Exercising During the Second Trimester

Happy Saturday, friends! We're looking out at gloomy skies and rainy streets. I guess it was inevitable that we had to have a rainy weekend at some point. However, tomorrow looks promising.

You may remember I posted about exercise during the first trimester a few months back. While the first trimester brought some changes (predominantly in breathing and pace), the second trimester is where my routine really started to change. It's no surprise that this coincided with an increase in weight and the size of the bump.

The second trimester is considered by most to be weeks 13 or 14  of your pregnancy to the end of week 26. However, I feel like my third trimester (from a fitness standpoint anyway) didn't really start until around week 28. You'll see what I mean in a minute...

Staying strong
Around week 14, doctors recommend pregnant women no longer sleep on their backs because the weight of the little one + the uterus + extra fluid can restrict blood flow to both mom and baby. This also meant that around the 4-5 month mark I started spending less time laying flat on my back, whether it be for strength training, during yoga, or while sleeping.

Body Pump @ the university gym

However, I continued staying strong with my weight training, HIIT workouts (with some modifications: nixing burpees at times, less intense mountain climbers, etc.), and runs. Most of my strength workouts included YouTube videos from the Fitnessista, SarahFit, or the ToneitUp girls.

Push ups became much harder because of the extra weight and eventually turned into knee push ups by the end of the second trimester.

Running to Wogging
At first, I stopped doing Thursday night speed workouts because I simply couldn't run continuously for more than 5 min or so. Gradually, as I neared the end of my second trimester, all of my runs became "wogs" (walk/jogs).

22 weeks

23 weeks

While I would have loved to be one of those women who could sail through 40 weeks of pregnancy running straight through several miles at a time, I think they are few and far between. I was thankful to be running at all through the majority of my second trimester.

24 weeks - 5 mile group run

26 weeks - 4 miles w/ the manfriend

Around week 27 or 28, I headed out from the campus gym for a 4 mile run/walk and several other runners grinned at me and one even threw me the peace sign, so it was clear that the bump was becoming large and in charge to the public. Late in the second trimester, I rarely ran without a belly support band because everything just felt more secure that way.

On the yoga front
This was also about the time that I realized that my typical challenging vinyasa classes were becoming a bit too challenging and fast for this prego to keep up with. Sure, I could still do a lot of the asanas, but the transition from one to the next was at times hard to keep up with.

Instead of giving up on yoga around weeks 27 and 28, I decided to stick to the less challenging classes when it worked into my schedule, use a block as needed, and simply just do my own thing when I needed to. For example, one studio in town tends to incorporate a lot of core work into their classes, usually done lying on the back. I modified this by finding other core work I could do on my forearms or by taking breaks on my side.

Additionally, I stopped fully twisting one elbow to the opposite knee. Not only was it becoming nearly impossible to reach that opposite knee in chair pose or revolved warrior I, but you also don't want to squash the baby, so it just made sense. Instead, I did baby twists originating in my upper back so that I was simply twisting toward that opposite knee.

{FYI: Lindsey has a great post on yoga modifications during pregnancy you may be interested in.}

Water was also a necessity during workouts as my body was getting warmer with my little personal furnace keeping me nice and toasty. While I didn't carry water on my runs, I always brought water to yoga or the gym.

What I wore
By week 20, the bump started to become slightly visible. Slowly but surely, finding something comfortable to wear that covered the bump on runs or at the university gym became more challenging.

What worked for me

  • Sizing up on an Old Navy workout tank and a pair of Zella wide waist band yoga pants
  • Purchasing these maternity yoga pants from Target
  • Relying on my Oiselle and Lululemon tanks + shorts to stretch with the bump

So while the first trimester was more about running through exhaustion, the second trimester was all about being flexible and modifying my routine in order to stay active. 

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I think it's awesome that you were able to do full push-ups for as long as you could as I can't even really do more than 2-3 now with no baby in my belly. ;) I am glad you've found ways to be active throughout your pregnancy, even if that meant modifying workouts and running less/shifting to 'wogging.' Some day when I am pregnant, I hope I am able to stay as active as you've been able to!!
Amber said…
I think you've done an awesome job staying active throughout your pregnancy! My coworker worked out at the gym and did yoga (she's not a runner!) right up until the week before she gave birth and she started doing modifications for core work back around week 14 as well. She would just do blanks or hip raises or things like that. She also found that during Group RX (which is a class we do that's very similar to body pump) it was better for her if she put her bench on an incline.

I definitely hope to stay super active like you and my coworker when I am pregnant! Super inspiring to watch you guys keep up with most of your regular activities!
Leigh said…
You've done awesome with staying active the best you can! I was the same way with running...it would have been nice to keep it up until the end, but the pelvic pain for two days after wasn't worth it
You've stayed very active! I think you are doing more workouts than I am these days. I also need to vary my workout and do a few more days of strength/yoga. I really like doing both, but when I ramp up the running, other things seem to fall away and then I don't always pick them back up.
Lindsey said…
Great post! It's great you have stayed so active, but listened to your body at the same time and modified as needed. Soon you will will be running with your little one in your jogging stroller!

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