Best Exercises for the Third Trimester of Pregnancy

As your shopper approaches the ultimate stretch of their pregnancy journey, it’s frequent for them to expertise  an abundance of feelings. 

On prime of pleasure, pleasure, stress, and anxiousness, the rising baby brings about rising bodily discomfort—from backaches to shortness of breath to heartburn. 

Plus, beginning is a bodily demanding expertise, testing a mom’s strength, endurance, and psychological health.

The excellent news is that, as a fitness skilled, you possibly can assist your shopper higher address the bodily and emotional challenges skilled throughout the third trimester of pregnancy.

By encouraging your shopper to remain bodily lively all through their third trimester, they might expertise:

  • Less again and pelvic ache
  • Better sleep high quality and power ranges
  • Lower threat of pregnancy and supply problems

That stated, not all sorts of exercises are advisable for the third trimester of pregnancy. Continue studying to study extra.

Third Trimester Exercises to Prepare for Birth

Doing the following exercises throughout the third trimester of pregnancy could assist your shopper via the birthing course of. Note that your shopper ought to all the time get approval to exercise from their major healthcare supplier.

Any Form of Aerobic Exercise

Regular cardio exercise throughout pregnancy may enhance your shopper’s bodily fitness and, in flip, their maximal oxygen uptake or VO2 max—the most quantity of oxygen they’ll breathe in throughout bodily exertion (labor and beginning, for occasion).

Research constantly exhibits an affiliation between increased VO2 max and shorter period of labor.

According to a 2021 meta-analysis of 16 research, researchers discovered that prenatal cardio exercises may help shorten vaginal labor time and scale back the frequency of cesarean part (c-section).

Aerobic exercises you would counsel to your shopper embody brisk strolling, driving a stationary bike, yoga, and water aerobics or swimming.

Birth Prep Exercises

Generally, the handiest place for the baby to journey via your shopper’s pelvis is the occiput anterior (OA) position.

In the OA place, the baby is head down with their face your shopper’s backbone.

Other positions, together with the occiput posterior (OP), the place the baby is head down, going through the naval, or breech place, the place the baby is mendacity backside or toes first, are identified to elongate labor time, enhance ache, and should even necessitate assisted supply and c-section.

Exercises which will encourage your client’s baby to engage in the OA position embody:

  • Wide little one’s pose
  • Seated pelvic circles
  • Cat cow
  • Pelvic tilts

Strength Training Exercises

With permission from their healthcare supplier, your shopper may start or proceed to strength train at the same time as they progress into their third trimester of pregnancy.

A large body of evidence exhibits that resistance training may encourage a healthy pregnancy and decrease the threat of problems—from preeclampsia to pre-term beginning to stillbirth—and c-section.

Strength training exercises notably value specializing in embody:

Core and Pelvic Floor Exercises

Research exhibits that robust stomach muscular tissues could play an vital function in the voluntary pushing mechanism triggered throughout the ultimate section of vaginal supply.

That stated, there are particular core exercises your shopper ought to keep away from to assist stop stomach separation or diastasis recti and we’ll discover this in additional element later.

Pelvic ground exercises, together with kegels, heel slides, and diaphragmatic respiration may assist produce robust and well-controlled pelvic ground muscular tissues to facilitate labor.

Posterior-Strengthening Exercises

The additional your shopper will get into their pregnancy, the extra their pelvis will get pulled into an anterior tilt.

This ends in a more kyphotic posture the place the stomach muscular tissues are overstretched, and hip flexors get extremely tight.

Beyond doubtlessly inflicting decrease again ache, this will additionally make it troublesome for your shopper to get into their preferred birthing position, like the squatting place. Thankfully, posterior-strengthening chain work—i.e., exercises that strengthen the “backside” of the body—may assist counteract your shopper’s posture and enhance their consolation throughout birthing. Examples embody squats and deadlifts.

Breathing and Relaxation Exercises

According to a 2022 systematic review, researchers discovered proof that practising respiration and rest exercises throughout pregnancy reduces the want for pharmacological assist (particularly, epidural anesthesia). Lower labor ache ranges are additionally reported.

Examples of respiration and rest exercises you would embody in your shopper’s exercise program throughout the third trimester of pregnancy embody gradual, rhythmic, and shallow respiration.

FAQs About Exercising During Third Trimester of Pregnancy

Here are some generally asked questions on exercise throughout the third trimester.

How Much Should Your Client Exercise During the Third Trimester?

According to The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists pregnant people ought to get a minimum of 150 minutes of moderate-intensity bodily exercise every week collected over a minimal of three days per week. This ought to be distributed between a spread of cardio and resistance training actions.

That stated, how little or a lot your shopper ought to exercise throughout the third trimester additionally will depend on the following:

  • Their fitness degree: If your shopper is comparatively new to figuring out or it’s been some time since they final exercised, you’ll need to start on the low finish of what you’re feeling they’re succesful of, then slowly work your method up the scale on their exercise program.
  • How they really feel: As your shopper’s baby will get nearer to their beginning weight throughout the third trimester, your shopper’s fatigue ranges can enhance. So, let their body information them on how frequently and the way intensely they need to exercise. 

What Movements Should Be Avoided in the Third Trimester?

In the absence of contraindications, exercise throughout the third trimester of pregnancy is usually secure and advisable for your shopper’s and their baby’s health. However, this doesn’t imply all actions are secure.

Here are just a few chances are you’ll want to keep away from recommending.

Unstable Exercises

It’s frequent for stability to be affected throughout pregnancy. Avoid unstable training strategies comparable to standing on a BOSU ball or rear foot elevated break up squats to reduce the probability of harm.

Supine Exercises

Although there’s conflicting recommendation on this, most present pointers state that pregnant people shouldn’t do extended exercise in the supine place throughout the ultimate trimester.

This is as a result of the baby’s weight may compress the inferior vena cava (a big blood vessel accountable for transporting deoxygenated blood from the decrease extremities and stomach again to the coronary heart), which is able to typically end in a sensation of dizziness or nausea.

So, to cut back this threat, keep away from exercises carried out with the shopper on their  again, comparable to leg lifts, glute bridges, crunches, and useless bugs.

Olympic Lifts

These two lifts require your shopper to maneuver the bar explosively previous the mid-section.

Even in case your shopper is accustomed to these actions and has been training with them pre-pregnancy and in the first two trimesters, a rising stomach may make correct judgment of the barbell’s distance from the body difficult, rising the threat of fetal trauma from influence.

Heavy Resistance Training

Any load that requires your shopper to make use of the Valsalva maneuver (straining whereas holding the  breath) is simply too heavy.

Beyond affecting your shopper’s blood pressure, the Valsalva maneuver may additionally trigger excessive downward pressure on their pelvic floor, which is already beneath pressure throughout pregnancy. 

Any Exercises That Cause Excessive Pressure on the Linea Alba

Diastasis recti refers to the separation of the rectus abdominis muscular tissues.

The rectus abdominis muscular tissues are divided into left and proper sides by a band of tissue referred to as the linea alba that runs down the center.

As your shopper’s uterus grows to accommodate the baby’s rising measurement, their stomach muscular tissues are stretched. This could trigger thinning and pulling aside of the linea alba.

To reduce the prevalence of diastasis recti or stop it from worsening, exercises that put pointless pressure on the linea alba ought to be prevented. 

Common culprits embody crunches, planks, and different high-load stomach exercises carried out in a front-loading place.

Exercises That Cause Pelvic Floor Discomfort or Pain

Be cautious of exercises that trigger your shopper to really feel sensations of heaviness, discomfort, or ache in the pelvic area.

High-Impact Exercises

Exercises comparable to running, leaping, or rebounding are typically not suggested in the third trimester of pregnancy as a result of of the influence they might have on the pelvic ground. 

Instead, chances are you’ll want to decide for low-impact cardio choices like brisk strolling, water aerobics, and stationary biking.

Plyometric Exercises

Plyometric training includes fast, highly effective, and explosive actions.

Examples of plyometric exercises embody field jumps and lateral hops. Beyond rising your shopper’s threat of falling, plyometric exercises are additionally typically not suggested for pregnant people as a result of the body releases the hormones relaxin and progesterone all through pregnancy to loosen muscles, ligaments, and joints.

Because of this potential lower in stability, performing explosive actions could enhance your shopper’s threat of harm.

Is Planking Dangerous During the Third Trimester of Pregnancy?

Planking isn’t inherently harmful throughout the third trimester of pregnancy.

That stated, as talked about earlier, it could trigger pressure on the linea alba. So, in the event you discover any bulging alongside the midline of your shopper’s stomach, chances are you’ll want to instruct them to carry out planks on an incline or skip this exercise completely.

The excellent news is that you’ve got many different third-trimester-friendly core exercises to select from, together with the suitcase carry or the half-kneeling palloff press.

Should Your Client Do Squats in the Third Trimester?

Yes, typically, so long as your shopper:

  • Has gotten the go-ahead from their major healthcare supplier
  • Doesn’t expertise any ache or discomfort whereas performing the motion
  • Avoids excessively heavy hundreds that require them to carry out the Valsalva maneuver

Any Third Trimester Workouts to Avoid?

In addition to the particular exercises value avoiding talked about earlier, you may additionally want to instruct your shopper to keep away from the following:

What At-Home Third Trimester Workouts Should Your Client Try?

The varieties of at-home third-trimester workouts your shopper may attempt are just about limitless. This is as a result of there are such a lot of pregnancy-safe exercises and actions to select from.

Just make sure that your shopper will get clearance from their major healthcare supplier to exercise and steer clear of actions and actions that ought to be prevented.


In normal, it’s useful to exercise even into the late phases of pregnancy. Sticking to a daily cardio and resistance training routine may assist decrease your shopper’s threat of pregnancy-related problems and make their birthing expertise simpler. 

However, there are some exercises and actions that ought to be prevented throughout pregnancy.  It’s essential for your shopper  to get approval to exercise from their major healthcare supplier.


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