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Pregnancy exercise plan – 3rd month

As you come to the end of your first trimester, if you are in the UK, you will have your booking appointment this month and any initial pregnancy symptoms should be residing soon.

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.


Squat walks

How to

  1. Stand with your feet slightly wider than shoulder-width apart and keep your toes pointing slightly outward, at about a 45-degree angle.
  2. Initiate the squat by bending your knees and pushing your hips back. It can help to imagine you’re sitting back into a chair and keep your weight on your heels throughout the squat to maintain balance.
  3. Move forward by taking small steps while maintaining the squat position.
  4. To finish, stand up by straightening your legs and returning to the starting position.

Why this exercise?

Squat walks are a great lower body exercise for strengthening your quads, glutes, and inner thighs while also improving your balance and stability.

Remember!

Maintain good posture: Keep your chest up, shoulders back, engage your core and keep your knees above behind your toes.

Want to make it harder?

The deeper you squat, the harder the exercise will be. Add a resistance band around your thighs to further increase the intensity.


Lunges with knee lift

How to

  1. Take a step back with your right foot, bending both knees as you lower your body.
  2. Keep your back straight, your chest lifted, and aim for a 90-degree angle at both knees or as deep as is comfortable for you.
  3. Exhale as you push off your back foot to return to standing and lift your right knee towards your chest then lower it down to the standing.

Why this exercise?

Pregnancy can affect your center of gravity. Performing lunges as part of your pregnancy workout programme can help improve balance and stability, reducing the risk of falls.

Remember!

Ensure your front knee is aligned with your ankle and doesn’t extend past your toes.

Want to make it harder?

You can use a chair or wall for support if needed.


Half press ups with rotation

How to

  1. Get into a box position on your hands and knees with your shoulders directly above your hands and your spine in a neutral position.
  2. Get into the half press-up position by moving your knees away from your hands while keeping your shoulders over your hands.
  3. Bend your arms, drop your chest towards the floor, and then push through your hands to return to your starting position.
  4. Lift one hand off the floor and rotate the top of your body towards the ceiling, then return to your starting position.

Why this exercise?

Half press-ups are a great way to gradually build strength in your chest, shoulders, and triceps. The rotation component of this exercise engages the oblique muscles, which can help strengthen the core.

Remember!

Think about lowering your chest to the floor rather than getting your nose to touch the floor.

Want to make it harder?

The further you move your knees from your hands, the harder it will be but ensure you keep your shoulders over your hands.


One leg v-sits

How to

  1. Lie on your back with your legs out straight and place your arms by your ears.
  2. Inhale then on the exhale lift your upper body and one leg towards each other, engaging your core muscles.
  3. Slowly return to the starting position and repeat on the other side.

Why this exercise?

One leg v-sits are great for your abdominal muscles. Maintaining core strength during pregnancy can help support your growing belly, reduce back pain, and improve posture.

Remember!

Remember if your tummy is doming stop and change to another exercise.

Want to make it harder?

To make this harder do full two legged v-sits.


Box tricep dips

How to

  1. Sit on the edge of the box with your hands placed next to your hips, fingers facing forward.
  2. Walk your feet out a few steps while keeping your knees bent at a 90-degree angle.
  3. Lower your body by bending your elbows, keeping them close to your body. Go down until your elbows are at a 90-degree angle.
  4. Push back up through your palms to the starting position.
Pregnant lady doing Box tricep dips on yoga mat in sunny garden to keep fit during pregnancy

Why this exercise?

Tricep dips are functional exercises because they mimic movements like pushing up from a seated position or lifting yourself out of a bathtub so they can assist you in your day-to-day activities.

Remember!

Keep your hips still and focus on only allowing movement to come from your triceps.


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?