For pregnancy exercises, we would recommend activities such as stationary cycling, swimming, walking and stretching. Other types are contraindicated so seek advice form your instructor as they will be able to modify them into pregnancy exercises.
An important thing when considering pregnancy exercises is to avoid jerky movements or bouncing. Movements with sudden changes in direction, jumping or wide range of motion should also be avoided. Do not lie on the back after the fourth month. Include a 5 minute warm up and cool down stretch but not to maximal resistance.
If you had a sedentary lifestyles prior to pregnancy begin with short, low intensity sessions and do not look to make any increases until the latter part of the 2nd trimester (3-6months). Do not do resistance training on consecutive days and ensure weights are comfortable to lift. Avoid hip and back activities after the fourth month. It is still controversial whether abdominal work should be performed, however, focus should be placed on doing pelvic floor exercises. We would advise that abdominal work should not be performed once the pregnant woman has more than 2 finger separation of the linea alba.
The 3 trimester's recommendations:
The 1st trimester is when the majority of complications can occur and the introduction of fitness activity is not advised; also do not make any increases to an existing programme in this time. The 2nd trimester is relatively safe and an increase in type and duration of activity is ok. During the 3rd trimester (6-9mths) weight gain will cause high impact activities to become too strenuous and the programme should lower in intensity. Also during this trimester avoid lying on the back.