back and arms.
Begin with your left foot in front of the right, left knee slightly bent and left hand resting on your left thigh. Hold a dumbbell in your right hand, arm extended toward the ground. Row the dumbbell up to chest height, keeping your elbow tucked closely to your side, then return to start position. Do 15 reps on each side.
4. ALTERNATING FORWARD RAISE
Tones your shoulders and arms.
For this second trimester workout, begin standing tall, holding a dumbbell in each hand and palms resting against the front of your thighs. Raise your right arm straight in front of you to shoulder height, then return to start position. Repeat on the left side. Do 15 reps on each side.
5. TRICEP PUSH-UP
Sculpts your triceps and chest.
Come down to your hands and knees and position your hands slightly closer than shoulder-width apart. With arms straight (elbows not locked), lower your hips until your body forms a straight line from head to knees. Keeping your elbows tucked close to your body, lower yourself as close to the ground as possible (bump permitting), then press back up. Do 12 reps.
The Third Trimester
A strong butt and legs are everything during your third trimester – it’ll aid in delivery and beyond. One of the best things about booty exercises is that they can be done throughout your entire pregnancy! Repeat the following circuit two to three times through, resting for 60 seconds (or as long as you need) between circuits. Weights optional.
1. PLIÉ SQUAT AND PULSE
Sculpts your entire lower body.
For this third trimester workout, stand with feet wider than hip-width apart, toes pointed out, holding a dumbbell in both hands and arms extended down in front of you. With chest tall and core engaged, lower straight down until your thighs are as close to parallel to the ground as possible. Pulse one inch up, then one inch down, and drive through your heels to come back up to standing. Do 15 reps.
2. SINGLE-LEG DEADLIFT
Sculpts your butt, legs and core.
Stand with feet together, holding a dumbbell in each hand in front of your hips. Shift your weight to your left foot, knee softly bent. (Use your right foot as a kickstand if needed for extra balance). With a flat back, hinge at the hips and lower your torso to the ground, reaching the dumbbells toward your standing foot as your right leg extends straight behind you. Engaging your butt and core, drive through your standing heel to come up to standing. Do 12 reps on each side.
3. SIDE LUNGE
Sculpts your butt and legs.
Begin this third trimester exercise by standing with your feet together (or hip-width apart for extra balance), toes pointed forward and holding a dumbbell in each hand at your sides. Take a big step to your right with your right foot as you sit back in your hips and extend your left leg straight. Come back up to standing, engaging your butt and core. Do 12 reps on each side.
4. TABLETOP BOOTY LIFT
Sculpts your butt and core.
Start on your hands and knees and extend your right leg straight behind you, toe resting lightly on the ground. With your back flat and core engaged, lift your right leg up to hip height, then lower. Do 15 reps on each side.
5. SIDE PLANK AND LEG LIFT
Sculpts your butt, thighs and obliques.
Start this third pregnancy exercise in a modified side plank position propped up on your left hand with your left (bottom) knee on the ground and right (top) leg extended out straight. Rest your right hand on your right hip. Lift your right leg to hip height as you engage your obliques. Return to start position and repeat. Do 12 reps on each side.