How My Workouts Changed Through Pregnancy
I have been working out since the day I found out I was expecting. I have actually been working out wayyyy long before that! But since becoming pregnant, there were a lot of things that stayed the exact same… while there were some things that totally had to change.
Things honestly did not change at all. From the moment I got my first positive test result, I kept doing what I had been doing for the last few years-just minus the box jumping and other activities that could risk me falling or getting hit in the belly. From my experience, if you have been doing an activity for years and years and if your doctor says its ok, then there’s no reason to stop! Just be careful is all and listen to your wonderful body of yours.
Luckily, I did not have too much sickness and I actually never threw up once so the nausea did not hinder my workouts.
What I did during the first trimester:
- More cardio: Prior to pregnancy, I had only been aiming for 20 minutes per day because I really did not need to do much cardio, but since I knew that I was now growing a baby, I upped my cardio to 30 minutes per day for 5 days per week. My favorite form of cardio during pregnancy has been my incline trainer.
- Stopped HIIT. During the critical first few weeks, while I did up my cardio, I eased off a bit on my HIIT routine. This meant NO MORE BURPEES.. at least for a bit. This didn’t mean that burpees are unsafe during pregnancy-I personally just wanted to avoid them while my pregnancy was in its most vital stage.
- Lifting lighter: I was lifting pretty heavy prior to pregnancy so I had to alter how much weight I was now using since I was newly pregnant. Too much strain on your body in the early weeks of pregnancy could result in a miscarriage so I did not want to risk that. Now, don’t get me wrong-I did not go pick up 1lb dumbbells or anything! I just decreased my load by a couple of weight plates is all. I still lifting about 50lbs or so with my barbell and used 15lb dumbbells (30lbs total) each. I guess you could say that it was still “heavy” to your average Jane, but to me it was a significant change.
The second trimester is when things starting getting a bit different. I felt great in my 2nd tri as most ladies do and I had so much energy to burn-and I took full advantage of it all!
What I did during the 2nd trimester:
- Crossfit: Since my energy came back, I started up my Crossfit routine again mainly by doing a series of kettlebell exercises and workouts.
- No more ab exercises. I was never really big into doing ab work during pregnacy mainly because I did not want to split my abs in two, but whatever small moves I was doing I either did them minimally or stopped doing them altogether. I definitely stopped any twisting movements though I did not do much during the first trimester as well as plank moves.
- Wearing my pelvic support belt. Once my belly started growing enough, I knew it was time to slip on my Upsie Belly. As your belly grows and your weight increases, you will need something to help support that extra weight. This belly band is the most sturdy, durable band I have ever tried-not to mention it is so comfortable. I wear it to sleep, when I go shopping at the grocery store, and while I workout for extra support. It helps keep my belly off of my bladder while I am running so I do not have any accidents! It also helps to ease round ligamentm pelvic, and lower back pains.
- Started doing HIIT again. Since I was past the 12 week “safe mark” for miscarrying, I decided to start my old HIIT routine back up. I did jumping jacks, squat jumps, jump lunges, mountain climbers, etc. Since my body was used to this type of “beating” for years, I figured why not continue? Please take note though: it is not recommended that all pregnant ladies do HIIT during pregnancy as some can’t so please ask your OB/GYN before attempting.
The third trimester was when the true modifications began for me! Obviously with a growing belly and less space, I was certainly starting to feel more challenged-not to mention I had started experiencing symptoms of SPD or Symphysis Pubic Dysfunction which I started seeing the chiropractor for.
The 3rd trimestser started off with a bang of energy and as the weeks dragged on, the energy slowly started to fade. For most of my 3rd tri, I was doing 5% on the incline trainer at 3mph , but by week 34 I started feeling sluggish and my ankles felt so heavy when I would try to walk uphill. Therefore, the biggest modification was alternating walking between 0%-5% incline. I still did 30 minutes which was super, but I did 5% for 5 minutes, 0% for the next 5, then switched back to 5% for the next 5, and so forth. This allowed me to keep going while also giving me a “rest” period. I still kept going at 3pmh so the speed never changed.
What I did during the 3rd trimester:
- Cardio. (as mentioned above) 30 minutes, 5 days per week. Alternating 0%-5% incline at 3mph.
- Weightlifting. 20 minutes, 5 days per week. Alternating upper & lower body (barbell squats, dumbbell curls, etc)
- 12 Week Prenatal Workout Program Part 3: I did part 3 of my own prenatal home workout program in the evenings. I saved cardio and weights for the mornings.
- Lots of walking. There’s nothing that helps baby come on time than walking. I made sure to park far when I went to the grocery store. I went on tons and tons of shopping trips to our outdoor mall and outlet mall as an excuse to go walk. I tried to limit my sitting as much as possible towards the last few weeks.
- Ball exercises. I love my fitness ball-like LOVE IT. I swear its what helped my son move down into position with my last pregnancy and I swear by ball bouncing! I made it a point to start using my fitness ball as a chair since it allowed my hips and pelvis to open wider. I also did a few good exercises with the ball to help make labor a bit easier on my pelvis.
- Yoga. Possibly the only thing that saved my achy back once my daughter dropped. Butterfly pose was my favorite.
How did your workouts change throughout your pregnancy?
Your trainer and friend,