Best Exercises for Third Trimester of Pregnancy

prenatal exercise third trimester exercise

Best Exercises for Third Trimester of Pregnancy

When you exercise during pregnancy you will find that your growing belly will impact on how you exercise. So I want to share with you the best exercises for third trimester of pregnancy as this is the trimester when you need to modify your workouts the most.

Even though you may not feel like doing much at all, it's important to keep moving throughout the third trimester. Whether it is walking, doing a prenatal workout or swimming; the benefits of exercising when pregnant are well-documented.

Need to Relax?

I have added a really nice 10 minute relaxation video at the top of this post. It is important that you include some meditation or relaxation sessions into your weekly fitness plan.

Your due date is not far away!

You're getting excited to see bub. Week 40 is quickly approaching. Maybe you're even a little anxious. Worrying about what to expect in labor. Who will be on your hospital team. How your postpartum recovery will be.

But for right now, I want you to continue with your guided weekly workouts. Your health is important and the best thing you can do right now is to eat well, make the right lifestyle choices and ensure you are only doing workouts that consist of the best exercises for your third trimester.

You will be OK!

You're prepared! You have made it this far. Maybe a long the way you have experienced some ups and downs like most mamas. But I want you to focus on what you can control form here on out.

Knowing you have stayed fit and active throughout your pregnancy will help you during labor and delivery. When your baby is born, it will all be worth it. Trust me; when I got to meet my beautiful little baby boy Max it was all worth it!

Discover why mamas around the world trust PregActive when pregnant >

Your Birth Plan

You should have a birth plan and be ready for the big day. You may have covered this in your childbirth class. If not, your midwife can help you.

Have you done a practice run to the hospital? Is there car seat secured? Got your hospital bag ready? Paperwork is all in order?

You are familiar with all the signs of labor. Yes, you are ready!

I want you to relax and take a moment for yourself until baby arrives. I know, you have gone through your list many times!

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Labor and Delivery

My birth prep workouts will help you to get fit for birth. It will also help you to ease labor pain, prevent injuries and enjoy a more empowering childbirth. I have been there and it worked for me and I know it will work for you too.

You will discover the techniques to prepare you for your biggest life-changing experience - childbirth! Not only do I provide you with our functional birth prep workouts; my team of prenatal health experts also talk about the fears, pressure, anxiety and all the overwhelming thoughts that are creeping into your mind about birth.

Related: Discover how to get fit for birth >

Let's move on and continue with how you should be exercising and working out during your third trimester. Below you will find just a few stretching exercises that you can do.

Best Exercises for Third Trimester of Pregnancy

3rd Pregnancy Exercise 1: Neck Stretches
  1. Sets: 2
  2. Reps: hold each stretch for 10+ seconds

3rd Pregnancy Exercise 2: Opposite Arm and Leg
  1. Sets: 2
  2. Reps: 5 each side
  3. Rest: 15 seconds

3rd Pregnancy Exercise 3: Seated Curl Back
  1. Sets: 2
  2. Reps: 10

3rd Pregnancy Exercise 4: Side Lateral Stretch
  1. Sets: 2
  2. Reps: 5 each side

3rd Trimester Pregnancy Exercise 5: Pelvic Tilts
  1. Sets: 2
  2. Reps: 10

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Have Your Workouts Paid Off?

Yes, they have. You are physically ready for childbirth. Your weight gain is normal and healthy. Your core is stronger.

If you have been doing your Kegel exercises then you have been strengthening your pelvic floor. This means you will be less likely to experience unwanted leakage post pregnancy. Or, the severity will be lessened.

Don't stop now!

I want you to continue with your Kegels all the way into your postpartum recovery. You will experience a speedier recovery after childbirth. While you will experience some significant body changes, they will be reduced in severity.

During the last few weeks, when you are feeling awkward and uncomfortable, is when you can adapt your workouts. This is the time to include some relaxation sessions into your daily program.

Continue with Your Pelvic Floor Exercises

Every prenatal exercise plan should include Kegel exercises. They are very important to strengthening your pelvic floor. You will be thankful you did your Kegels during pregnancy and in your classes when you are recovering after childbirth.

Why Exercise in the Third Trimester?

By continuing to exercise you will help to alleviate aches and pains while also preparing your body for labor. These exercises will open up the hips and pelvis, strengthening the muscles you'll be using during childbirth.

At this point, your focus should be geared towards physically preparing for childbirth as well as the postnatal period.

You may find the best time to exercise is in the morning. I want you to listen to what your body is telling you! Trust in yourself if something feels little off. Stay in constant contact with your doctor.

Avoid the Following

1. Exercises that could cause you to lose your balance.

2. High-impact exercises and movements.

3. High-intensity workouts.

4. Jumping.

5. Hopping.

6. Skipping.

7. Bouncing.


1. Performing your pelvic floor exercises daily.

2. To do relaxation sessions.

3. Focusing on your breathing techniques for labour.

4. Keeping your body temperature at the required levels.


1. Participating in classes with a qualified prenatal exercise instructor.

2. Participate in short, non-impact workouts.

3. Take advice from qualified professionals.


1. The warning signs to stop exercising if necessary.

2. Signs of labor.

3. Your plan for the big day.


1. Confidence in your body during labor.

2. Have confidence in your support team.

3. Your hospital bag ready.

Pregnancy Stretches for Lower Back Pain in Your 3rd Trimester

Here are some great Pregnancy Stretches for Lower Back Pain, Glutes and Hips. Stretching during pregnancy can provide some benefits with relaxation but it is important to know that your muscles will become more supple due to hormone changes. Below I have listed 10 of the best #pregnancystretches you can do at home.

But first, have a look at this short 4 minute video to get some great stretches.

There are certain stretches you can do during a prenatal workout but also I want you to be aware of stretches you need to avoid as your belly grows.

You should always conduct a thorough warm-up with light activity and movement and you should always stretch following exercise. To ensure you are getting the most benefit from your post-exercise stretching session, follow the tips below.

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Morning Wake Up Pregnancy Yoga Workout

Hey there mama! As the name of this video suggests; here is a morning pregnancy yoga workout to help you move and feel better into your day. Reduce your back ache and pelvic pain, engage your pelvic floor and strengthen your core whilst waking up your body gently, ready for the day ahead!

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Exercising in Your 3rd Trimester

1. Always Consult Your Doctor First

During your third trimester of pregnancy you will be in regular contact with your doctor. Therefore, always communicate with them what you are doing or are intending on doing when it comes to exercise.

There are many complications and risk factors that can come into play during your last trimester. Your doctor may advise you to slow down or cease exercise completely in the last few weeks or months of your pregnancy.

2. Avoid Lying On Your Back

Obviously you will not want to lie on your stomach. You should also avoid lying flat on your back when exercising. I love yoga, but there are some modifications required when pregnant along with some poses you must avoid.

If you find yourself lying on your back, or sleeping on your back, don't worry! Just turn on your side (left side is preferable).

Related: You should avoid exercising on your back >

3. Exercise In The Morning

Participating in one of my 3rd trimester exercise workouts will help give you the energy boost you need for the day. By the end of the day you will no doubt be experiencing greater fatigue and will be less motivated to do a workout.

4. Listen To Your Body

When you get tired, you are likely to pay less attention to your posture. So always maintain correct body position when standing and seated. Avoiding back pain during pregnancy will be a high priority.

I have a dedicated member's only area where I show you how to prevent back pain when pregnant. I also include step-by-step guidelines on how to lift baby correctly, with the right technique!

5. Don't Lose Your Balance

You will notice that you are more susceptible to losing your balance during your third trimester of pregnancy due to changes in posture, weight and body shape. Try and avoid activities that require you to focus on holding positions for long periods of time.

6. Low Impact Cardio

Try and maintain your walking or swimming sessions at a comfortable pace and intensity that suits you. Avoid high intensity, high impact cardio workouts. Now is not the time to start a new program or exercise class.

7. Pelvic Floor Exercises

Continue to do your pelvic floor exercises. By now you would have heard a lot about your pelvic floor and the importance of strengthening these muscles.

Functional Third Trimester Pregnancy Exercises

Your third trimester includes weeks 26 - 40. This is obviously the trimester where your growing belly comes into play in how you exercise. So now is the time to only include functional third trimester pregnancy exercises.

My classes provide you with workouts that allow you to exercise comfortably while adhering to the strict exercise guidelines of The PregActive Method.

It is important to remind yourself that your functional prenatal workouts are designed to not only improve your health, but to also look after the health of your growing baby.

It is for this reason that you remind yourself that while you may be able to perform certain exercises and movements, that they may not be safe for baby.

Discover why mamas around the world trust PregActive when pregnant >

Your Third Trimester

It is during this trimester that you will have high levels of relaxin that will be impacting on what exercises you can do and which ones you must avoid. In order to prevent soft tissue injuries; your movements, exercises and daily activities should avoid sudden change in direction.

Third Trimester Pregnancy Exercises Should Focus on:

1. Core loading
2. Hip loading
3. Scapular loading
4. Pectoral loading

Let's take that one step further and explain why these play such an important role in how I design my third trimester prenatal workouts.

Functional Training for Labour and Delivery

My functional prenatal workouts are now focusing on building your muscular endurance for childbirth.

I focus on; breathing, holding muscle contractions, performing your daily pelvic floor exercises and strengthening the muscles required for the labour positions you may use.

Functional Postpartum Training

So when is the best time to start physically preparing for the postnatal period?

Now, while you are pregnant!

Participating in functional training will help you to prepare for all the activities, movements and daily activities you will perform during motherhood.

My functional prenatal workouts include exercises that take into account the postural and biomechanical changes your body will experience.

This includes teaching you the correct lifting technique for various positions and lifting requirements involving baby.

Our workouts adhere to the recommendations set-fourth by ACOG.

If you are prescribed a program during your pregnancy that does not adhere to these guidelines then I highly recommend you speak to your treating health care professional before starting such a program.

Pregnancy is not the time to take risks!

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ACOG Guidelines?

1. All expectant women (and especially de-conditioned women or those with medical complications) should undergo a thorough medical evaluation before beginning an exercise program.

2. Pregnant women without contraindications should be encouraged to engage in regular, moderate-intensity physical activity. Thirty minutes or more, on most days, is recommended.

3. Women who engage in strenuous exercise during pregnancy require close medical supervision.

4. The safety of any sport during pregnancy is determined largely by its specific movements.

For example, trauma may result to both a woman and her foetus during recreational sports with a high potential for contact or abdominal injury (e.g. ice hockey, soccer) or an increased risk of falling (e.g. horseback riding, downhill skiing.) Scuba diving should be avoided due to the risk of decompression sickness.

5. After the first trimester, pregnant women should avoid the supine position and motionless standing as much as possible.

6. Postpartum resumption of activities should be gradual, owing to de-training.

After Childbirth

When ready, after childbirth, I want you to focus on your recovery. This is where my online Core Rehab for Mamas program will help you just like it has helped thousands of other women just like YOU.

'From my innovative Birth Prep program, to my guided weekly exercise workouts, my online yoga classes, pelvic floor exercises to my PregActive FIT workouts - my online program is for you!' Start with a FREE Trial >

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