By Ali Handley
The 2nd trimester is often the easiest period during pregnancy. Mostly Mama’s report feeling a renewed surge of energy and nausea symptoms tend to subside. It can be a time of great joy and heightened emotions as the hormones continue to flow and Mamas feel connected to their growing babies. Your body has continued to go through changes as your belly grows, so it’s important exercise complements these changes & supports you during this important time.
- CONTINUE TO AVOID FLEXION – This means avoid ab crunches in exercises & your everyday life!
- CONTINUE TO FOCUS ON ACTIVATING THE DEEP CORE MUSCLES – My favourite deel core move is “Hug your Baby” & this can be done by simple breathing in a seated or all fours position.
- STRENGTHEN UPPER BODY & POSTURAL MUSCLES – As the baby and your breasts grow, the natural curves of your body are exaggerated. It’s important to address these changes so we focus on strengthening the opposing shoulder and back muscles so you continue to feel strong & pain free.
- STRENGTHENING AND TONING LOWER BODY – Strong legs and glutes will support your pelvis from below which is becoming increasingly unstable as Estrogen & Relaxin builds in the body and growing uterus requires more support from below. We want you to have strong glutes and hamstrings to help counter the effects of the increased low back curve as your center of gravity shifts with the weight of the baby on the front of the body.
- LIMITED TIME IN SUPINE – As your baby grows, lying on your back can put pressure on your Vena Cava. General rule of thumb – no longer than 5 minutes on your back, but listen to your body – if it feels wrong – change position straight away.
- STOP UNILATERAL WORK – If you experience any Pubic Bone Pain or SI joint pain stop working one leg at a time and instead include bridging and squatting work to strengthen legs & releve symptoms.
- NO PRONE WORK – This refers to any work on your stomach. It will be uncomfortable and puts dangerous pressure on the growing uterus.
- CONTINUE TO STRETCH – Deep Glute muscles will begin to become locked as your pelvis widens so ensure you are always stretching these out at the beginning and end of workouts (piriformis stretch, pinky ball standing piriformis release). Other stretches include – calf, hamstring, pecs, neck.
- CONTINUE WITH SAFE CARDIO – You should still be including regular cardio in your workout regime. Whether that is through standing Pilates and barre work, power walking, elliptical, swimming & spinning, it remains important to workout your heart at a safe level to stay fit for the challenges of labor and beyond. CAUTION – ensure you remain hydrated at all times and do not overheat.
Safe positions for 2nd trimester clients;
- Supine – No longer than 5 mins
- Side-lying – CAUTION – discontinue all unilateral work side lying if there is SI Joint or Pubic Bone pain
- All fours