Fitness expert Katrina Scott knows a thing or two about exercising during pregnancy. The co-founder oftone up, the mega-popular fitness brand, just went Mom and shares pregnancy-safe exercises you can do each trimester to stay strong and healthy. As always, if you have specific questions or concerns, talk to your doctor and get the green light before you get started.
In this article:
Exercises for the first trimester.
Exercises for the second trimester.
Exercises in the third trimester.
First Trimester Exercises for a Full Body Pregnancy Workout
When it comes to exercise during pregnancy, two of the biggest challenges are time and energy, especially in the early stages. This first trimester workout fits perfectly into a quick, energizing strength routine that will tone you from head to toe. Perform the circuit below 2-3 times, resting 60 seconds (or as long as needed) between circuits.
squats and presses
Shapes legs, buttocks and shoulders.
Stand at hip height and hold a dumbbell in each hand at shoulder height. Keeping your chest up and core engaged, lower yourself into a squat position, keeping your butt and thighs as parallel to the floor as possible. Drive through your heels and back to a standing position as you lift the dumbbells overhead. Do 15 repetitions.
Reverse lunge and curl
Tones legs, buttocks and biceps.
For this first trimester exercise, start with your feet together and hold a dumbbell in each hand at your sides. Engaging your core, step back with your right foot and lower yourself down until your legs are bent 90 degrees and your back knee is hovering just above the floor. At the same time, raise the dumbbells to your chest. Return to standing position by stepping forward with your right foot and lowering the dumbbells. Repeat on the other side. Do 12 repetitions on each side.
One Arm Row and Triceps Counterpunch
Back and triceps shapes.
Start with your left foot in front of your right, your left knee slightly bent, and your left hand on your left thigh. Hold a dumbbell in your right hand with your arm extended toward the floor. Row the dumbbell to chest height, keeping your elbow close to your body, then extend your arm back. Return the movement to the starting position. Do 12 repetitions on each side.
Tone your glutes, arms and core.
In the first trimester, begin this exercise on your hands and knees with your back straight and core tight. Extend your right leg back while extending your left arm in front of you. Return to the starting position and repeat on the other side. Do 12 repetitions on each side.
Side Prancha Crunch
Shape your obliques and shoulders.
Start in a modified side plank position on your left hand with your left (bottom) knee on the floor and your right (top) leg straight. Reach your right arm directly above you. Bring the right elbow towards the right knee while contracting the obliques. Return to starting position and repeat. Do 12 repetitions on each side.
Second trimester exercises for upper body during pregnancy
This second trimester exercise routine focuses on strengthening your postural muscles to keep you strong, properly aligned, and pain free throughout your pregnancy. After all, you need to support that growing bulge! Perform the circuit below 2-3 times for an amazing arm workout that will tone your biceps, triceps, shoulders and postural muscles. Rest 60 seconds between circuits. And don't forget to hydrate!
roll and press
Shape your biceps and shoulders.
Stand hip-width apart and hold a dumbbell in each hand at your sides. Keeping your chest lifted and core tight, raise the dumbbells to shoulder height, then push them up. Reverse the movement and repeat. Do 15 repetitions.
bow tie folded
Shape the shoulders and back.
Begin this second trimester exercise by standing with your knees bent and holding a dumbbell in each hand, palms facing each other. Bend forward at the waist and keep your back straight. Raise both arms out to the side, keeping your elbows slightly bent as you squeeze your shoulder blades together. Lower the dumbbells back to the starting position in a controlled manner. Do 15 repetitions.
one arm row
Tones back and arms.
Start with your left foot in front of your right, your left knee slightly bent, and your left hand on your left thigh. Hold a dumbbell in your right hand with your arm extended toward the floor. Row the dumbbell to chest height, keeping your elbow close to your body, then return to the starting position. Do 15 repetitions on each side.
alternate lift forward
Tones shoulders and arms.
For this second trimester workout, start by standing up straight, holding a dumbbell in each hand with your palms resting on the front of your thighs. Raise your right arm directly in front of you to shoulder height and return to starting position. Repeat on the left side. Do 15 repetitions on each side.
Shape the triceps and chest.
Get on your knees and place your hands a little closer than shoulder-width apart. Keeping your arms straight (elbows not extended), lower your hips until your body forms a straight line from head to knees. Keeping your elbows close to your body, lower yourself as close to the floor as possible (if the bulge will allow it) and push yourself up. Do 12 repetitions.
Third trimester exercises for a lower body workout during pregnancy
A strong butt and strong legs are everything during the third trimester (not to mention labor and beyond!). The best thing about glute training? You can do them during pregnancy! Repeat the following circuit 2-3 times, resting 60 seconds (or as long as necessary) between circuits. And, of course, remember to stay hydrated.
Bent and Pulse Squats
Shape your entire lower body.
For this third trimester workout, stand with your feet wider than hip-width apart, toes pointed, hold a dumbbell in both hands, and stretch your arms out in front of you. Keeping your chest up and core tight, lower yourself down until your thighs are as parallel to the floor as possible. Press up an inch, then down an inch, and through your heels to come back. Do 15 repetitions.
single leg deadlift
Shape your butt, legs and core.
Stand with your feet together and hold a dumbbell in each hand in front of your hips. Shift your weight onto your left foot, with your knees slightly bent. (Use your right foot as a support for extra balance if needed.) Keeping your back straight, bend at the hips and lower your torso to the floor, extend the dumbbells toward your supporting foot as your right leg is extended behind you. Engage your butt and core and drive through your heel to lift yourself up. Do 12 repetitions on each side.
Shape your buttocks and legs.
Begin this third trimester exercise by standing with your feet together (or hip-width apart for balance), toes pointed forward, and holding a dumbbell in each hand at your sides. Take a big step to the right with your right foot as you lean back at the hips and straighten your left leg. Return to standing position and engage your butt and core. Do 12 repetitions on each side.
Increased table loot
Shape your butt and core.
Starting on your hands and knees, extend your right leg back with your toes flat on the floor. Keeping your back straight and core tight, lift your right leg to hip height and lower it. Do 15 repetitions on each side.
Leg raises and side planks
Models buttocks, thighs and obliques.
Begin this third pregnancy exercise in a modified side plank position, resting on your left hand, with your left (bottom) knee on the floor and your right (top) leg straight. Place your right hand on your right hip. Raise your right leg to hip height while contracting your obliques. Return to starting position and repeat. Do 12 repetitions on each side.
For more pregnancy workouts, including strength training, full-body sculpting, and more, download theAplicativo Studio Tone It Up. Visit the app's Pregnancy On Demand channel to find tons of amazing pregnancy workouts just for you.
Katrina Scott holds a BA in Health and Fitness Promotion and is a certified Master Trainer and Group Fitness Instructor. She startedtone upwith co-founder Karena Dawn in 2009, a fitness brand that has grown to offer workout routines through its app and website, as well as meal plans, apparel, and more. She gave birth to her first child in October 2018. Follow her on Instagram.@katrinascott.
Posted in October 2018
Note: The Bump and the materials and information contained therein are not intended to constitute health or medical advice or diagnoses and should not be relied upon as such. You should always consult a qualified physician or health care professional about your specific circumstances.
Also, more from The Bump:
What to do and what not to do in pregnancy training
The best workout clothes for pregnant women
10 myths about pregnancy debunked
When should you start prenatal workouts? ›
You can start exercising at any time during your pregnancy. Even if you're used to being active, you'll need to adapt your activities a bit as your bump gets bigger.What are good pregnancy workouts first trimester? ›
It is best to favor low impact exercises — especially walking, yoga, swimming, and water aerobics — during this time. Some slightly more vigorous exercises may also be appropriate in the first trimester. Examples of these include running, jogging, and moderate weightlifting.What exercise program for 2nd trimester pregnancy? ›
Choose low-impact exercises like walking, swimming, and yoga. Start with a low level of exertion and work up to 30 minutes a day, three to five times a week. If you can, work with a trainer who has expertise in working out during pregnancy.Which trimester is exercise most important? ›
Third trimester exercises are some of the most important, helping to alleviate aches and pains while also prepping your body for labor. These exercises will open up the hips and pelvis, strengthening the muscles you'll be using during childbirth.How many times a week should a pregnant woman exercise? ›
For most pregnant women, at least 30 minutes of moderate-intensity exercise is recommended on most, if not all, days of the week.