Third Trimester Workout
Well, here we are! Just a few weeks away from meeting this sweet little boy and I’m finally finding time to writing something up for you. Time flies, doesn’t mamas? Pregnancy the second time around has definitely been different. Mostly because I swear I JUST found out I was expecting yesterday and then this morning I woke up looking like I was smuggling a Halloween pumpkin under my shirt! Can anyone guess what my halloween costume is? :)
I think the biggest difference this time around has been with my mindset and how I’ve treated my body. During both pregnancies, I have experienced some pretty gnarly SPD, which requires me to really dial back my workouts and focus my efforts on keeping my core and glutes strong, providing as much stability to my pelvis as I can. It also requires lots of patience and REST. Two things that I didn’t practice when I was pregnant with my daughter. I was still pushing myself out the door for daily 4-5 mile walks (waddles) at nine months pregnant, doing planks, lunging, heavy squatting, etc. even though most days, I could barely walk upright. Not only did I not treat myself with care during pregnancy, but I failed to properly rehab postpartum. What that left me with was a tired, broken, unrecovered body even months after having our sweet girl.
This time around, I have embraced the change both physically and mentally. This is just a season, and Lord, it goes fast! My strength is needed not only for myself but for my family too. Have I stopped working out? No way. But it definitely looks different this time around. Everything I do is for function, preparing me for everything I know is coming with having a newborn and keeping up with a toddler. My movement is intentional, it’s kind, and it’s meaningful. I’m not pushing or punishing my body this time—and it’s paid off in a big way.
With that said, I wanted to share a super quick clip of what my “bump pump” looked like today. These are all exercises that I would prescribe to my pregnant and postpartum mamas, once we've established a good foundational baseline. Keep in mind that what’s more important than the exercises you choose is the way you perform them. Form matters, alignment is crucial, and breath is the link that pulls everything together.
Could you do this workout even if you aren’t pregnant or postpartum?
Absolutely! These exercises are versatile and can easily be amped up or dialed down. They’re programmed for function and will definitely help you create a strong body.
A note about third trimester workouts: This is the home stretch! You’ve done a beautiful job growing your sweet babe. As you progress later on into your last trimester, I would recommend easing up on the weights you choose and the intensity of your exercises. At 34 weeks (today), I would consider these workouts as maintenance. I’m doing the exercises because they feel good and serve purpose. NOT because I feel like I have to.
These exercises help to prepare and open the pelvis and encourage my body and baby to start thinking about birth. My breath is slow and intentional, I make sure I can feel a nice core and pelvic floor engagement during each rep, and after every round, I reassess to make sure my body is ready to continue. Remember, it’s much, much more than just the exercise itself.
Bump Pump Circuit:
Two things to consider during your workout:
1. Be mindful of your breath: Exhale on the most difficult part of the exercise.
2. Check your alignment: Untuck your tailbone & keep your ribs down over your hips.
This circuit can be completed on its own or you can easily add it on to your existing workout. Complete one set of each exercise back to back with breaks when you need them. Finish each round of completed exercises with 5 connection breaths.
1. Squat with forward hold: Using a Swiss ball, medicine ball, dumbbell, or plate, hold weight out in front of you with fairly straight arms. (A little bend in the elbow is fine by me.) Slowly squat back to comfortable depth. Keep your weight in your heels, give a soft forward lean, and exhale as you press back up to standing. Squeeze your glutes at the top without tucking your tailbone. (6-10 reps)
2. Row: In this workout, I decided to kneel for a little bit more glute/core engagement. This can be completed in a seated position, standing with bent knees and forward lean, or in a half kneeling position. Choose your comfort. As you row, be sure to enlist your lats and back muscles for this exercise. Shoulders and biceps tend to try to do too much. (6-10 reps)
3. Pallof Press: There are several variations to this exercise, and again, you can perform standing, seated, kneeling, half kneeling, supine, etc. In this workout, I have my bands at the bottom of my chair, however, if you’ve never performed this exercise before, I would recommend having your band or cable at about chest height. This is an anti-rotational movement and it will be challenging your shoulders, front and back of the core, glutes, quads, etc. You don’t need a heavy band or weight to “feel it.” Stand about shoulder width, begin with handles close to your chest, breathe in, then slowly press your band away from your body as you exhale. (5 reps either side)
4. Hip Thrusts: Using a Swiss ball, back of a couch, or weight bench, set up with your hiney on the ground and back resting on your ball, at about shoulder blade height. Your knees should be bent and feet far enough away so when you press up, you are making a 90 degree angle with your knees. To lift, press your weight into your heels, exhale, and press your hips up, squeezing your glutes at the top BUT be sure not to overextend your back or tuck your tailbone. Slowly lower back down with a nice inhale, and repeat again. (6-10 reps)
Note: If you feel dizziness or too much pressure or heaviness on your abdomen, take a break and reassess. Some women are not comfortable with this exercise later on in pregnancy.
5. Seated Swiss Ball Pull-Aparts: The Swiss ball is an excellent tool to help with alignment, hip opening, and gives you a little bit more stability work as you perform another exercise. The band pull-apart is a wonderful back strengthener for all of that endless baby holding you’ll be doing pretty soon. Slip your hands through the handles of your band and grasp somewhere along the middle. The closer your hands are to the middle, the harder the exercise will be. Straighten your arms out in front of you, breathe in, slowly begin your exhale and pull your band apart and out to your sides. Slowly return to center with a nice inhale, and begin again.
6. Core Connection Breath: Sit tall on a chair or Swiss ball with your tailbone untucked. Feet should be planted firmly on the ground, hips comfortable, ribs down, and shoulders should be comfortable. Place one hand on your belly and one on your hip. Breathe into your ribcage, imagine your hip bones widening, and relax your pelvic floor. Exhale slowly, imagine your hip bones coming back together, and give a slight lift to your pelvic floor (soft Kegel). (5 reps)
Check out the GIF below for a nice visual!
Complete between 4-6 rounds with breaks in between each round. Enjoy mamas! You’re doing a wonderful job!
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