Exercise to keep the body toned should ideally be a common way to keep women of all ages and conditions healthy and well. The onset of pregnancy not only does not prohibit such a lifestyle, but, on the contrary, it is a period in which at any term, the feasible exercise has undoubted benefit for several reasons. First of all, muscles are exercised, which prevents constant weight gain from causing great discomfort to a woman, which is especially important in the late terms of pregnancy.

Exercises in the 3rd trimester, as well as at the end of the 2nd trimester, are the most useful for the muscles of the chest, back and legs, which take the heaviest load. However, you should remember that with the beginning of pregnancy a woman should not make any movements in direct and figurative sense without consulting a doctor and without his control.

Exercise in the third trimester – how to prepare for childbirth and stay in great shape

What to do and what are the benefits of gymnastics in the 3rd trimester?

Exercises that were started before pregnancy and were performed during the first two trimesters should not be stopped in the third trimester, even though it becomes difficult to move due to the growing belly. At this time emphasis should be placed on certain muscle groups and special attention should be paid to respiratory exercises. You can engage in gentle exercises aimed at strengthening the back and abdominal muscles before labor. Physical exercise supports the immune system, improves blood circulation.

Exercise in the fresh air saturates the body with oxygen and trains the lungs. Avoid diastasis of the abdominal muscles will allow pumped up abs. In addition, exercise in the third trimester will reduce the risk of stretch marks, not allowing you to gain excess weight. Trained body after childbirth restores more quickly the external shape, the work of internal systems. Prepare it for the approaching birth – the main purpose of sports during this period.

Exercise in the third trimester – how to prepare for childbirth and stay in great shape

What are the benefits of morning exercises?

To restore after a night of vivacity and replenish energy reserves better and more useful than drinking a cup of coffee, and cheer up a simple morning exercise program. It should not be too active and tedious. Doing exercises in the morning at home, pregnant women in the late term will be able to stay active, to ensure excellent health and a charge of energy for the day.

In addition, the undoubted benefits of morning exercise brings:

  • Improving overall physical condition;
  • keeping a good mood;
  • helping to eliminate swelling and normalize blood pressure;
  • alleviating the strain on the back;
  • contributing to maintaining a normal weight.

Enough exercise will benefit both those who in the previous trimesters of pregnancy did not forget about the need for physical activity – it will be easier for them, as well as others who are not particularly eager to exercise.

Exercise in the third trimester – how to prepare for childbirth and stay in great shape

Contraindications to gymnastics in the 3rd trimester

As with everything that concerns the health of the expectant mother, the final word on whether it is possible to do exercises in the 3rd trimester and what they can be, belongs to the doctor. As a rule, the doctor has nothing against exercising if the pregnancy is going well. However, it is absolutely contraindicated to exercise, if in the history of uterine hypertonicity, serious chronic diseases, risk of abortion, polyhydramnios.

Dizziness, a sharp deterioration in general well-being during classes, nausea, and acute pain in the lower back are reasons to refuse exercises in the 3rd trimester. Such symptoms are a signal for an immediate interruption of the complex and an urgent visit to a specialist. It is worth excluding weights and dumbbells from the exercise program, trying to avoid stretching, as tendons and ligaments are at risk of ruptures and sprains due to the maximum softening.

Which exercises should be avoided?

In addition to strength training, which uses various accessories that make it harder to perform physical exercises, pregnant women in the 3rd trimester should exclude from their workouts any loads on the press, working out only the oblique abdominal muscles with ease. It is strictly prohibited to lift any weights. Even those who before pregnancy and in the previous trimesters had a great experience of physical exercises in the 3rd trimester should refuse high-intensity workouts – any excessive stress is prohibited.

Also exercises connected with sharp movements, jerking, running, jumping are absolutely forbidden. A woman should remember that such exercises can lead to a premature birth. Do not be overzealous with stretching exercises – in the 3rd trimester exercises should be done in the most sparing way.

What kind of exercises are allowed?

When pregnancy has entered the 3rd trimester, the choice of what a future mother can do includes the following types of workouts, each of which has its own health benefits for the pregnant woman:

  • Yoga – without practicing heavy asanas, classes will provide the necessary relaxation, and basic uncomplicated elements will prepare ligaments and muscles for labor.
  • Water aerobics – a combination of pleasant and useful, when the activity does not overload the spine and is carried out under the supervision of a trainer.
  • Breathing exercises in combination with simple yoga asanas will enrich the blood with oxygen, ease the labor process, and calm the nervous system.
  • Pilates – a program for pregnant women without much strain will improve blood circulation, prepare the body for childbirth, energize it.
  • Kegel exercises – simple and effective methods of working on the pelvic floor muscles.
  • Long walks – preferably accompanied by close people or friends.
Exercise in the third trimester – how to prepare for childbirth and stay in great shape

How much and when to exercise in the 3rd trimester

The first half of the day is the best time to exercise. As in any other case, it is worth following the recommendations when exercising, which concerns the interval before and after eating. Exercise in the 3rd trimester can be started 2 hours after meals or 1 to 1.5 hours before meals.

It is worth refraining from prolonged exercises – the duration of exercises should not exceed 20-25 minutes. In such a period of time, the future mother will not have time to get tired, especially if you make quiet and smooth movements. During exercise, your heart rate should not exceed 110 beats per minute. In the last weeks before labor it is recommended to reduce this time by 20%. However, the best guide in pregnancy is always your own well-being. Again, the main leitmotif of all exercises is: no amateurism and constant medical supervision.

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Exercise in the third trimester – how to prepare for childbirth and stay in great shape

It is possible to choose exercises for the third trimester, which will not cause any harm to the future mother during the last months, and which will be most suitable for charging, if one understands what physiological processes take place in the female body during this period. Based on this knowledge, it is worth choosing from a sufficient number of exercise options, which include exercises in a sitting position with relaxed shoulders and a completely straight back, as well as in the “lying on your side”.

You can work out using a fitball and doing exercises that exclude abdominal support. Among the exercises for the 3rd trimester you can use breathing exercises, as well as relaxing elements of fitness. Exercises that will include specially selected elements of perinatal yoga will be an excellent preparation for the impending birth.

Perinatal Yoga – exercises for the 3rd trimester

During this period, it is worth using asanas, which seem to be specially designed for this delicate position and combine a powerful energetic charge, breath control, smoothness of movements. Specialists, under whose guidance such exercises will be performed in the 3rd trimester, will help to choose the best complex, the doctor who supervises the pregnancy should get acquainted with them and approve.

The list of asanas may include:

  • malasana – relieves pain in the lumbar spine;
  • “Butterfly lying down – helps eliminate swelling;
  • shavasana – provides breathing recovery and maximum relaxation;
  • cat pose – helps the baby get into the right birthing position;
  • Viparita dandasana – helps relieve lumbar pain, opens up the chest and strengthens stabilizer muscles;
  • vrikshasana is a multifunctional asana that helps straighten the spine and makes inner thigh muscles elastic.
Exercise in the third trimester – how to prepare for childbirth and stay in great shape

Kegel complex – training intimate muscles

Kegel exercises – a complex that is useful for pregnant women at any term. This technique was originally intended for women with incontinence and aimed at strengthening the muscles of the pelvic floor. However, over time, it became apparent that it is also effective in pregnancy, when the pelvic floor muscles are under considerable pressure from the fetus. If a woman has not practiced the Kegel method before, when she is pregnant she can do, for example, a warm-up for “tuning up” and feeling her own body correctly.

It consists of alternate contraction and contraction of the vaginal muscles, imitating the interruption of urination. Among the exercises in the 3rd trimester is the contraction of the pelvic floor muscles, followed by relaxation, which should be strong and maximal in duration. The “elevator” exercise is also effective. It consists of compressing the muscles of the perineum gradually and smoothly and the same slow return to the starting position.

How to choose the optimal load

For all issues relating to the selection of optimal exercise complex in the 3rd trimester, as well as the choice of optimal load a pregnant woman should consult her doctor and adhere to his recommendations. It is worth bearing in mind that in the last weeks of pregnancy, the load on the spine and foot arch increases, the load on the heart increases, the uterus enlarges, diaphragmatic breathing is difficult, the venous outflow from the small pelvis and legs deteriorates.

Exercise during this period is aimed at improving blood circulation in all organs and systems. The total load should be reduced, and classes should not last more than 20 minutes. Gymnastics should take place in a relaxed mode, without sudden movements.

Exercise in the third trimester – how to prepare for childbirth and stay in great shape

Sample set of exercises for the 3rd trimester

Gymnastics should be done only if you feel well and have previously consulted your doctor. Among the safe and effective exercises in the 3rd trimester may be the following:

  • Rotate the pelvis around its axis, kneeling. Without straining, perform 10 times to each side, if possible.
  • Sitting on a fitball, alternately bend your arms.
  • To prevent varicose veins, for 2 minutes lie on your back and put your foot on the ball and roll it back and forth or in a circle.
  • Sitting in the Turkish pose, squeeze the ball with your hands in rhythmic and light movements.
  • Press the palms of your hands against each other, taking your hands away from your chest and placing them under your chest. This exercise activates the flow of blood to the mammary glands.
  • Standing on your knees and leaning your hands on the floor, arch your back up and down.
  • Adopt a child’s pose, which will allow you to feel how the tension from the sacrum, lower back and spine goes away.
Exercise in the third trimester – how to prepare for childbirth and stay in great shape

How to supplement the basic complex

A good completion of the complex of basic exercises in the 3rd trimester can be done breathing exercises. When performing it, you should not hold your breath too much, so as not to allow hypoxia for the baby. The duration of each lesson should not exceed 40 minutes. The complex usually includes exercises in which have one hand on his chest, the second – put on the abdomen, deeply inhale and exhale. The peculiarity is that only the abdomen should be lifted when inhaling.

Breathing during diaphragmatic breathing should be a nose. Another breathing exercise in the 3rd trimester could be to place your palms on your ribs, spreading your elbows apart, and slide them sideways while breathing, leaving your chest and abdomen immobile. Or, by placing your hands on your chest and stomach, breathe in such a way that when you inhale only your chest rises.

How to do exercises correctly

With the last months of pregnancy, it is necessary not only to choose a set of exercises for the 3rd trimester, but also to learn how to do them correctly. The best option would be to work with a trainer who has a certificate that allows working with pregnant women. He will teach how to perform all the movements and take the necessary poses correctly, so that the training would bring pleasure and benefit.

But if a pregnant woman works out on her own at home, she should watch her breathing during the exercises – on relaxation you should inhale, and always exhale to make an effort. In addition, you should make it a rule to always start exercising in the 3rd trimester with a warm-up, and to finish with a warm-up. While doing any exercises you should not allow resting on the stomach and strain the abdomen.

You can learn more about exercise from our online courses.

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