Welcome to the 2nd trimester and what many call the blissful trimester! For me, this time definitely brought me the very best during my pregnancy. I felt the most like myself. I was energized. I was working out very regularly and enjoying my prenatal workouts! This trimester did definitely bring about some major changes to what I could do for fitness, so I’ll share my top 5 2nd trimester prenatal workout modifications here.
As you know, this spring, I’m releasing my prenatal and postpartum fitness plan. All the workouts I did during pregnancy will be in there. If you’re interested in more on how I safely and effectively worked out while pregnant, be sure to leave your name and email here so I can contact you when that plan is up.
TOP 5 2ND TRIMESTER WORKOUT MODIFICATIONS
CORE/AB TRAINING TWEAKS (DIASTASIS RECTI TIP!)
This modification I was very into during the 2nd trimester! First off, during pregnancy, I did reduce direct ab work (like crunches and sit ups) BUT I kept up with core work. It’s very beneficial and important to have a strong core throughout pregnancy and it’s especially helpful for birth. When I had my son, I pushed for a very short amount of time (between 10-15 mins) and I accredit a lot that to what I did during pregnancy.
A strong core is also important as it can help reduce lower back pain which is a very common symptom of pregnancy especially in the second and third trimesters.
There will be A LOT on this in the MOM plans coming in spring. If you’re thinking “okay, I need more info,” hold tight – I’ll have a further discussion as well as specific core/pelvic floor exercises I did during pregnancy and postpartum.
LIMIT EXERCISES ON THE BACK
For obvious reasons, exercises on your tummy down are a no go. Many doctors will tell you to limit the time you’re on your back to just a few minutes for blood flow reasons. Personally, I tried not to spend any time on my back at all, so remove exercises that involve you laying on your back (like chest presses). It’s pretty easy to find alternate movements that target the same muscle groups.
BE CAREFUL WITH YOUR RANGE OF MOTION
The hormone relaxin, which increases during pregnancy relaxes the ligaments such as in the pelvis to allow for a growing baby. When it comes to workouts, you may notice you are able to stretch more and increase your range of motion because of this hormone BUT be careful! It’s not uncommon to “overstretch” especially in the legs and groin, which can lead to strained muscles and pain.
LOWER THE OVERALL INTENSITY
Another general modification I made to my workouts in the 2nd trimester was reducing the overall intensity. When you’re an active person, you’re used to pushing yourself outside of your comfort zone; “one more rep” is a pretty common thought to someone who workouts regularly. However, as a pregnant woman, I felt more comfortable decided to reduce the intensity. I achived this in a few ways: decreasing reps, working out for shorter periods of time, using lighter weight, and resting longer in between sets. You don’t have to do all of that at once but listen to your body and don’t be afraid to slow down.
REMIND YOURSELF OF YOUR GOALS
The 2nd trimester brought about a bit of gym frustration for me. I wasn’t able to lift as heavy. I would get winded much more quickly. It was easy to feel frustrated with myself. I really had to remind myself of my pregnancy fitness goals, which allowed for a clearer mind and more enjoyable workouts.
PREGNANCY FITNESS GOALS:
- focus on overall health for myself and my baby
- sustain muscle and strength for labor
- focus on core strength for birth, balance and stability
- stay active to reduce pains
- maintain a healthy weight gain
- prioritize health to make postpartum fitness easier
- feel good throughout pregnancy