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First Trimester Workout: helping to ease those nasty symptoms of sickness and nausea

If you’re anything like me then even thinking about a first trimester workout is at the bottom of your priority list. I was hugging the toilet every morning and evening and heavens forbid I smelt a cooked pepper at lunch time, otherwise I would be running back to hang my head in the toilet. I didn’t manage a lot during my first pregnancy but my second was completely different. The sickness and nausea was the same but my attitude towards the doom of the first trimester wasn’t. In my second pregnancy I knew that the lingering hangover like feeling was temporary so it was easier to take one day at a time. I slept when I needed to, I hid in my bedroom from my husband and firstborn when I just didn’t have the patience to clean up that tin of beans our youngest lobbed all over the new carpet and I stopped doing all chores in the evening. It was this attitude that meant I was miles more active because I wasn’t trying to be Wonder Woman and do everything in the house. I found that taking some time out for a workout during the first trimester, despite the sickness/nausea was refreshing, energising and rebalanced my mental health. I then had the resilience to keep going without too many tears being cried into my pillow when I had gone to bed at 7pm. 

Why I Chose Weight Training:

My chosen training method is weight training due to the huge amounts of benefits that come with it, especially for women. Weight training during pregnancy means that you can build or maintain a strong body that is as well prepared for labour and recovery as possible. Weight training IS SAFE during pregnancy, as long as you don’t over exert your self by lifting too heavy and you cut out certain exercises that can promote diastasis recti. Here is a blog all about diastasis recti in case you want to read more about it.

First Trimester Workout Example:

The thought of doing a workout during the first trimester can feel exhausting, but gentle movement with a reduction of intensity releases serotonin that keeps your mind upbeat and positive. Here is a first trimester weight training workout that can be done by all ability levels:

1: Goblet squat 12-15 reps x 3 sets 2: Dumbbell Romanian deadlift 12-15 reps x 3 sets 3: Bent over row 12-15 reps x 3 sets 4: Seated shoulder press 12-15 reps x 3 sets 5: Lateral raises 12-15 reps x 3 sets 6: Side plank 15-30 seconds each side x 3 sets


It’s really important that you are not lifting weights that are too heavy, when you get the last repetition in your set you should feel like you could do another 3-4 repetitions. Using weights that are too heavy could increase the risk of injury due to higher levels of the hormone Relaxin, which causes your ligaments to relax much more than they used to.  Before starting an exercise regime when pregnant, please check with your doctor that you are safe to do so and also avoid the following exercises:

  • Anything that makes you out of breath so you can’t hold a conversation
  • High intensity 
  • Overhead movements without support for your abdominals
  • Lying flat on your back (in the second trimester)
  • Abdominal work 

For more support on workouts during your first trimester or the rest of pregnancy contact the team at BodyReach Coach Kate 

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