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Third Trimester Pregnancy Workout Modifications: Weeks 33-38

Holy goodness am I pregnant now. I recently wrote over on Fit Bottomed Mamas about how I have more of everything — and I definitely have more baby in that belly. (And I’m writing this in early February, so by now, I could either have a baby out in the world or still be pregnant and have even MORE.)

pregnancy-workout

And my pregnancy workouts have become, well, just see — they be changing! And tapering. (See my previous weeks’ pregnancy workout modifications herehere and here.) Pregnancy really does feel like you’re training for a race. And I’m getting close to THE day!

Weeks 33-34: I’m still feeling dang good — and hitting the Fit Pit for modified workouts two to three times a week, plus prenatal yoga and walks! This is virtually unchanged from previous weeks in my pregnancy. The only change you’ll see is that kettlebells are out, as the belly is just too big to safely work around.

Pull-ups: Modified to body rows
Push-ups: Standing ring push-ups (changing the angle to make it easier or harder depending on how I feel that day)
Burpees: Squat followed by a standing ring push-up and a step-up
Box jumps: Modified to step-ups on three boxes below my pre-pregnancy box-jump height
Kettlebells: Subbed for an overhead press or push press with 15-pound dumbbells
Olympic lifts: All done with dumbbells — usually 15-pound or 12-pound ones
Jump rope: Stationary biking or step-ups
General weight-lifting: Reduced weight by about 50 percent or as needed
General cardio (jogging, bike): Jump on the stationary bike for pretty much all running, unless it’s a short distance (less than a quarter mile), in which I just go slowly and walk if need be
Ab exercises: Subbed out for foam rolling and extra stretching

Weeks 35-36: Energy is still high. And the nesting urge is at an all-time high. Surprised to say that I’m still going to the gym two to three times a week and even running short distances feels pretty good. The only big change from last week is that my doula has advised I cut back on my number of squats some so that I don’t trigger early labor. So, less of that and a few more lunges and step-ups instead — always listening to my body, of course.

Pull-ups: Modified to body rows
Push-ups: Standing ring push-ups (changing the angle to make it easier or harder depending on how I feel that day)
Burpees: Lunge on the left and right, followed by a standing ring push-up and a step-up
Box jumps: Modified to step-ups on three boxes below my pre-pregnancy box-jump height
Kettlebells: Subbed for an overhead press or push press with 15-pound dumbbells
Olympic lifts: All done with dumbbells — usually 15-pound or 12-pound ones
Jump rope: Subbed for step-ups
General weight-lifting: Reduced weight by about 50 percent or as needed
General cardio (jogging, bike): Jump on the stationary bike for pretty much all running, unless it’s a short distance (less than a quarter mile), in which I just go slowly and walk if need be
Ab exercises: Subbed out for foam rolling and extra stretching

Weeks 37-38: People had warned me that it would come. And it came. With a vengeance. As soon as I got a couple of days into week 37, my energy went from great to darn near non-existent. Plus emotions. Like, all the emotions. I was so tired I wanted to just cry, and I did. Needless to say, my regular trips to the gym were mostly replaced with sleep, warm baths and sipping red raspberry leaf tea — along with other activities that used to just be “normal,” as you’ll see below. I did manage to do a couple of strength sessions on the TRX at home

Week 38 was a bit of a curveball as well. Some days I had zero energy; others I felt pretty normal. I got in two workouts at the gym and a trip to the zoo, plus lots of walking and easy/stretching yoga. And, really, once I got well into 38 weeks, it was really nice mentally. What’s the worst that can happen if I run a little? My water breaks? Bring it!

Pull-ups: Modified to body rows on the TRX or rings
Push-ups: Standing push-ups on the TRX or rings
Squats/lunges: Only bodyweight and only as deep as is comfortable
Box jumps: Modified to step-ups on a stair
General weight-lifting: Only upper-body with 15-pound dumbbells
General cardio: Walking, step touches or step-ups on a stair (I did run 400 meters at the gym, but it was slooow, and I wanted to go no farther!)
Ab exercises: Subbed out for foam rolling and extra stretching
Bonus “life” WODs: Tying my shoes, attempting to shave my legs, rolling over at night to get in a more comfortable position, picking up anything from the ground (that I’ve clumsily dropped) and buckling my seat belt in the car.

Bonus! Week 39: I originally wrote this post wondering if I’d get to 39 weeks before delivery day, but lo and behold, this baby is still baking! And while I’m saving all the energy I have for labor at this point in my pregnancy, I have been staying somewhat active and limber with daily walks (15 to 30 minutes), easy prenatal yoga, stretching and those bonus “life” WODs. Plus, lots of hip circles on my stability ball!

To follow the “training for a race” metaphor. I’ve also been carb loading. With copious amounts of this. How did your workouts change in the final weeks of your pregnancy? —Jenn

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  1. So excited for you and your family!! 🙂 I have not been pregnant yet, but seeing that popcorn you’re eating makes me extra excited!