Second trimester exercises


Between childbirth classes, doctor’s appointments, shopping for baby, a job and other regular life stuff, what mom-to-be has time to exercise?

Actually, you do.

Thirty minutes is all you need for an effective workout. Need motivation?

Pregnant women who work out regularly have a lower risk of gestational diabetes, pregnancy-induced high blood pressure and excess weight gain, plus fewer aches, more energy and, after delivery, a faster return to their pre-pregnancy shape. What’s more, research shows that the children of exercising moms have lower rates of obesity and diabetes years later.

Warm up: 10 minutes

Step outside and walk for 10 minutes. Stand tall with your shoulders back and down, elbows bent. Roll through your foot, from heel to toe, while keeping your abs pulled in. Or put on your favourite music and dance around your living room for 10 minutes.

1. Squat with overhead press

The moves: 15 minutes

These exercises will increase strength and stamina. Holding 1.5-2kg weights, stand with your feet slightly farther than hip-distance apart. Pull your abs in, draw your shoulders back and down. Bend your knees and lower yourself into a squat, keeping your knees over or behind your toes (A). Straighten your knees to the starting position as you press your arms overhead (B). Repeat 10-15 times.

Benefits: Strengthens upper and lower body.

2. Plié with lateral raise 

Holding weights, stand with your feet farther than hip-distance apart, toes turned out and arms at your sides. Bend your knees as you squeeze your buttocks and thighs, lowering yourself [A]. Straighten your legs as you raise your arms to shoulder height (B). Return to the starting position. Repeat 10-15 times.

Benefits: Strengthens upper body, glutes and legs.

3. Opposite arm/leg reach 

Get down on your hands and knees, wrists directly under your shoulders. Pull your abs in [A]. Extend your right arm and left leg until they’re parallel to the floor, holding for one full breath [B]. Return to the starting position, then extend your left arm and right leg. Do 5 times on each side.

Benefits: Strengthens back and abdominals.

4. Baby push-up

Get down on your hands and knees, wrists farther than shoulder-width apart, fingers pointing straight ahead. Pull your abs in [A]. Bend your elbows, lowering your chest toward the floor. Keep your hips lifted [B]. Return to the starting position and repeat 10-15 times.

Benefits: Strengthens upper body, abdominals and lower back.

Cool down: 5 minutes

Sit on the floor and place the soles of your feet together. Holding onto your ankles, lean forward and round your spine. Hold for 30 seconds. Do 3-5 times.

Read more:

Have you been exercising during your pregnancy? Has it helped you and your baby? Tell us by commenting below or email us at and we may publish your comments.

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