Ever wonder what kind of fitness to focus on in each trimester during pregnancy?
Heck, did you even consider that different stages of pregnancy determine different focuses? I definitely didn’t during my first two… Until I researched an obsessive-level amount on prenatal fitness and found quality evidenced based info.
So – because I love you guys, I did the work for you and want to share what each trimester’s focus needs to be.
- Increasing overall strength
- Increase function within your core + pelvic floor
- Get a baseline core and pelvic floor, what is YOUR normal?
- Develop a solid aerobic foundation
- Focus on health improvements, find a rhythm that doesn’t over stress your body
- Rest adequately between sessions//workouts
- Continue to stay active if you experience *mild* fatigue
Listen, there are a crap ton of changes that happen in your body during the first trimester of pregnancy. You have pretty much an increase in anything you can think of- blood volume, heart rate, hCG (what makes you feel nauseous), hCS, and other hormones like hPL, estrogen and progesterone. Your body is doing a lot! This may cause symptoms like fatigue, morning sickness (aka all day sickness), and you may experience tender breasts, headaches, vivid dreams + insomnia.
So what does this mean for movement? And how do you marry these symptoms + your fitness focus together?
Figure out your personal goals for your pregnancy, and align your movement patterns to them. Hint: A fit pregnancy goes far beyond just moving 5x a week, gaining physical strength or having a *belly* only pregnancy. 😉. Your body is doing a lot, especially in the first trimester. So give yourself grace, move how + when you can, and remember this season is temporary. The energy will more than likely pick up and you will feel more like a normal human again soon. Promise. 💜
Other goals within fitness may include reducing low back + pelvic pain, continuing to work on diaphragmatic breathing + connection breaths, being able to both relax and contract core + pelvic floor well, and avoid exercises that cause symptoms of coning or doming of the abdominal wall.
The 2nd trimester is the time when you would sub out barbell work for dumbbell or kettlebells due to the bar path being altered. Another fun fact, you can still lay in supine position as long as you don’t get light headed or nauseated- which this will be different for every woman.
This is also the trimester in which you will slowly be modifying high impact exercises like box jumps, running, burpees and squat jumps, etc. One way I do this is I often program MIC for my clients – it gets their heart rate up and increases intensity of the workout without causes high impact to the pelvic floor or core. 👊🏻⚡️
Ask yourself if you’re not sure of a movement – what’s the risk vs reward? Can I achieve my goal with another movement?
Remember this season is temporary; you won’t lose your fitness. Surrender to this process and come out stronger on the other side. 🔥⚡️
Your little baby gains close to half a pound each week towards the end, so your body will be changing on the weekly. What felt great one week may not the next, this is a great time to practice body awareness and listen for feedback such as low back pain, pelvic pain, leakage, achiness with your vulva, doming in abdominal wall, headaches, etc. be aware of what your body is communicating then adjust the plan as necessary.
If you’re in the 3rd trimester, remember you’re SO CLOSE. Continue to prepare for birth and recovery. Your future self will be glad you did!
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Want more guidance and programming for this journey? I have the perfect program for you!