Full Circle Blog:

How to Exercise During Each Trimester of Pregnancy

September 24, 2014

Did you know that those who are active throughout their pregnancy have more endurance and flexibility within labor? 

Below, we share some of our staff’s recommendations for strengthening your core, increasing your flexibility and improving your stamina. Keep in mind that talking to your health care provider is always a good idea, before taking on strenuous activity during pregnancy. 

Feeling like you’re out of alignment, to begin with? Katy Says is an excellent resource to get you started.

  • First trimester: during your first trimester your baby’s major organs are forming, and you want to keep your core temperature fairly stable. During this time, focus on workouts that increase your abdominal and pelvic floor muscles.
  • Second Trimester: During your second trimester, your belly begins to grow substantially, causing the center of your gravity to shift. During this time, consider sticking to flat tracks or pavement, to minimize the risk of falling
  • Third Trimester: Be particularly conscious of listening to your body during this trimester. Don’t push yourself if your body is telling you to slow your pace. 
Yoga as a compliment to other exercise
  • First Trimester: be sure to tell your yoga instructor that you are pregnant, so that they can help you make any necessary adaptations you may not have thought of yourself. During the first trimester, your uterus is still fairly small, so your practice should be able to continue as usual. However, you should err on the side of caution if you feel any discomfort
  • Second Trimester: you usually start to show during your second trimester, which means your uterus is no longer protected by your pelvis. During this time, you should ensure that you adapt your poses accordingly. 
  • Third Trimester: Decrease your inversions around 36 weeks, as your baby is moving into the birth position. There are also certain poses you should discontinue practicing, such as Legs Up the Wall and Bridge Pose. Make sure to talk to your instructor about these and other changes and adaptations you should make during this time. 
Interested in getting started? Join our partners, Creation Yoga, for a class.

Strength Training: 
  • Tone your biceps: toning your biceps is a great way to prepare for carting around your little one. Begin by using light weights to use for bicep curls.
  • Kegel Exercises: the pressures of pregnancy and delivery particularly affect your vagina and anal sphincter. Focusing on exercises to help strengthen your pelvic floor are particularly important, during this time.
  • Squats: This exercise strengthens and tones your thighs and is particularly useful for women who plan to deliver in the squatting position.
Find more strength training exercises here
Looking for a structured workout? We suggest trying the DIA method.  

Have questions, comments or something to add? We’d love to hear from you in the comments below, or via our Facebook or Twitter!