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Training 20 – 32 Weeks Pregnant

Yay for the second trimester, am I right?!  This is when we typically feel our best in our pregnancy.  Most of us get over the morning sickness and it’s before baby gets bigger and before we start to feel more tired.  Baby isn’t taking up a ton of space just yet and we have more energy!  Now what are my personal suggested guidelines for working out during this time?

This is a great time to start training with more interval training.  Not all your workouts need to be intervals but they are an amazing way to practice for contractions.  These intervals should be about 30 seconds of work followed by 60-90 seconds of rest.  This timing mimics contractions.  This can help mentally prepare you for this kind of work to rest timing!  As a good friend of mine said after her first baby’s labor, it was the longest AMRAP (as many rounds as possible) with the biggest reward. So sweet and so true!  During these interval workouts I would have you work on your breath as well as the actual workout.  Breath is such a huge, important part of working out and labor and birth!

When it comes to lifting weights it will definitely vary depending on your background of lifting.  What might seem heavy to someone else may be a very doable yet challenging weight.   But as I have said in prior blogs, we want to lift what we know we can make.  This is to avoid injuries.  This is the last thing you need before entering labor.  I want you to get strong and stay strong throughout your pregnancy safely.

Why should we not kip during gymnastic movements?  Well it takes a lot of core control and when we have a baby growing in your belly there isn’t as much control.  I suggest avoiding kipping to help with recovery of diastasis rectus abdominus (DRA) also known as separated abs.  If you were to continue to kip and put unnecessary pressure on your linea alba (the tissue between your abs) then you will stress it which causes the DRA to be worse at the end of your pregnancy and in postpartum.  So that means that your recovery efforts will take longer to heal the DRA if it is more severe than if you stuck to strict movements.

Jumping may be limited IF there are any pelvic floor dysfunctions present.  That means if you are experiencing any incontinence, DRA or any coning in flexed positions, or even painful intercourse, you should not be jumping.  Again similar to performing kipping movements while pregnant, I suggest avoiding jumping to prevent making any of your pelvic floor dysfunctions worse.

Inversions or going upside down is actually great for you while pregnant.  It can give a few moments of relieving pressure from your pelvic floor and baby will be ok. It can actually encourage baby to get into the correct head down position for birth.  But these movements are really dependent on the athlete’s ability and comfort level with getting into an inversion.  There are many modifications as well to get into an inversion without feeling unstable.  So I would just make sure my client was comfortable or not and go from there.

Now let’s talk about lunges and full depth squats.  Both of these movements are totally ok to perform during this time in pregnancy as long as there is NO pain during the movements.  These movements are an amazing way to prepare for labor and birth.  Remember I like to consider this time as a time to train for birth.  Squatting during labor can help with pain management as well as help with gravity and moving baby down the birth canal.  The same goes for lunges during labor.

Alright last but not least, for my runners and weightlifters, these are for you.  Running, for many, will not be a possibility.  There are very few women with the perfect form and can continue it through this point.  That can always be evaluated on a client basis either way.  For most, any running should really be a walk or a sled drag.  And for weightlifting, mama’s belly will be big enough to be a hindrance to the barbell path so working on technique work of the lifts will be the best thing for you to do to continue to improve your Snatch and Clean Jerk.

As always if you have questions about what working out may look like for you, please reach out with questions!

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