third trimester workout tips

How to Exercise in the Third Trimester

How to Work Out in the Third Trimester of Pregnancy

It is hugely beneficial for both the pregnant mother as well as for her unborn baby if she exercises throughout her pregnancy.

That is much easier said than done. Especially when you are talking about working out in the third trimester.

Your exercise has to change dramatically. However, it is still vitally important to remain active throughout your entire pregnancy if your health allows.

In this post, you will learn the ins and outs of exercising while pregnant in the third trimester; straight from the mouth of a pregnant personal fitness trainer.


how to exercise safely in the 3rd trimester


Why should you exercise during pregnancy?

There are lots of great benefits to exercising while pregnant. The APA and Mayo Clinic recommend 30 minutes of light to moderate exercise per day for pregnant women.

Now don’t get turned off by what sounds like a big number. If you dive a bit deeper into this and other studies about the recommended amount of exercise for a pregnant woman, it doesn’t refer necessarily to “gym time,” weight lifting, or even vigorous exercise.

Instead, it is 30 minutes of daily activity. Even walking and yoga count toward this recommended 30 minutes.

Moderate exercise and strength training specifically are also very helpful during pregnancy, but less so in the last trimester than the previous two. The reason being that your joints are very loose by now, your balance is highly affected, and you want to be extra careful to not incur injury.

Learn all the details of how to workout while pregnant safely throughout all trimesters. And then be sure to hop back to the post you’re on to learn details about further modifying exercising in the third trimester.

Because the last trimester is a whole different ballgame that really deserves this post of its own.


How Exercising in the Last Trimester is Way Different

The last trimester is ridiculously uncomfortable. With 13 weeks to go until baby is born, you probably are beginning to feel like a whale.

Getting up off the couch or out of bed is like putting an oversized kettlebell on your stomach that digs in under your ribs as you stand.

You may or may not be suffering from:

With some or all of that going on, exercising is becoming more difficult. Heck, moving around at all is becoming more difficult.

Can you guess I’ve finally reached my last trimester? This is my third baby so I know pretty much what to expect, and the remaining 10 weeks I know is going to fly by. But that sure doesn’t make it any more comfortable.

Exercising in the final trimester is more about keeping moving, repairing and strengthening painful areas, and maintaining what muscle you can.

You’re so smart for being here mama! During pregnancy your body changes so fast, it can be tough to keep up! But before you know it, you will be holding that little bundle of joy in your arms and not your stomach.
Getting back to feeling like yourself again postpartum can be tough. And the easiest way to do that is by learning how to repair your core from a Doctor of Physical Therapy.

You have all these prenatal appointments and then you get ONE postpartum checkup… maybe two if you’re lucky. That’s why you absolutely need to take your postpartum rehab into your hands. And grab some help from the hands of a knowing doctor and mama of four who can walk you step by step through the gentlest and most effective way to restore your core!!

Get it now because the program starts while you’re still preggo= even more amazing! Postpartum Abs is what every mom should be handed at their postpartum checkup, and maybe one day they will be! Get your copy now.


Here are 4 Secret Tricks to Exercising Through the 3rd Trimester

prenatal exercise tips for the third trimester of


1. Modify All Exercises

Seriously. If you hopped over and read that very thorough post about how to exercise while pregnant before completing this one, you know that you will need to begin modifying your workouts by 12 weeks.

However, modifications progress further in the final trimester of pregnancy.

For example: you may have already changed from traditional pushups to “girl” pushups, and then possibly progressed to inclined pushups on a bench, and then may have to further modify by completing your pushups at a steep incline on a wall.

Another example of modifying an exercise to fit through the final trimester may be lunges. Perhaps you used to be able to rock out walking lunges all around your neighborhood, but lack of balance now caused you to switch to stationary lunges, and then maybe even that began making you feel some strain on your linea alba, so you need to throw out that exercise completely or only do it in the pool.

The idea is to take more and more strain off of your growing belly and to remember that the weight you are moving around is increasing. Adjust and modify your exercising accordingly.


2. Use a Chair or Stability Ball in the Third Trimester

Whether you’ve put on 20 pounds or 50 pounds, look like you’re about to pop or are barely starting to show, guarantee you are pretty uncomfortable by now. Every woman carries pregnancy differently, and how you look may or may not be a reflection of how you feel.

What’s important is to keep moving and to continue exercising as long as you have no contraindications.

You can continue workouts that you don’t quite have the strength or energy for by using a chair or stability ball to sit on or hold onto.


3. Reduce the Weight You are Lifting

In a typical workout routine, you are constantly aiming to increase the weight you are lifting or the repetitions that you are able to lift the said weight. Well, that’s all about to change now that you are in the final trimester of pregnancy!

You may want to reduce the amount of weight you are lifting for two reasons.

  1. You already are lifting additional weight. Every step you take is probably around 20 or more pounds heavier than it was a few months ago. All leg and core exercises are already feeling this extra weight. Have no shame in lowering or eliminating any additional weight you are holding during exercise.
  2. With less balance and increased pressure in your abdomen, lifting too much weight can put excess strain on the linea alba and cause or further exacerbate diastasis recti. Learn all about what diastasis recti is, how to prevent it, and how to fix it!


4. Focus on Repairing and Retaining

As mentioned before, you are probably suffering from some pregnancy aches and pains at this point. Each woman and each subsequent pregnancy will be different, but we all suffer from some pregnancy-related discomforts or pains.

In the last trimester do not focus on building muscle, but on retaining the muscle that you have already built.

Take time to focus on repairing exercises such as those targeting:

  • the transverse abdominus (to hold that bump up and lessen DR and lower back pain)
  • the hips (stretch and exercise to relieve aches)
  • the upper back (to fix hunching shoulders and neck pain)
  • the pelvic floor (because it has a lot of weight on it now, a huge job to do soon, and lots of repair to do afterward.)


Wrapping Up How to Exercise in the 3rd Trimester of Pregnancy

As mentioned before, working out in the third trimester is a whole different ball game. Continuing to move and be active will make you feel so much better! But finding the motivation to do so can be tough.

In addition, knowing how to exercise correctly can be even harder. I hope that this post cleared up some of your questions about exercising the final trimester.

Have you been able to get up and moving in any of your final trimesters? Do you plan on continuing exercising until the end of your pregnancy? Please reach out in the comments below!


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  1. Wow that was odd. I just wrote an incredibly long comment but after I clicked submit my comment didn’t show up. Grrrr… well I’m not writing all that over again. Regardless, just wanted to say great blog!

    1. That’s so unfortunate, I’m sorry that happened to you! But thanks so much! Glad you’re enjoying it. 🙂

  2. What we found should be reassuring for active women with healthy pregnancies: Vigorous exercise appears to be safe for both mom and baby, even into the third trimester.

    1. Yes it can be. If you use the modifications listed above, avoid dangerous exercises, and your body is accustomed to it, and you can perform the talk-test, then vigorous exercise is great even in the third trimester.