You’ve made it to second trimester! Hopefully you enjoyed the 1st Trimester Pregnancy Guide and before we head to the 3rd Trimester and Post Baby Guide, now is the time when you will probably feel best – yeah! Hormones have leveled out, your energy may return and now you can spread the word! Of course, every pregnancy is different and if you are still not feeling 100% that is normal too. Just keep your doctor informed and always listen to his/her advice.
Ladies, this is the time to stand up straight! As soon as that baby starts to grow it can wreak havoc on your back and shoulders. If you are able to counteract that extra weight in front by standing straight, you will decrease the chance of back problems in the near future. Here are some tips on how to stand with that invisible book on your head.
First, stand with feet directly under your hips and then squeeze your butt. By tightening your glutes, you automatically start to straighten your spine and correctly position your pelvis. Next, while your buns are still tight, take a deep breath into your belly, this will correctly position your ribcage over your pelvis. To stabilize in this position, pull your belly button in towards your spine, think about 20% pull in, holding baby high and tight. This will engage your transverse abs, the “sling” responsible for keeping baby up. Now breathe out but keep the tension in those abs, this will be the space into which you will now breathe. Next, lift arms towards the sky and rotate palms up and pull head/chin over your shoulders , this will move your shoulders into a neutral position. Lastly, let your arms fall to your sides, keeping palms facing forward. Once they are at your sides, you can let your hands relax, but keep those shoulders open.
Try this sequence anytime you begin to feel back pain. You may find instant relief just by taking the stress off your shoulders and back and putting your weight directly over your hips and legs, where it is meant to be. Remember, the more baby grows, the more stress your back and shoulders will have if you are not properly aligned. Practice this now and by third trimester, you will have abs of steel and less back pain!
Listen to your body!
As you grow, you will find that some exercises are not as easy as they used to be, especially when the belly starts to get in the way. This is ok and normal. Just modify and move on! If it doesn’t feel right, listen to your body and find something else to replace it. You may find that running may create extra pressure on your bladder. To modify you could either shorten your runs or run where you know you can take bathroom breaks. Find a route with public toilets. Most exercises you were doing before are acceptable now, but don’t push past those uncomfortable physical feelings. Stay hydrated by drinking water every 5 minutes. You probably want to avoid exercises lying flat on your belly, let’s try and keep baby safe. Build up to 30 minutes of activity per day, 5 days a week or total 150 minutes of moderate intensity activity a week.
It is safe and ok to begin or continue using weights in your exercise program. Building muscle will help keep your body tone, aid in the recovery process and can help with delivery.
Squats: By building strength in your legs and glutes you create the foundation for holding up that belly! As a nice bonus as to building lower body strength, you are also using your core (abs) which help carry baby as it grows. Begin with feet a little more that hip width apart. Start the posture bracing sequence above and once your glutes are tight, you may relax and sit back on your heels (imagine hovering over a toilet), keeping your knees directly over your knees. Lower until your thighs are parallel to the ground and then stand up through your heels and squeeze your buns again. Repeat this 15-20 times for 3 sets. As you become stronger you can add dumbbells or squat with a bar with added weight.
Pushups: Of course it is possible to do pushups while pregnant! Pushups are great since you activate your core (again) and use most of your arm muscles in the process. You can modify pushups by pushing against a wall with feet out at an angle, on the floor from your knees hip width apart or from your feet, also hip width apart. In any of these pushups forms, place your hands directly under your shoulders and bring your body towards the wall or floor keeping your body in a straight plank position and then rising up again until your arms are straight. Try to keep your elbows pointed behind you as you lower yourself down. Try for 3 sets of 10.
Keeping that heart rate up will ensure you are getting an effective workout. Cardio is key in keeping that blood pumping. Cardio exercise includes stair walking, running/ jogging, aerobics class, swimming, biking or anything that keeps you slightly out of breath. On your own you can try interval Tabata sets. These are great 4 minute sets that get your heart rate up but end so quickly you forget you even started! Try this set:
High Knees or Running in place (20 seconds)
10 second rest
Jumping jacks (jumping exercise are safe during pregnancy)(20 Seconds)
10 second rest
Lunge backs (20 Seconds)
10 second rest
10 second rest and immediately repeat once for a total of 4 minutes
You can take any cardio exercises and strength training exercise you know to create Tabata sets. Try for 5-8 different sets in a day to really feel the difference!
Ladies, this is the best you may feel during your pregnancy, so take advantage of it! Use that extra energy and sneak in some quick workouts so you are prepared for the end. Always remember to listen to your doctor. If you have questions about how to do any workouts, you can ask a trainer at a local gym, shoot me an email, take a class or even look up proper form on the internet. No excuses mamas! Let’s keep you looking and feeling great so you can indulge a little while you are baking that bun!
Now onto the 3rd Trimester Pregnancy Fitness Guide Gals!
Written by Zuri Girl, Leticia Mora. A Personal Trainer since 2012 with a background in psychology and fitness, she makes personal training a perfect combination to motivate and get people on a healthy lifestyle track. She absolutely loves helping people to realize their goals. Since moving to Switzerland she has started Rockin Bods, a personal training company.print