First of all, I would say don’t bother!!!! I would use this time to really indulge and get fat, I mean at what other point in your life can you justify eating a 10 pack of doughnuts…..”its for the baby”
BUT if you are silly like me and still have this drive that you need to work out, you totally still can whilst you are preggers (plus makes you feel better about eating so much cake and excuse to buy new gym gear for expanding body)
I always avoid running completely as it feels like the baby is going to fall out of my v*gina. So my exercise of choice this time is mellow work outs in the gym. Yoga and swimming also, but I’m actually feeling good with the more active stuff this pregnancy so rolling with it (hit gymnastics/ snowboarding on the head after googling “what exercise to avoid during pregnancy”…both featured top of the list)
It’s a sensible idea to get a personal trainer to devise you a special pregnancy workout in the gym. But here are some of my experiences:
The First Trimester
There’s some weird rule that you are not allowed to start a new exercise whilst pregnant, only carry on with what you were doing before (bar bungee jumping, sky diving, racing car driving etc). So that’s what drove me to drag my sorry self-pitying self to the gym in the first trimester. If I stopped, I couldn’t go back. That was HARD. You’re feeling SO rough….but no body knows. You’re slacking, but can’t tell anyone why. Puke mid session, everyone thinks you’re hung over . You need to clutch your boobs to stop them wobbling and hurting…..everyone just think your plain weird. BUT just hold onto the fact, that all will be revealed soon, and actually, no one is taking any notice of you anyway as they are all wrapped up in their own routines and looking at their muscles in the mirror.
So anything you achieve in the first trimester, even just getting the gym and “stretching on a yoga mat” is a massive accomplishment, give your self a pat on the back. Take it mega easy, this is really important, crucial time for baby cooking. Id stick to things that don’t make you jiggle around too much and make you sick. You can do pretty much what you used to do at this stage (within reason), but take it down a million notches and don’t be silly, you’ll know what feels right and ok to do. Have everything on a lower resistance and 100% avoid that vibrating machine that tones up your muscles (breakfast milkshake anyone??!). Don’t push yourself, if you’re all sweaty and out of breath you have probably gone too far. Goes without saying that if you start to feel really funny then stop and take a breather. Really just survive at this stage and know that IT WILL feel better soon. Promise. Ironically, whilst I was actually “working out” (loose term) I didn’t feel quite as rough, sure it actually helped me slightly.
The Second Trimester
For me this didn’t feel like it started until week 16-18. I started to get my energy back and the main thing is I stopped feeling/ being sick (this was hands down the worst bit for me). Only trouble is onlookers prob still can’t tell you’re pregnant (too many pies?). So I recommend excessively rubbing your belly in a pregnant sort of way and maybe wearing a t-shirt that says “pregnant not fat” (do they sell these??). Exercise felt good for me in this trimester, I almost had more energy than before. I felt like I had a great excuse not to push myself so actually enjoyed it more!
But now you have to be more careful with the exercise you do. No more exercise that involve lying on your back. Try not to work your stomach muscles (sit ups/crunches) and focus more of your core. Now is NOT the time to get a six-pack. Keep everything in-line ie: no twisting exercises. Again don’t push yourself, it’s not about building your strength/ stamina, it’s about just keeping everything on a level and literally plodding along. You can use this time to maybe do exercises/ machines you didn’t do before? I used to do loads of stomach stuff, but I’ve replaced that with arm stuff. Never massively worked on arms as I think it makes me look butch. But what the hell now, might as well have butch arms to go with my butch belly. Anyway, just enjoy working out and feeling good…..before the struggle begins again
NB: Do your legs get more muscley anyway just from carrying the extra weight?? No need for squats? Always wondered.
The Third Trimester
Well you officially look pregnant, thank god! I’ve noticed people are looking differently at me now. I cant figure out whether they think I’m silly for being there and I should be at home eating cake (yes please), or if they think it’s a good thing im working out?? Ooooor if they are actually concerned that they may have to help deliver the baby by the cross trainer (would I get a free gym pass if I you have a baby in the gym? Worth looking into). Either way, people are getting mats down for me, holding the door open (will I squeeze through??!) and giving up machines for me. Its lovely!
I’ve only just entered into this trimester and I have definitely felt in my last couple of work outs that I’m on “the turn” now. The same workout is feeling a lot harder. I’m getting really out of breath and my heart feels like its going to beat out of my chest sometimes….. and I just get SO FLIPPING HOT. Not to mention that I’m not nearly as graceful (???) moving from position to position on the mats!!! Beached Whale much? Workouts are cut short due to numerous visits to the loo and my motivation is seriously starting to dwindle. But im determined to keep going. Might even use a couple of the machines to try to coax the baby out if I go over due!
So this is the trimester to wind it down, actually get worse and more lazy. Literally go at everything at a snail’s pace: super low resistance, less reps, less time on things, more time chatting and more time on sit down granny bikes. Def don’t look at yourself in the mirror as you waddle in-between machines and/or compare yourself to the hotties in sports bras, most disheartening. 100% avoid exercises that feel like you might accidentally push the baby out (I did some squats this morning and they felt weird, but might just be me?). Even if you are hardly doing anything in reality, to you it will probably feel like you are doing a marathon. Remember to make way for your bump whilst doing exercises, this normally means legs slightly wider apart (looking lovely fatty). And definitely remember to stretch at the end, this bit feels so goooooooood. You may even use this time to flaunt your new cleavage (wrong?). You might start to feel a bit more achy/ tired after exercise now, so I recommend to compliment any workout with a nice big cookie and an episode of Downton Abbey.
My Average Pregnancy Workout
20-30 mins Cardio (cross trainer, step machine, bike)
10-15 mins weight machines (focusing on arms/ legs)
15 mins core (these exercises vary)
5-10 mins stretching (don’t lie Katie, you’ve just spent the whole hour “stretching”)
As soon as I don’t feel comfortable working out or its dangerous/ painful I will stop, but until then you’ll find me on the granny bikes, probably eating.
For pregnancy workout inspiration I follow this Australian girl on Instagram that is only a couple of weeks ahead of me in her pregnancy. She posts heaps of videos of the workouts she does so I basically just copy her. She’s called “bubs2bikinis”
PS! Highly recommend a ten lady throughout any pregnancy workout. I should really look into becoming an ambassador for them.