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Pregnancy exercise plan – 2nd month

Congratulations on your pregnancy!

Your first trimester is the start of your pregnancy journey and it can all feel very new and daunting. You are probably starting to notice the first pregnancy symptoms – nausea, sore boobs or a exhaustion (I remember a feeling of tiredness that I had never ever felt before being pregnant so can totally relate!). The good news is that if you feel up to it, in terms of exercise you can basically carry on as normal unless you have been advised otherwise by your doctor, however, do check my guide about when to avoid exercise during pregnancy.

This is a great full-body workout for when you are in your first trimester and you can do it at home or at the gym. All you need to do this pregnancy workout is your stopwatch app, alternatively you can skip the faff and do it directly through the No Sweat Mama App.

Do each exercise for 45 seconds followed by a 15-second rest, once you have finished the first set, repeat it a further 3 times.


Lunges with raised back leg

How to

  1. Stand a foot away from a box with your feet hip-width apart and your toes pointing forward.
  2. Take a step backward with your right foot and rest it on the top of your foot on the box.
  3. Lower your body by bending both knees until your left thigh is parallel to the ground, and your right knee is hovering just above the floor.
  4. Make sure your front knee is directly above your ankle, not pushed too far forward.
  5. Push through your left heel to stand with your right foot remaining on the box, continue for the remainder of the time.
  6. Repeat the same on the other side.

Why this exercise?

These lunges both help improve hip flexibility and enhance balance which can reduce the risk of hip pain and falling both which are very important when you are pregnant.

Remember!

Try to keep your weight evenly distributed between your feet. If your front knee keeps dropping forwards, move your front foot further forwards.


Lunges with raised back leg

How to

  1. Stand a foot away from a box with your feet hip-width apart and your toes pointing forward.
  2. Take a step backward with your right foot and rest it on the top of your foot on the box.
  3. Lower your body by bending both knees until your left thigh is parallel to the ground, and your right knee is hovering just above the floor.
  4. Make sure your front knee is directly above your ankle, not pushed too far forward.
  5. Push through your left heel to stand with your right foot remaining on the box, continue for the remainder of the time.
  6. Repeat the same on the other side.

Why this exercise?

These lunges both help improve hip flexibility and enhance balance which can reduce the risk of hip pain and falling both which are very important when you are pregnant.

Remember!

Try to keep your weight evenly distributed between your feet. If your front knee keeps dropping forwards, move your front foot further forwards.


Inchworm

How to

  1. Keeping your knees slightly bent for stability.
  2. Slowly bend at your hips and reach your hands towards the floor. Bend your knees as needed to make this comfortable; your belly should not feel compressed.
  3. Begin walking your hands forward one at a time while keeping your core engaged. Go as far as your comfort allows, but typically you’ll walk out until you are in plank.
  4. Slowly walk your hands back towards your feet and return to a standing position.

Why this exercise?

Not only are inchworms good core exercises but they improve flexibility in your hamstrings and lower back, which can alleviate some common discomforts associated with pregnancy.

Remember!

Make sure your engage your core throughout the whole movement.


Pike press ups

How to

  1. Get into a box position on your hands and knees, then straighten your legs into a plank.
  2. Walk your feet toward your hands and open your shoulder angle, creating a pike position with your hips lifted high.
  3. Lower your head toward the ground by bending your elbows.
  4. Straighten your arms back to the starting pike position.

Why this exercise?

Pike press-ups can help you maintain upper body strength, which can be beneficial as your body changes during pregnancy.

Want to make it harder?

To make it harder move move your feet closer to your hands.


Crunches

How to

  1. Start in a dish shape with your head, shoulders, and legs off the floor.
  2. Exhale and lift your shoulders and knees towards each other and reach your hands to your toes.
  3. Inhale as you return to the dish position.

Why this exercise?

Crunches are great for strengthening both your core muscles and your pelvic floor muscles both of which are super important in pregnancy fitness.

Remember!

Form is key here so if you are struggling to hold the dish shape, try holding your legs with you hands. If you still can’t keep your back flat on the floor then then lie down flat on the ground between each crunch.

Want to make it harder?

To make this harder, try doing the crunches very, very slowly.


Kegels

How to

  1. The first step is to identify your pelvic floor muscles. The easiest way to do this is imagine you are stopping the flow of urine midstream. The muscles you use to do this are your pelvic floor muscles.
  2. To do a kegel, contract your pelvic floor muscles. You should feel a lifting sensation in your pelvic area.
  3. Hold the contraction for about 5 seconds (or as long as you can comfortably) and then release. Rest for about 5 seconds between contractions.
  4. Aim to do 10 kegels, 3 times a day if you are pregnant. The best way to remember is to link it to a habit you are already doing e.g., once after you workout, then when you brush your teeth morning and evening.

Why this exercise?

Pregnancy can weaken the pelvic floor muscles due to the added pressure from the growing uterus. Kegels can help strengthen these muscles, providing support to your pelvic organs and reducing the risk of complications like urinary incontinence and pelvic organ prolapse.

Remember!

Prevention is better than cure so even if you are not struggling with incontinence so far in your pregnancy, it is still super important that you do your Kegels because they will prevent problems further down your pregnancy or after you give birth.

Want to make it harder?

Add pre-tension by putting something between your knees (can be literally anything, a pair of socks or a rolled up towel work well) and squeeze your knees together. Then engage your core by making a ‘sssss’ sound. Now hold this slight tension for the duration of the exercise.


One thing to note

You should be aiming to do 150 minutes of activity per week during your pregnancy. Ideally this would be in the form of 20 minute workouts each day rather than one or two very intense sessions and the pregnancy workout above is ideal for the first trimester. Having your workouts scheduled and getting into a routine of doing them at the same time means you don’t have to rely on discipline each day and are far more likely to stay active for the duration of your pregnancy.

As you progress into your second trimester (week 13 to week 28), remember always listen to your body. The goal is to stay active, stay safe, and stay connected to your body’s needs.

Related articles

Pregnancy and nutrition guidelines
What is a kegel and how to do them
What is doming?