Third Trimester Exercises for Pregnant Women

As a woman enter her third trimester, often the aches increase, fatigue sets in and let’s face it – you’re wondering “how much longer?”

As you near your delivery date, your joints loosen and balance becomes more difficult. It is important to maintain your exercise regime so that your baby gains the proper amount of weight and you’re in the best possible shape for labor and delivery. Lack of exercise can lead to increased back pain and sciatica issues.

Although high impact activities such as running, jumping, lifting weights, even sit ups may cause stress and strain to your body, doing these and exercises in the water provide a low impact alternative to the exercises you used to do on land. Continuing abdominal and back exercises is important to help with postural changes and stability.

Women who exercise in the water enjoy many health benefits. Along with a cardiovascular exercise, water increases your circulation and decreases edema and swelling. Energy as well as your overall mood will also improve.

As long as you are not at risk of early labor, exercise is encouraged. If you are changing your fitness program, it is advised to check with your healthcare provider before starting new activities. Safety is most important. Please remember to bring a water bottle to the pool and stay hydrated and go at a pace the feels comfortable to you.

Get immediate medical advice if you experience any of the following signs:

  • Bleeding or spotting
  • Vaginal leak
  • Dizziness
  • Shortness of breath
  • Uterine contractions
  • Pain of any kind, especially chest or abdominal
  • Persistent nausea and vomiting
  • Sudden swelling of hands, face and and/or feet

Below are a series of five (5) low impact deep water exercises designed to increase your heartrate without fear of overheating or putting you or your baby at risk of injury. These exercises focus on your hips, lower back and core strengthening and stretching.

Before entering the pool, grab a noodle and head to the deeper water. Once you get in the water place the noodle behind you bringing the ends under your arms and let your body hang in a vertical position finding your center of gravity.


Maintaining your upright position, bend one knee at a time stretching that leg forward, then pressing back as the other leg comes forward. Continue this jogging motion for 3-5 minutes. Begin at a slow pace and gradually increase speed as time goes on.

Jumping Jacks

Again starting at a vertical hang, keeping your legs straight, simultaneously bring your legs out to the side and then squeeze them back together. Repeat 10-15 times.

Heel/Toe Touches

Similar to the jumping jacks, stretch your legs apart, then as you bring them together rotate your hips so your toes are touching and heels are out, stretch out again and as you bring them in again have your heels touch with toes facing outward. Repeat 10-15 times.

Side to Side

Laying back at a 45 degree angle, gently raise your knees to your chest (as best you can). Keeping your knees together, twist them from the right to left side. Go at a slow to moderate pace for 10-15 times on each side.

Leg Drop

This is deceivingly difficult. Keeping your knees straight, lift your legs so your toes are at the surface of the water. As you lean forward, press your heels down until you are in a vertical position. Repeat 5-8 times.

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