Exercise During Your Second Trimester

Exercise During Your Second Trimester

During your second trimester (weeks 14-26), you may feel better than at any other time during your pregnancy. Continue to monitor your body’s reaction to the exercises, and if you feel comfortable enough to do so, consider increasing the duration or intensity of your workouts. Also consider the following potential tweaks and other tips:

  • At some point during this trimester of pregnancy, you may want to shop for a new sports bra, as the current one is likely to be too tight.


  • If you feel out of balance during these weeks, consider stopping any activity that could cause you to lose balance, such as gymnastics, tennis, downhill skiing, skiing, horseback riding, biking, and hiking in the woods on rough trails. Replace it with swimming, water aerobics or a stationary bike that does not require excellent balance.
  • As your child grows and becomes more weak if you fall or get hit in the stomach, your health care provider may ask you to stop ball sports (football, basketball, tennis, etc.), contact sports, and outdoor cycling. (Note that because of your expanding belly, you may find a recumbent bike more comfortable than a traditional stationary bike.)
  • If you do aerobics, make sure your step is no more than 4 inches off the ground, unless you feel completely stable and balanced with a higher step.


  • If you’ve been rowing, you may find this intensely intense sport extremely stressful for the rest of your pregnancy. Pay close attention to how you feel and how much weight you and your baby are gaining.


  • If you lift weights, don’t overwork your thigh muscles, because machines that work on your thighs also tend to put pressure on the ligaments around your pelvis and cause discomfort.


  • After the fourth month, avoid lying on your back for long periods, or else you risk fainting from the pressure your uterus is placing on the vena cava (the large vein that sends blood from your lower body to your heart). If you feel faint on your back, turn on your side to restore blood flow.
  • If you do yoga, remember to adjust the postures for comfort and avoid any movements that cause pain. After the first trimester, use a wedge or pillows to elevate your upper body when doing lying down exercises.


  • Many health care providers recommend that you stop competing in sports events during the second trimester, although this depends on your sport and how you feel. If you are in your second trimester and want to continue participating in a competitive sport, seek advice from your healthcare provider.


  • Be careful not to stretch or make sudden movements during this trimester (and the third and for about five months after birth). During pregnancy, a hormone called relaxin prepares you for childbirth by relaxing all of your ligaments and joints. Take extra care to make sure you don’t put pressure on your knuckles with fast, jerky motions.