- 1 Why exercises are necessary in the 2nd trimester
- 2 When you need to abstain from physical burdens
- 3 How to correctly do physical exercises for pregnant women
- 4 A set of exercises during pregnancy in the 2nd trimester
- 5 Recommendations for pregnant women
- 6 Video of three sets of exercises for pregnant women in the 2nd trimester
An active, agile lifestyle during pregnancy is a guarantee of well-being. Exercises will allow you to keep in shape, invigorate you and give strength, improve your psychological state. Light physical activities are needed throughout pregnancy, but the most comfortable period for their implementation is the second trimester.
Why exercises are necessary in the 2nd trimester
The time interval between the fourth and the sixth months is the safest and most beneficial for physical activities. The body is accustomed to its new condition, persistent nausea is no longer a problem, there is more strength, hormones are stabilized.
Now is the time to start preparing for the labor, with the help of physical exercises. Light daily exercises can help you avoid many problems, such as:
- they reduce and help to control weight gain;
- they prepare the skin for gradual stretching as the stomach grows;
- they teach you proper breathing;
- they tone the abdominal muscles, whose work is important during labor activity.
Exercise selections should be individual for each woman, with consideration of all of the pregnancy factors and her general condition.
Maximum training session length should not exceed 30 minutes, and during the entire exercise the expectant mother must monitor her well-being.
When you need to abstain from physical burdens
Exercises are not necessarily permitted for all pregnant women. There are some factors, due to which exercises should be postponed until after the delivery:
- chronic and respiratory diseases;
- severe edema in the second half of the gestational period;
- low position of the placenta;
- miscarriages or spontaneous abortions in previous pregnancies;
- uterine hypertonus;
- toxicities and vomiting.
Avoid exercise if you do not feel well. Listen not just to the medical recommendations, but also to your own body.
In the second trimester, some physical exercises including the following are prohibited:
- abdomen crunches;
- balancing on one foot;
- jumping intensively;
- running any distance.
As the abdomen grows, the center of gravity of the body shifts and the work of the vestibular system is disrupted. The expectant mother becomes unstable and clumsy, therefore dancing and exercises involving balance during this period are inappropriate.[attention type=red]Abundant discharge of unknown etiology from the genital tract is a contraindication to exercising. From the 13th week you will have to forget all about extreme sports, because you are now responsible not only for your life, but also for the development of the future baby.[/attention]
How to correctly do physical exercises for pregnant womenThe main requirement is the ability to perform a full range of motion with pleasure and positive attitude. These classes should be a joy. Do not force yourself to engage in physical activity – if there is no desire to be active, it’s better to postpone exercising till a later time or another day.
Remember that all movements should be smooth and slow, with no sharp turns. The lifting of heavy equipment is now also prohibited. Squats, swinging the arms and legs and stretching should be carried out slowly, with long breaks between sets.
During exercises in the second trimester, maintain the following requirements.
- Wear a supportive girdle. Buy new active underwear that will support your enlarged breasts.
- Watch your heartbeat – the heart rate should not exceed 130 bpm, otherwise the oxygen supply to the uterus will be reduced and hypoxia can threaten the fetus.
- Limit activities that are performed lying on your back. The growing uterus in a such position pinches the vena cava, cutting off oxygen to the future baby. The pregnant woman may feel dizzy and nauseous in such positions.
- Avoid team sports and exercises where there is a high risk of falls and injuries.
- The goal of physical activity from the 4th to the 6th month of pregnancy is not losing weight – they are designed for improving muscle tone and preparing the body for labor.
A set of exercises during pregnancy in the 2nd trimester
Like any set of exercises, prenatal exercises begin with a warm-up.
Raise arms up and slightly pull the body upwards after them. At this time, you can slightly turn your body to the left, then right. All movements are done slowly and smoothly. Repeat 3 times and take a short break.
Exercise 2Sit on a hard surface – it must be solid. Cross your legs in front of you. This pose is called “Lotus”. The back should be flat, spine straight.
Do slow head rotation, then add torso rotations. Arms must also be engaged – spread them to the sides and perform rotational movements from the wrist and to the shoulders. Repeat – 10 times, then rest for 30-60 seconds.
When warming up, visualize how your skin is stretching, becoming supple and elastic.
After the preliminary warm-up, proceed to basic exercises for different muscle groups. The following exercises are designed to strengthen the muscles of the chest to help keep it in shape.
In a seated position, touch open palms to each other. The elbows should be at the level of the chest muscles. Alternately push your hands into each other. The movement should be reminiscent of squeezing juice from a citrus. Do this non-stop 10 times.
Surely, you’ve seen the cartoon “The Little Mermaid,” and for the next exercise you have to put yourself into her shoes.
Sit one one thigh, pull half-bent legs slightly forward. Set an arm along the body and lean on it. The second arm is pulled up – slightly swing to the side and slowly move down. Then, do the same on the opposite side, and repeat the movements – 10 swings for each arm.
Do not forget about the abdominal oblique muscles – there is an exercise for them, too.
Lie on your side. Arms are stretched forward over each other. Slowly turning the torso, move the upper arm as much as possible to 180 degrees. Return to starting position. This must be repeated 10 times for each side.Exercise 6
Great importance is given to physical trainings for perineal muscles. A fitness ball will help with these.
Sit on the big rubber ball, spreading hips to the side as far as possible. Hold the position for a few seconds, until you feel slight tension, then bring them back together.
The pelvis and the perineum should be completely relaxed when spreading the hips, and tensed up upon returning to the starting position. This improves blood flow to the pelvic organs.
Pay attention to your back. Get on all fours, with the legs and hands shoulder-width apart. This pose is called a “cat.” Inhale and bow your back downwards, exhale and bend it upwards as much as possible. During these movements the head should almost touch the floor. It’s performed 10-15 times in several sets.
Exercises for feet are also very important in the second trimester, when the legs are tired from walking long distances.
Sit on a fitness ball. Spread legs the width of the pelvis. Lay a ribbon or scarf of thin material in front of you. Toes go over the fabric, trying to get from one end to the other. Do this 3-6 times for each leg, alternating.
Do not forget about your breathing! During the process of labor breathing exercises will be of great service. They help to reduce pain and to relax.
Sit up straight, the back should be flat. Place your right hand on the stomach, the other – on the chest. Take deep breaths through the nose. On inhalation the chest should not move, but the should abdomen rise. Then change tactics – now the chest rises and the abdomen does not move.
Do a light relaxation activity after each exercise.
Sit on the floor, bend the legs under yourself so they sit underneath the buttocks. Slightly spread the knees to take pressure off the tummy – so it is placed between them. Slowly lean forward, try to touch the floor with your forehead. Repeat 3 to 5 times. These movements will help take pressure off the spine and relax all muscle groups.[attention type=green]These exercises are not one of a kind. The selection of exercises for home fitness is completely in your hands! Engage yourself with a positive attitude, listening to your favorite music. Open the windows, let in fresh air and sunshine into your room.[/attention]
Recommendations for pregnant women
- Consider yoga. Specific sets of prenatal exercises have been developed, which may be performed in addition to or as as substitutes for other physical activities. They energize, stretch the muscles and strengthen the whole body.
- Another type of physical activity is Pilates. Doing it three times a week helps to strengthen the abdominal muscles and pelvic floor.
- If you experience symptoms of poor well-being, stop doing exercises and do some breathing. Overworking and pushing yourself is unacceptable.
- Start exercises in the morning, before breakfast, or a few hours after a meal.
- A physical therapist can choose necessary exercises for all muscle groups.
- In good weather you can exercise in the open air at a park or a playground.
Video of three sets of exercises for pregnant women in the 2nd trimester
We invite you to watch pilates exercises for the second trimester designed by a top master-trainer. They are safe for all pregnant women who have no contraindications.[attention type=green]Did you exercise during pregnancy? Which set of exercises was selected for you? Was it an independent choice or a doctor’s advice? Share with us your experience of physical activity in the second trimester![/attention]