Join Tribesports today – it's free!

Tribesports is the home of sportspeople and sports challenges.
Join the fun and start sharing your sports activities with people like you.


Guide posted by Coachbronze Lorraine S in Pregnancy and Exercise - Pregnant Fitness

Pregnancy Exercise: Second Trimester

Weeks 14-28

This may be the period in your pregnancy that you enjoy the most, exercises should feel less challenging!

Hopefully you are now feeling better than what you did during the first trimester?

You should suffer less fatigue and sickness as your body has adapted to the first trimester changes. But if you allow yourself to get too tired or hungry expect these two symptoms to increase you still need to rest often and aim to eat every 2-3 hours.

Exercise shouldn’t feel as hard or challenging and you should no longer feel as puffed as you did during those first few weeks, you may even increase your exercise volume if you are feeling well. It is common during the first 14 weeks to need to rest frequently when you exercise but now that you are 14+ weeks you may be able to continue strength and aerobic sessions without requiring extra rest. Just make sure you continue to listen to your body and stick to the correct intensity.

Benefits of Exercising

If you continue to exercise you will be much more mobile in late pregnancy compared to mums who don’t exercise and suffer from less if any aches and pains. Cardiovascular, muscle endurance and strength are required to reduce the stresses of pregnancy, labour and birth.

What’s happening to your Body?

·        Increased levels or Pregnancy Hormone Relaxin Released

·        Increased Physical Changes-centre of gravity shifts forward

·        Blood volume continues to increases

·        Blood Pressure decreases


Relaxin is the pregnancy hormone that loosens and softens ligaments. This softening is needed so you can give birth but it can also increase aches and pain and the risk of injury. I would advise strength exercises 3 times a week to help strengthen weak muscles and it is now best to avoid off road running. This is now the time to ditch the heels and opt for low heels or flats!

To help minimize aches and pains which are often experienced you should focus on exercise that reduces this.Perform exercises that strengthen your lower and upper body preparing you for the more physical changes that occur after 20 weeks. It is paramount that you focus on strengthening your glutes (butt) and core muscles.

Physical Changes

You may start to look pregnant by the latter half of this trimester but it is not unusual for exercising mums to not look pregnant until well after 20 weeks.

Due to the increased physical changes in this trimester you may experience round ligament pain (RLP). RLP is when the two ligaments of your uterus start to grow and stretch. Exercise can increase these sharp felt pains. I found that swimming from 18-20 week increased this pain. Avoid twisting movements to prevent these sharp pains.

The changes in your physical shape as your bump grows affects balance, exercise which requires stability will be more challenging. Balancing exercises are beneficial for you to do during pregnancy you just have to modify them to adapt to your growing bump and stability.

Nutrition Requirements

Baby increases its need for iron during this trimester and so does exercise. An exercising mum must make sure she is eating red meat often. It is a good idea to get your iron re-tested at 24 weeks and not wait until 28 weeks if you are exercising regular and have tested low for iron in the past.

Iron deficiency can make exercise more challenging and increased the symptoms of low blood pressure. If you are feeling dizzy often and tired for more than 3 days in a row talk to your health care provider.

Modifying Exercise

Braxton hicks may be felt during exercise, this is when you feel tightening cramps around your growing bump. Increased ‘Hicks’ can be associated with the exercise you are doing and it may be a sign that you need to slow down and modify your exercise.

Exercise To Enjoy in your Second Trimester

  • Swimming
  • Jogging/walking
  • Cycling/indoor spin classes
  • Pregnancy exercise classes
  • Strength training
  • Yoga

Exercise to avoid: Second Trimester

  • Fast/high intensity aerobic classes
  • Crunches, planks, full press ups- these exercises increase Diastasis Recti-Pregnancy  Abdominal separation
  • Chin ups-places too much stress on weakened core muscles
  • Off road running -increase the chance of ‘going over’ on ankles

Diastasis Recti occurs when the abdominal muscles start to separate due to the force of your growing uterus. If the core muscles are weak you can see a diastasis as early as 14 weeks, this is very common in subsequent pregnancies or when a woman has not corrected her separation.

Reduce abdominal separation- Diastasis Recti during pregnancy:

 When you should not exercise

  •  Injury
  • Acute Illness
  • Vaginal Bleeding with or without cramping
  •  Nausea and Vomiting
  •  Sudden onset of any new pain, especially in your abdomen or pelvis

Lorraine Scapens is the founder of she has more than 20 years’ experience training pre and post natal clients. Pre and Post Pregnancy Exercise and Health Programs are available to purchase on the website.

Follow on facebook:

If you feel any pain or discomfort whilst exercising, stop. If pain continues consult your L.M.C or G.P. The information included in this article has been written by Lorraine Scapens: She is not able to provide you with medical advice, information is used as guide. You cannot hold Lorraine liable in any way for any injuries that may occur whilst training. 

20130505103419-new_pregnancy_exercise___stretches_020_(244x300) 20130505103421-new_pregnancy_exercise___stretches_034_(211x300) 20130505103423-new_pregnancy_exercise___stretches_063_(300x182)


You need to be a member of Tribesports to respond to this guide.

Join or sign in

Related guides