Happy Friday! I want to share with you all some exciting news here at our house – I am pregnant with baby #2! I am a few weeks into my second trimester, and I have seriously enjoyed leaving the exhaustion and morning sickness behind with the first trimester. I felt as though I was hibernating for the last 2 months, but with all of the new energy that has kicked in over the last few weeks I have been able to get back into my fitness routine.
When I lived and worked in the city I started running. In the beginning I wasn’t particularly fond of running, but it was the most convenient way I could fit exercise into my unpredictable day. After a few months, I began to enjoy it, and a few months after that, if I missed more than a day or two, I craved it. When I found out I was pregnant with Sloane I continued running, up until around 6 months when the bouncing and pounding became to uncomfortable on my growing belly and joints. I did continue to walk around 3 miles a day, not because I was so motivated, but because that was my commute from the train station to and from my office. I also did yoga throughout the entire pregnancy, and I think all of these forms of exercise helped both in labor and childbirth, as well as with getting my body back after Sloane was born.
I was very happy with the moderate level of fitness and exercise I maintained throughout my pregnancy, but after Sloane was born I soon realized something; with all the running and walking I had not strengthened my upper body or back. I had never thought my biceps could be so tired, but when you’re carrying a baby around in your arms all day, your arms, shoulders, and back certainly get a workout!
So, this time around I am taking a different approach. I am following pregnancy workouts that focus on my whole body, strengthening my upper and lower body, as well as my core. It might seem counterintuitive to work your core while carrying a baby, but your core is more than just your abs; it is all the muscles that make up your midsection: front, back, sides, and the muscles around your pelvis. Your core is essentially used in every movement you make, and having a strong core can help prevent or alleviate back pain during pregnancy, aid in an easier childbirth, and help with a faster recovery. However, there are some core exercises that you want to avoid during pregnancy, such as traditional crunches and sit-ups. Remember, you always want to talk to your doctor before beginning a new exercise routine during pregnancy, and if you’re unsure as to whether a certain move is safe for you and baby, ask.
I want to share 3 of my favorite 2nd trimester pregnancy workout moves here with you today. For 2 of these moves I like to use light 5lb weights. It is safe to use weights during pregnancy, but you want to go light. If you are used to working out with heavier weights, choose a lighter set and do more reps.
Sumo Squat with Press – 16 reps
A sumo squat is a great low-impact exercise to do during pregnancy. It helps strengthen your legs and pelvic floor, both of which you want strong for childbirth. It also require your core be engaged to help you balance, and the added press will strengthen your shoulders and biceps.
Alternating Bent Over Row – 16 reps (8 each side)
Similar to the Sumo Squat with Press, this is another low-impact exercise that will work your entire body. The alternating lunge works your legs, and being in that bent over lunge position challenges your balance, engaging your core. When doing the row imagine trying to squeeze a pencil between your shoulder blades. This works your triceps as well as your back and shoulders.
Side Plank Leg Lift – 16 reps each side
Side planks are great during pregnancy, or any time for that matter. A plank may not seem like much, but if you’ve ever done one you know it is a total body workout. The leg lift adds a little extra focus on the legs, glutes, and obliques. You can choose to do this one in a full side plank, or a great modification is to bend your leg closest to the ground. Even if you choose to do the modification, remember to focus on lifting from your hip to work those side muscles.
The most important thing to keep in mind when working out during pregnancy is to ALWAYS listen to your body. If something is uncomfortable, don’t do it. If you are breathing so hard you can’t speak a sentence, take a break. Drink lots of water, and take longer rests in between moves than you might when you’re not pregnant. Don’t be discouraged if you find yourself getting tired faster, or if you can’t use the same weights you did before. That is perfectly normal, and you should be proud of yourself of what you are doing for you and your baby <3
Let me know what you think!
My name is Jessica and I am a wife, mom, and wellness coach. I love keeping my family healthy and happy and my passion is sharing my family friendly recipes and workout tips with all of you. If you enjoyed this workout tip please follow me on Facebook athttps://www.facebook.com/JessicaDooley.mamabefit/
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