If you have access to a gym then cables will be your new best friend. This allows you to position yourself standing or sitting in the most comfortable way without restrictions on machine size or unsuitable seats or parts of the machine getting in the way of the bump!
Otherwise a resistance band can have the same effect.
Cable chest press: A good upper body workout to strengthen arms and chest. This builds up strength to help with carrying the baby when it arrives.
This is a compound exercise working multiple muscles and the stability muscles will also be forced to work.
Cable seated row: Excellent for upper back. Upper back work is really important to help correct the kyphosis (increased rounding of the shoulders and upper back) that can occur during pregnancy.
Squats: A big energy burner, helps with circulation to reduce swelling and muscle cramps in legs.
Builds strength and stability to help the body cope with the increased weight load.
Remember – Always Listen To Your Body – Stop If It Doesn’t Feel Right
Recumbent bike: In the third trimester running or impact exercises become more and more difficult.
It’s safer to switch to lower impact exercises where you are supported to avoid injury as the ligaments, tendons and muscles become less supportive due to the hormone relaxin.
This way you can still get your cardio in which is beneficial for cardiovascular health and stress relief as well as helping to reduce swelling and muscle pain.
Leaning dumbbell row: Strengthens the back and arms. Improves posture and can relieve upper back pain by balancing out the load shared between upper and lower traps.
Bicep curl: Bicep curls with dumbbells tone and strengthen arms which again will help with carrying the baby.
Do both hammer grip (palms facing each other) and supine grip (palms facing up) to make sure you fatigue all parts of the muscle.
Tricep extensions: Best to do with dumbells while leaning forward slightly, these strengthen the triceps.
Lat raises: Standing or seated these strengthen shoulders and arms.
Don’t forget to pace yourself for safety
All these exercises should be slow and controlled movements breathing out with the exertion.
Two to three sets and a higher rep range of 15-20 reps is generally advised to ensure good form and not to over-tax the muscles, ligaments or tendons which will now be more flexible and less stable at this point due to the hormone relaxin.
Woodchop: Core work can be difficult especially towards the end of pregnancy but is still very important to include as a strong well-functioning core can even help make for an easier labour.
This can be done with a cable or a resistance band and works the main abs (the 6 pack) and the obliques as well as helping to stabilise the pelvis. Pull the cable or band in line with the chest from one side to the other.
Hover: Strengthens all layers of the abdominals. Start on all fours and then lift the hips higher so the knees are just off the floor.
Focus on the lower back and trying to lift it up out of the lumbar curve to as straight as you can.