Fitness - January 11, 2021

How I’ve Been Working Out Through My Pregnancy

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Outfit Details: Jacket (wearing XS, fit is oversized) // Sports Bra // Sneakers (here and here) // Sunglasses // Leggings

One of my most frequently asked questions during my pregnancy has definitely been how I’ve been working out throughout. And I totally get why! Working out during pregnancy is something that many people feel differently about – there are so many opinions and lots of guidance on the subject that it can be difficult to navigate.

And while I’m certainly no expert on the subject or a doctor, I’m happy to share my experience and what I’ve done so far. I’ve also found that most people are really looking for encouragement and someone to relate to (especially during the first trimester) because working out can be super challenging. Your body just is not the same when you’re pregnant – it’s working harder and your workouts will probably *feel* a little more difficult than before.

Honestly, sometimes all you want to hear is that you’re not the only one struggling to walk around the block! At least that was the case for me – even during my second trimester when you’re supposed to have all this energy back. Although I did start to feel much better during my second trimester, moving my body was still quite the challenge!

Working Out During Each Trimester

I can’t speak for the entire 9 months of pregnancy since I’m only 31 weeks at the time of writing this post. But I do have a general sense of how my body has felt and still thought it would be helpful to give an overview of workouts through each trimester. I personally have noticed a distinctive difference from my first to second and now that I’m into my third, things are changing again.

I’ve shared about my first-trimester experience in more detail here, but long story short, I had a really hard time physically, emotionally, and mentally. It was quite a whirlwind!

First Trimester

Although I did start trying to work out towards the end of my first trimester (around week 10), there was a solid 2 months where I did basically nothing. Maybe I went on a walk a couple times a week, but it was very slow and I most likely struggled through the entire thing… and then got back in bed. Needless to say, I really did not move my body much during those first couple months.

As I mentioned, around week 10, I started trying to go back to the gym. I had a really great relationship with my trainer that I used to get ready for my wedding, so I started working with him again because I knew I’d need accountability and encouragement.

I only did 2x/week at first and we met for 30 minutes. We kept the weights very light and did zero cardio. I also went on a few walks during the week to keep my blood flow going. I didn’t really start feeling like I could actually push myself until like week 17 I think? Until then, I just focused on doing something and showing up – no matter how little I actually did.

Second Trimester

During my second trimester, I started incorporating more types of workouts into my routine and slowly built up to working out 3 and sometimes 4x/week.

I started by meeting up with my trainer 3x/week. We kept things pretty light but did end up going up to 50 minutes of training instead of just 30 minutes. We also started incorporating some cardio/plyo circuits to get my heart rate up. Around week 20, we stopped doing most ab-focused workouts that would require me to lay on my back. However, we still did exercises that incorporated my core to maintain strength. These were more like stabilization exercises where I needed to use my core to balance, rather than straight up sit ups or something.

During this time, I also started adding something fun and different at least once a week or just when I felt like it or when I couldn’t make it to the gym. I started doing dance cardio and taking some pilates/yoga/bike classes on my MYX bike.

Speaking of, I’ve gotten a lot of questions about my MYX bike and whether I’m pleased with it. Since I’m on the subject, the answer is yes! Actually, Duncan and I both have accounts (monthly memberships) and use them. He mostly uses it to ride, but I like to do some of the other workouts they have available on the platform and only really ride occasionally. I like to do pilates and yoga with an occasional super short (like 15-20 min) bike ride.

I also get asked a lot how the MYX bike compares to the Peloton. And since I’ve never owned a peloton, I really can’t comment. I’m not sure how they compare, but I just know that we’ve really enjoyed our MYX Fitness bike.

Third Trimester

Towards the end of December (around 27 weeks or so), I definitely started noticing that moving my body – even just around the house – was getting harder.

I kept seeing my trainer but I found myself canceling more than usual as sleeping got more difficult. I don’t know about you, but I can’t work out if I haven’t gotten a good night’s sleep! We stopped doing a lot of the cardio (like jump roping) and started doing things like step-ups or lunges that get my heart rate up a little but nothing too intense. I then took 2 weeks off for Christmas where I just did walks around the neighborhood – usually just 1 mile LOL because I had to pee or got too tired.

And now that the holidays are over, my goal for the rest of my pregnancy is to do *something* at least 3x/week. Ideally, I will meet with my trainer 3x/week AND do a bike ride or a short walk a couple times a week. My goal is just to maintain my strength and keep my blood flowing until our little man gets here. Plus, I think working out (even just a little) helps me sleep better at night, and that alone makes it worth it!!

I hope this was helpful for anyone pregnant and struggling as their body changes along with activity levels. My best advice: don’t be too hard yourself and don’t have the same expectations for your body that you had before pregnancy!

Maternity Workout Clothes

I’ve mentioned this before, but I actually never really found any maturity workout leggings that I was obsessed with. But I still want to share what I’ve ended up wearing the most and have enjoyed.

My Favorite sports bra

I’m actually planning on writing an entire blog post on this because it has been such an experience for me lol. But while I’m on the topic in this blog post, I thought it’d be helpful to mention it here as well.

I probably found like a broken record because I’ve mentioned it so many times, but the whole bra situation during pregnancy has been a major struggle and source of frustration. I don’t know if I’ve been living under a rock or what, but I had no idea how much my boobs would change. Mine actually grew at the *very* beginning – before I even knew I was pregnant (I thought it was a new PMS thing and my body was adjusting or something). I’m still dumbfounded by them.

As such, literally none of my regular sports bras fit. I usually wear a size 6 in lululemon and love the energy sports bra. Those were not an option anymore. I ordered a few energy bras from Lulu in size 8 (one size up) and although that worked for a month or so, it was not enough support if I was going to do any sort of jumping or cardio. I ordered several different options and brands to try out and ended up falling in love with the Enlite bra from Lulu. I sized up from a 32 to a 34 and cup size too. It’s the only sports bra I’ll wear now for working out.

Workout Leggings

I tried so many workout leggings and did not have much luck. For most of my pregnancy, I ended up just wearing my Align leggings in my usual size (I like the 25″ and am 5′ 4″ for reference). They didn’t fit all the way over my bump (which is my preference), but they got the job done and were comfortable.

Sometimes I would wear my everyday leggings to workout if I really wanted them to fit all the over my bump and that works fine if I was just doing light strength training.

As I got really a lot bigger (around 29 weeks), I was able to fit into the Ingrid & Isabell maternity leggings. I got them early on in my pregnancy and they were HUGE (like at the top where the fabric goes over my bump). But now they fit a little better (still kind of big) and are a nice option to have.

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Workout Tops

I have a few I’ve had on rotation. I prefer tighter tops since I’m so short and I feel more secure. I have really liked (from left to right in image abovethis racerback tank, this racerback tank (a little looser), and this fitted short-sleeved tee.