Exercises for the Third Trimester of Pregnancy

Fit Pregnant Mom and Personal Trainer Erin Brooks

Personal trainer and 9 month pregnant fit mom, Erin Brooks with her daughter, Carmen, and husband, Doug.

Is it safe to exercise in the third trimester of pregnancy? What exercises are good for the last month of pregnancy? Is it possible to keep the same level of fitness as pre-pregnancy even in the last few weeks before “D-day?”

I recently had the privilege of working out with personal trainer, and 9 month pregnant fit mom, Erin Brooks. Erin has a 3 year old daughter, and is due with her second daughter in a couple weeks. She was committed to stay fit during her first pregnancy and has maintained her fitness level throughout her second pregnancy as well.

Watch Erin’s answer to the following questions: “What has been the biggest challenge to staying fit throughout pregnancy?” And, “What advice would you give to pregnant gym clients?”

Erin admits that every woman and every pregnancy is different, and all of us deal with different hurdles to maintaining our fitness level throughout pregnancy — especially while doing exercises in the third trimester of pregnancy. But Erin stresses that the most important thing is to continue a workout routine, even if your exercise has to be altered and modified in the third trimester or last month of pregnancy.

Half-way through Erin’s pregnancy, she started dealing with pelvic pain, and chose to get a pool membership to continue her workouts in the pool. She is now recovered and able to run again — In fact, she ran 5 miles this morning before I saw her for our workout, and she is only a couple weeks away from her due date! I had a similar situation during my pregnancy and had to slow down my running pace and scale back with running and transition to swimming due to pelvic pain (and the hormone relaxin). Continue to listen to your body and call your doctor if you experience red flags while doing exercises in the third trimester of pregnancy.

Stay tuned for more mini clips with Erin to be posted in the next couple of weeks. One clip is a circuit using light weights, and another clip shows Erin doing some pull-ups and medicine ball burpees in her last month of pregnancy! Pretty amazing. Be sure to check back.

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9 thoughts on “Exercises for the Third Trimester of Pregnancy

  1. Rachel says:

    Hey Amanda! Just curious where you and Erin did your personal trainer certs? Sometimes I consider getting training through NASM, and I wondered if either of you would have recommendations?

    Thanks! Rachel

    • Amanda Tress says:

      Hi Rachel! Great question! I recommend ACSM typically. Do you work at a gym? They likely have a list of certs that they accept. ACE is a popular one as well, but less expensive and the test isn’t as hard as ACSM. Erin is also Crossfit, Zumba, spinning class certified, etc. Are you a trainer now, or hoping to be one? Do you want to own your own business or work for a chain? Answering those questions will help you decide which route to go. Also, I keep up my First Aid and CPR certs in addition to professional and business lability insurance. I am not familiar with NASM, but I would check with the gym you are hoping to work at first! Feel free to friend me on FB and message me privately there for some advice too 🙂

  2. Rachel says:

    Hey 🙂 I’m not a trainer now, I’ve only done some amateur bodybuilding. Sometimes I’m at a crossroads and not sure what I want to do. Since I love fitness and nutrition, I consider making it my career sometimes. And, since I’m hoping to start a family soon, its been inspiring to see moms do that while being pregnant! I’ve considered doing a Crossfit cert, but think that getting a PT certification is a more legit place to start. If I do decide to make a living this way, I want people to trust my guidance because I’m certified! I don’t work for a gym now, cause I live in a pretty rural area. Sometimes I think thats a good reason to become a trainer (lots of possible clients!) I checked out ACE and ACSM, and I can’t tell how to decide between them and NASM. Many of the blogs I read are written by NASM certified PTs, and they seem like they know their stuff! PT certs are confusing! I’m not on FB or Twitter and I don’t blog (yet? I’m not sure I have that much to say!) so sorry I’ve asked you too many Q’s on here!
    Thanks! Rach

    • Amanda Tress says:

      Gottcha. Honestly, I absolutely love being in the fitness industry, and I think it’s a fantastic career. However, I still do my personal training part time and I do web marketing full time. I consider web marketing my career, and personal training my passion. I started working at gyms when I was 14 (cleaning and doing child care). I have worked at gyms ever since — big chains, and small gyms. I always preferred the smaller gyms, and now that I have my own business, I could not be happier. It’s so nice to have flexibility and be my own boss.
      I would recommend that you visit a few gyms in your area (if they have them in your rural town 🙂 and ask them what certs they accept, etc. Also, get a feel for the kind of trainer they employ (a lot of male trainers are just gym rats who didn’t get a college education). I know too many girls who have gotten certs, worked for a chain gym for 3 months, and then quit because they don’t like the staffers or clientelle. Erin works for a smaller women-only gym. It’s in an old church — very cool! I haven’t heard of the NASM, so I would definitely do ACE or ACSM, but again, ask around in your area 🙂

  3. erin brooks says:

    Hey Racehel, I totally agree with all of what amanda’s advice. ACSM is typically known as the most well respected. All other certifications should base their tests off of ACSM guildlines. They have several certifications to choose from. NSCA is also a very well known and respected. These two tests the hardest and take the most time to study. I believe they both still have one line study groups and power points to help in the studying process. I had the opportunity to work with ACSM’s headquarters as part of my internship and helped make some of the power points and helped with administering testing. ACSM has a 6 week webinar to help prepare people for testing. The next one is july 25 through august 30 every thursday night. Likewise I took a semester course in college that helps people study for the NSCA CSCS test. Its is a harder test than ACSMS general PT test and in my opinion targeted more towards sports, and strength/ conditioning. So if your goal would ever be to a strength and conditioning coach for a college or big high school NSCA CSCS would be the one you need. For general training the ACSM PT is the best. Also with ACSM they have more speciality certs to choose from when you want to then expand your education in perhaps cancer patents, health coaching, exercise physiology etc. However their are smaller,cheaper certs that are still nationally recognized and respected that most people would start with. I have been certified with AFAA in personal training and group fitness (an easier but still nationally recognized test) for 10 years. I like AFAA because they have so many specialty certs, fitness class certifications and tons of continuing education. Other easier tests and still nationally recognized are ACE and yes NASM. All the gyms i have worked at hire any that are considered nationally recognized. Generally nationally recognized certs take 3-6 month of studying. I also suggest to do the 2 day prep that most certs offer the day before the exam. Its is usually an additional fee but will help ease your mind as they will review much of the information that is going to be on the test. Best of luck. Glad you are taking interest in the industry and doing a good job of researching options. Go out there and help people be healthy.!!

  4. Rachel says:

    Amanda and Erin,

    Just got back from vaca to see your advice! Thanks for helping me see and understand all my options, that is great! (Doesn’t make my decision easier, but at least I have ideas now!)

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