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Working Out in Second Trimester: What to Focus on & How to Adapt Your Workouts Safely (Episode #10)

One of Kendra’s biggest frustrations during both her pregnancies was how EASY her prenatal programs were. She often felt she was being treated like a delicate flower.


This made her angry because pregnant people are strong, and because she was getting ready to give birth - one of the most physically challenging things she would ever do.


Today, we’re talking about exercises you can safely do in your second trimester of pregnancy and pulling back the curtain on our fitness program Baby Bump & Beyond, which features 30 unique workouts.


It’s available on the Daily Burn, an on-demand fitness platform, and contains a mix of pregnancy-safe strength training, cardio, and yoga workouts, plus some tutorials about common concerns like diastasis recti and pelvic floor issues.





Months went into putting everything we know into this program – including our hearts and a lot of sweat – and we hope moms listening can use this episode to evaluate other programs they might be considering during pregnancy training.


Baby Bump & Beyond


Baby Bump & Beyond is a blend of strength, cardio, and yoga training blended into one program for pregnant women.


Our program also dives into what pregnant and postpartum people need each week of their journey. Things really do change on a weekly basis – if you’re pregnant, then you know what we’re talking about! And they prepare moms for postpartum recovery.


In our experience, the most successful moms in postpartum start thinking about their recovery during pregnancy.


This is a shift because, so often, we only think up to the birth, like it’s a finish line. But if you start laying the groundwork in pregnancy for your postpartum recovery, you’ll be much better off down the road.


Second trimester overview


In today’s episode we’re going to talk specifically about second trimester fitness. (In the next episode, we’ll cover the third trimester, and the one after that, we’ll tackle postpartum fitness.)


In the second trimester, we recommend women focus on strength workouts, because generally, it’s a time most pregnant people feel great. Also, the baby’s not so big, so women are generally more mobile and have more ability to move around.


The only thing that sometimes gets in the way: the baby is more visible now. Women see their bellies growing and might start feeling doubts about working out due to aches and pains or fear about doing core work.


Common aches and pains in the second trimester include hip pain, SI joint pain, back rib pain, feet and leg pain, neck and shoulder pain – but you can avoid some of this if you keep your core and pelvic floor muscles strong.


Seven ways to adapt your second trimester workouts


  1. Establish a great foundation in your core and pelvic floor. Those muscles are most impacted by pregnancy.

  2. Think forward. The strength you build now will help you in birth and postpartum.

  3. Strength! It’s not often moms think, oh, I’m pregnant, I really need to increase my strength training. But it’s so important! Do it!

  4. Don’t lay on your belly. Especially after 15 or 16 weeks. Even sooner if it feels off.

  5. Shift your core work to prenatal core-based engagement. Start using a 360 canister breath and explore anti-rotation core work, keeping your core engaged while minimizing rotation. (We’ll have a whole episode dedicated to this later.)

  6. Follow your energy levels. In the morning you might feel one way, in the afternoon another. Whatever feels good for your body, go in that direction.

  7. Modify the amount of weight you lift. The weights in your workouts will likely decrease as the intensity of your everyday living increases. If you’re breathing heavy with a certain weight, drop it down.


If you are a mom in the second trimester and you want to put these pointers to use, we’ve created a handy little checklist to help you keep these pointers in mind!


Notable Quotes from Kendra and Nicole


“In our experience, the most successful moms we've seen in postpartum start thinking about their postpartum recovery during pregnancy. And this is a perspective shift, because so often, we only think up to the birth, like it's a finish line. But if you start laying the groundwork in pregnancy for your postpartum recovery, you're going to be so much farther ahead.”


“I felt like I was being treated like a delicate flower, like I shouldn't be lifting weights or stressing my body too much. And that just made me mad because I knew that pregnant people are strong, first of all. And secondly, pregnant people need strength. Pregnancy, birth and motherhood are no joke.”


Resources & Links


Looking for support to stay active during your pregnancy? Here are some options to get you started on a great path forward:


1) Take the Pelvic Floor & Core Strength Quiz. After taking the quiz, you'll get a score and based on your results, guidance on what steps to take to move you forward in your recovery.

2) Check out our podcast listening guides: Download the Pregnancy Listening Guide or Postpartum Listening Guide.

3) If you're pregnant, want to be way more active than you have been, AND want connection with other mothers, but don't know where to start…join the Expecting to Flourish™ Membership - a mom-driven and expert-guided virtual space empowering moms with a new approach to prenatal fitness and birth prep that actually prepares you for the physical and emotional hurdles of motherhood.

4) Do you prefer working one-on-one, or have a high risk pregnancy, a severe diastasis or leaking that won’t quit? You might be a candidate to work with us privately. To find out, take this quick self assessment! If you qualify, you'll be invited to schedule a complementary Postpartum Strategy Session with us where we'll take a good look at what's not working in your repair process, and come up with a great plan just for you.

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Since Devoted Mamas' founding in 2017, our mission is to help you through all the stages of motherhood - stay super strong (and calm!) during pregnancy, be the BOSS of your birth, and help you bring life back to your core + pelvic floor in postpartum.

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