Exercise in the Second Trimester

Most women are told to continue doing what they were doing prior to pregnancy or to just listen to their body. But what does that really mean as you start to notice more physical changes in the second trimester?

In this blog, I will help you navigate through the overwhelm and give guidance on what you should take into consideration and how you can adjust movement when needed.

For many women, with the second trimester comes more energy, less nausea, and overall feeling a bit better than the first trimester. It also comes with a growing baby bump, shifts in balance, more pressure in the pelvis, and changes in posture to accommodate your evolving body.

If you are still feeling sick and have really low energy, check out my blog on exercise in the first trimester HERE-you may feel better sticking with that for a while longer (and throughout your pregnancy).

I am nearing the end of my third pregnancy and this one has been different in many ways to my previous two pregnancies. So I just want to remind you that every woman and every pregnancy is different; what works for one woman may not be the best option for the next. As I share this information, know that these are not hard and fast rules to live by.

When I am working with pregnant (and postpartum) clients, I am taking their individual experiences into consideration each session to help them determine the best course of action for their goals.

Okay, now let’s dive into these considerations.

How do you know if you should make a change with your movement?

If you experience any of the following symptoms (even if just a little bit), it may be time to make an adjustment, switch to another exercise, or consult with your OB, pelvic floor physical therapist or coach:

  • Coning or doming along the midline of the abdomen

  • Pulling sensations in the abdomen

  • ANY amount of unintentional leaking (urine or feces)

  • Pelvic pain or pressure

  • Heaviness or a bulge feeling in the vagina

  • Pain during or after exercise (back, hips, pelvic, belly)

  • Fatigue, exhaustion, or excessive soreness-this is likely a sign you need to back off a bit

  • Spotting or bleeding-some women experience this in pregnancy, but it’s best to call your doctor right away if you notice any amount of blood

These are some ways you can learn to listen to your body.

What are common exercises that need to be adjusted in the second trimester?

This is by no means an all-inclusive list, but these are common ones that I get asked about and often help my clients find better ways to adjust these.

  • Running-check out THIS BLOG for more in-depth information on running in pregnancy

  • Jumping exercises (jump rope, box jumps, broad jumps, etc.)-check out THIS BLOG

  • Pull-ups-check out THIS BLOG

  • Other gymnastics exercises (handstand push-ups/walking, rope climbs, ring dips, ring and bar work like toes-to-bar, muscle ups, L-sits and hangs, etc)

  • Burpees-check out THIS BLOG

  • Olympic lifting-check out THIS BLOG

  • Maximal (and near-max) weightlifting-check out THIS BLOG

  • Traditional core work (sit-ups, V-ups, toes-to-bar or hanging leg/knee raises, planks, etc)-check out THIS BLOG

  • Wide-stance exercises (lunges, lateral lunges, wide squats, etc.) if they cause pelvic pain-check out THIS BLOG

  • Impact sports