These workouts are designed for moms in their third trimester. If you are past the 27-week mark, you might be noticing some dramatic changes in your body and energy levels. You may become winded easier than ever before, and your belly is probably expanding more rapidly now. Towards the end of the third trimester, your baby’s growth will probably slow down a bit, but in the beginning these observations are totally normal.
You might also notice that you feel less motivated to exercise and more inclined to rest or do low intensity workouts. Actions like jumping or running may become uncomfortable at this point. These changes are normal and it’s important to work with them but still push yourself to get some physical activity every day. A little bit goes a long way at this stage, so even a 10-minute walk is better than nothing at all, especially if you have been active throughout your pregnancy.
Walking is a significant component of these workouts. If you’re accustomed to higher intensity workouts, walking may seem insufficient or ineffective, but rest assured that by walking you are not only maintaining your conditioning, but also preparing your body for labor and delivery. If the higher mileage walks are too much, try to get at least 30 minutes of walking in at a comfortable pace.
In addition to walking, these workouts emphasize lower body and core strength training (minus crunches!) and gentle stretching. For strength training exercises, choose weights that are about 50 – 60 percent of your usual max, and do not work to failure. For barbell exercises, you can use an unloaded bar even a PVC pipe.
At this stage in pregnancy, I recommend women do exercises in the plank position, such as push ups and planks, against a wall to minimize abdominal separation. This modification decreases pressure on the abdominal wall while still working the transverse abdominal muscles, even if it doesn’t feel as productive.
Week 38, Day 1
NOTE: In these last weeks of your pregnancy the workouts will focus on optimal fetal positioning. If you know your baby is in a posterior or breech position, avoid squats and substitute pelvic rocking, inversions, or downward dog. Instead of walks, try to find a pool and do some swimming to encourage proper positioning.