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Every pregnancy is different, and this is especially true regarding how you feel once you reach the third trimester. I have had a goal to keep a fit and active pregnancy from the start, to keep both myself and our baby as healthy as possible. While I was able to maintain close to my pre-pregnancy workouts for the 1st and 2nd trimesters, the third trimester has been a completely different ballgame when it comes to working out.
I’ve found in the first couple of weeks of my 3rd trimester that I have been more fatigued, and my balance is questionable at best. I’m also frequently short of breath just from climbing up my stairs, and it’s even worse if I am trying to carry something at the same time. Many of these changes in how mamas-to-be feel in the third trimester are due to the shift in our center of gravity with our rapidly growing bellies during this time. With the growth of the uterus, it also begins to push into the diaphragm, which can make us occasionally feel short of breath.
Adding in quite a few modifications, I have found that there are quite a few workouts for the third trimester that can be performed safely for both you and your baby. Staying active during this last trimester is still important for maintaining a fit and healthy pregnancy. Continue reading below for some of the workouts for the third trimester that I have found to be great!
Prenatal yoga is an excellent workout for all 3 trimesters of pregnancy, but it is especially important during this last trimester. Modified poses for the third trimester can lengthen, strengthen, and stabilize all of those important muscles for labor and delivery. The majority of yoga poses are safe for the duration of pregnancy, but as you move into the third trimester, it is advised to avoid deep backbends, spending too long inverted or avoiding poses on your back without elevating yourself slightly.
Many yoga studios will offer specialized prenatal classes, and some other gyms only offer prenatal classes. With the COVID-19 situation, gyms have just begun to open again here in Texas. With only a few weeks left in my pregnancy, I have decided to still continue my workouts form home, taking extra precautions to protect my family and me, and to hopefully be able to follow as closely to my birth plan as possible.
The great part about yoga is that it is pretty easy to do at home. The one thing I would suggest is to follow a prenatal program online. I have been a big fan of the AloMoves Yoga Glow 3rd trimester class series. To help your body into the poses and to feel supported during them, I would recommend having a couple of props around the house. The two I think are most critical for an at-home prenatal yoga practice would be a pair of yoga blocks and a bolster.
HIIT workouts and crossfit wods
Performing these workouts likely seems counter-intuitive to what I said about being fatigued during this last trimester. But a lot of modifications can be made in these workouts to help you maintain strength and cardio fitness. One of the keys to safely performing these workouts is to scale back the intensity you would normally give during this type of workout. A great way to measure this is that you should be able to have a conversation with another individual during the workout.
A few other ways to safely perform these workouts for you and your baby is to add in some modifications. For certain exercises, such as lunges or other balance challenging moves, stand near a wall to have a place to hold for balance. The larger you get during pregnancy, the more challenging it is to maintain balance with the shift in your center of gravity. And it definitely is not worth the risk of falling.
For any barbell WODs that involve moving past my belly, i.e., cleans or snatches, I found it much better to switch to dumbbells. This way, I didn’t have to worry about changing my form to accommodate my growing belly, and I was never in danger of harming my belly with a passing barbell. Check out this post if you are looking for more modifications to help you continue CrossFit WODs throughout your pregnancy.
I cannot say enough about walking as an exercise in the third trimester. It is a great way to continue getting a cardio workout. Carrying around an extra 15+ (I’m at an extra 25 pounds now) pounds is no easy feat. Some women can continue to run throughout their pregnancy, but walking truly is just as good of an exercise.
During this trimester, to beat the heat of the day, I’ve been going for early morning walks with my dog. It’s the perfect way for us to both get some exercise, and for me, I find that working out in the morning does help give me an extra boost of energy for the day. Walking about a mile at this time still leaves me feeling good enough to do a little HIIT workout or prenatal yoga later in the afternoon.
Let me know what you are doing to stay active in the third trimester in the comments below.