Prenatal Workout Modifications & Tips From Mama To Be Kristina

Hey babe! I’m Kristina, your Studio Tone It Up trainer. You may have seen on Insta…I’m also a TIU mama to be in my 3rd trimester! Right now as I’m writing this, the paint is actually going up in our nursery — pale pink for our little girl coming in July! 💕

For all of you in the community who are planning, postnatal, or currently expecting with me, I’m so excited and honored to be on this journey with you! And it’s so special to be pregnant at the same time as Kat ~ we’ve been friends for years and to share this experience with her is amazing!

I want to thank you from the bottom of my heart for all your support and love during my #TIUpregnancy. I was nervous about announcing because this is my first pregnancy and every feeling and emotion was new. Then I started posting on Instagram and hearing from all the other TIU mamas and mamas to be instantly made me feel so much more at home. You’re my support system and you hold me accountable every day!

As soon as I started posting about my workouts on Insta, I had girls sliding into my DMs 😌 asking me about how I modified moves for my pregnancy. So today I’m sharing some of my go-to modifications that I use all the time for the Daily Toning Moves in Studio Tone It Up! These have been amazing in my 3rd trimester (Kat shared more modifications for the 1st trimester HERE!).

I’m also sharing some of my tips for nourishing your body (and baby!) during pregnancy and breathing techniques. Remember that every woman and every pregnancy is unique, so most importantly, listen to your body and do what’s comfortable for YOU!

I share more modifications and prenatal tips on Insta @StudioToneItUpKristina ~ I would love to connect with you so please comment below to say hi or with any questions!!

xxo,

Kristina

My Prenatal Tips ~

Check with your doc: Always check with your doctor before starting, changing, or continuing a fitness routine. A basic rule of thumb is that what you were doing pre-pregnancy can probably be continued with minor modifications. It’s always best to double check to make sure your routine is safe for you and baby!

Listen to your body and be kind to you: At the beginning of my pregnancy, I was feeling exhausted and there were days when my shower was my workout! And that’s OK! I didn’t push myself to exercise and instead, I focused on my nutrition and getting enough rest. Around 17 weeks, I felt a change and had the energy to work out again. Your body will tell you what it needs so always listen. Always remember your body is doing something incredible!

Nourish your body: Continue to fuel your body with Lean, Clean, ’N Green foods from the Tone It Up Nutrition Plan to ensure your baby is getting the best nutrients throughout your pregnancy (Kat shares her food modifications HERE!). This is especially important when you’re working out — you want to make sure you’re getting enough healthy calories. It’s also essential to stay HYDRATED! Drink water before, during, and after your workouts. No matter where I am, I always have a bottle of water with me!

Warm-Up/Cool Down: Just like pre-pregnancy, we want to make sure our bodies are prepared for the workout ahead of us. A low-intensity walk is a great way to warm your limbs up and avoid muscle strain. Pregnancy-friendly stretching for 10 minutes after a workout will help with sore muscles and will lower your heart rate back to a stable state.

When not to lie on your back: After the first trimester, I started to avoid laying on my back while working out. As your uterus grows, it could cause unwanted pressure for you, which could leave you feeling dizzy. *Note: Some women do not feel this and that is COMPLETELY OK! Believe me — your body will tell you when it’s time to modify. For me, I started using a stability ball, foam wedge, or chair to elevate bridges about halfway through my pregnancy. It made a huge difference!

Keep moving: Just like with everyday moves, remaining motionless is not recommended for us beautiful pregnant babes. Same goes for your workout — in between sets during the Daily Moves I might be walking in place, doing a side-to-side step tap, or just moving around the gym or house. That way, our blood keeps on flowin’.

Transition slowly: Have you been feeling off balance? That’s because your center of gravity shifts as your belly grows — totally normal! That’s why it’s extra important to take your time when changing positions — sitting to standing, rolling off of a stability ball, or transitioning from any exercises on your side are great examples of positions that need to be taken slowly.

Stay Cool: You’re one hot mama! 🔥haha I’m feeling hot all the time! Increased blood flow can cause you to heat up. Some ways to keep cool as we approach summer ~ have clothing layered so you can remove articles as needed, always have water with you, and avoid outdoor workouts if the weather isn’t cooperating.

Twisting: Once you hit the 2nd and 3rd trimester, aim to avoid twisting movements. Instead, focus on doing stabilization exercises that continue to work your core without flexing and extending. This will help you avoid conditions like diastasis recti or an unwanted tear. It will also help you maintain balance as your baby continues to grow and your ligaments continue to loosen.

Belly Breathing Techniques

Breathing is SO important when it comes to working out, especially in pregnancy. Belly breathing is designed to keep women’s ‘deep core’ muscles (like the pelvic floor and abdominal muscles) active while expecting. Some ways to complete these breathing exercises are in a seated position on the floor, a chair, or stability ball, or on all fours:

INHALE: Bring both of your hands to your belly. As you breathe in, fill the diaphragm, expanding the rib cage with air and then exhale and tighten — by doing this we are pumping the abdominal wall closer to our midline.

EXHALE: As you exhale, lift through the pelvic floor (think: Kegel) and start to wrap the transverse abdominal muscles — it’s like you are using your muscles to hug your baby.

Toning Move Modifications ~

Jumping Jacks

Modification ~ Jumping Jack Step Outs

If you want to avoid jumping, this is a great low impact cardio option!

Wood Chops

Modification ~ Standing Knee Drive

This will get your heart rate up like the Wood Chop while avoiding twisting. You can also add a weight for resistance!

Squat Jacks

Modification ~ Squat Jack Step Out

Another amazing way to get your cardio in ~ get low girl!!

Bicycles

Modification ~ Standing Cross Crunch

With traditional bicycles, you’re both twisting and crunching, which aren’t recommended. In the standing cross crunch, face straight on and bring your opposite knee to elbow. This will tone your waistline without twisting!

Jump Squat

Modification ~ Squat + Reach

This modification keeps the move grounded but you’re still getting the low to high motion for some cardio!

Pushup

Modification ~ Knee Pushup

There are a few different types of pushup modifications. I’m still comfortable doing them on my knees but you can also modify with a bench, chair, or wall. Do what works best for you and your body. Make sure to keep your spine nice and neutral. With a bump, you don’t want your center of gravity to go down and you don’t want to arch your back — that can cause neck and back pain. And focus on your belly breathing where you’re expanding your diaphragm on the exhale during the move.

Burpee + Pushup

Modification ~ Chair Burpee

During my 2nd trimester, I was still comfortable lowering my hands to the ground and walking my feet back in a burpee. If that still works for you, go for it! If you’re feeling any pressure, bring your hands to a chair.

**Make sure your chair, bench, or sofa is secure against a wall and can’t move side to side, forward or back.**

Jump Lunge

Modification ~ Chair Toe Taps

This is another move that’s great for low impact cardio. It will challenge your cardiovascular system by going from low high planes while still keeping you grounded and safe.

Mountain Climbers

Modification ~ Chair Mountain Climbers

You can always keep your hands in plank if you’re comfortable. I prefer the chair because it’s less pressure and I was able to get my elbows to my knees more comfortably around my bump.

Glute Bridge

Modification ~ Chair Bridge

There was a point in my pregnancy where I was no longer comfortable on my back and that’s different for everyone. I used a chair to modify because it’s stable and I had one handy. You can also use a bench. Simply bring your hips toward the ground instead of off the ground and squeeze your glutes to sculpt your cute booty!

***Some of these are personal preference. Remember what works best for me might not be what works best for you, so always consult with your doc with any questions or concerns.

You got this girl! Love you so much!!! 💗

COMMENTS 14

  1. YES! Thank you for this post!! Been wondering how best to modify some of these moves, especially bridges because I know pelvic floor/core strength is important during pregnancy! My belly is getting bigger but not enough to stop me from slayin every day!! Thanks Kristina + TIU!! <3

  2. Much love to you girl! Your tips have inspired me to eat healthier and follow the daily moves. Everything about this post has brought me back to TIU during my second pregnancy, whereas with my first pre and post natal experience, I had no clue I could still incorporate this lifestyle. 😘

  3. Are you able to have the TIU protein? I noticed on the tubs it says ask your doctor if pregnant before consuming…just wondering what is in it that could be harmful to baby.

    1. I think that’s more for liability than because there’s something in it that could be harmful. Many products have that disclaimer, including all medicines, even if they’re perfectly safe for pregnancy.

    2. Hi babe! I talk about TIU Protein during pregnancy in my vlog HERE! I’ve been having it! Every woman and pregnancy is unique so it’s always good to check with your doctor. xxo

  4. Thank you, thank you, thank you!! So glad you posted this…I’m on my third pregnancy and love TIU but had to try and figure out different workouts for my other pregnancies. This is so helpful!

  5. What about post-natal modifications? Once you have your baby it is difficult yo start normally with workouts and not all movements are approved. It will be really useful to have some tips in order to improve diastasis recti and no-impact workouts while pelvic floor is still recovering. It has been so hard to come back to my pre-baby body, but I am sure I’ll get it back soon with your help babes!!

  6. Thank you for this! So much easier to refer to this page than to check your Stories. Since I’m on the East Coast, my workouts are usually too early to get modifications from your Stories.

    I also really appreciate that the first tip is to consult with your doctor! This is so important because everyone is different. It really depends on your individual needs and situation.

    I want to second how important it is to do those breathing exercises. I’m 34 weeks and a couple weeks ago could barely walk because of all the pressure in my pelvis/on my bladder. It turns out that I was so scared to do any core because of diastasis recti, that I wasn’t doing enough and my pelvic floor and transverse abdominus could not withstand the baby’s weight! My doula recommended the breathing exercises and they have helped so much, even after just a few days. I also bought a belly band and that has helped a lot! Otherwise I may not be able to continue working out and doing prenatal yoga due to the pressure on my bladder/pelvis.

    I want to mention that the INHALE of the breathing exercise – where you relax EVERYTHING, most importantly your pelvic floor (opposite of a kegel) – is SO important! Kegels tighten your pelvic floor, they don’t strengthen the muscles. Strength is what you get in relaxing and then flexing (like when doing bicep curls). During labor you will need to relax your pelvic floor more than anything else, not tighten it. So having enough strength and control to relax it fully is really important.

    <3

  7. This is great! I would love a 2nd and 3rd trimester safe core workout and moves to prevent diastasis recti!

      1. Oh good! I am walking every day and doing arm workouts and the booty, but any ab workouts I am skipping until the pregnancy safe ones come out! I know there are modifications that I can do but my pregnancy brain is making it really hard to remember them! I also sometimes workout before the modifications are posted for the toning moves. Will there ever be a prenatal/postpartum tab on the app? It would be so easy to search for workouts that way!

  8. Thanks so much ladies! These modifications have been so helpful during my third pregnancy.

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