Twin Pregnancy Exercises by Trimester
Before we found out that we were pregnant with twins I had such grand plans for staying on the workout regimen that I had established in the past year. That was about two Zumba classes a week, a body toning class which incorporated HIIT and weights, and then swimming or hiking on the weekends. But I ended up being so sick right away that working out felt almost impossible.
When we found out we were pregnant with twins I knew that not only would the morning sickness I was already experiencing slow me down, but there was a lot of conflicting information out there on what you should be doing with a twin pregnancy and exercise because it is considered high risk.
I want to say that looking up stuff online is not a great idea. It’s natural to want to know and I did spend some time reading about other people’s journeys. I will say that for the most part almost everyone who talked about working out greatly decreased their workouts and some decided they did not want to work out at all during the pregnancy due to being high risk.
The best thing to do always is to ask your doctor. They should be the only people who are clearing you for what type of exercise, if any, you should be doing. All the exercise I have been doing is on the recommendation of my doctor and I have only made the decisions based on their recommendations and listening to my body.
I was so sick the first trimester that I did not do much exercise. In the first few weeks, before the terrible morning sickness hit, I was able to go to a few classes I had been taking at studios. I had a few Zumba classes that I really loved and got in a little bit of cardio. I also took a few yoga classes but ended up not using the rest of my month of unlimited classes due to feeling very sick.
By our first ultrasound I was not working out and had lost 4 pounds from not being able to keep much food down. Constantly throwing up takes a toll on your body and I was also hit with the stomach flu.
At the appointment, my doctor encouraged me to just focus on eating what I could, resting as much as possible and walking my dog for my exercise. I walked my dog at this point 2 times a day, around a half a mile each walk. The doctor also encouraged me to lightly stretch in order to keep my body limber as it was going through a lot of growth changes.
I made a point to stretch using the positions she gave me when I was feeling up to it. Often with long bouts of nausea, I would avoid bending over or squeezing my stomach as much as possible. But during the hours that I did feel good, I made sure to stretch and that felt great!
First Trimester Twin Pregnancy Exercises:
- Walking 1-2 times a day (total 1-1.5 miles)
- Gentle pregnancy approved stretches
During the beginning of the second trimester, I was able to work my way back up to more regular exercise. I didn’t magically feel better at the beginning of the second trimester like I hoped but I started to feel a tiny bit better. Every time I felt a small improvement I would add what I could back in.
At one point my husband took over one of my walks with the dog because I was just too tired some days. As I felt a little better, I was able to join in on the second walk of the day and get myself back up to about 1.5 miles a day of walking.
About halfway into the second trimester, I was feeling good enough to actively stretch every single day. It helps tremendously with growing pains as the twins stretch my abdomen and make room for themselves in there.
My doctor gave me 4 or 5 exercises I could do at home to really keep my pelvis open and flexible and I did those. It’s made a big difference in how I’ve felt with mobility and being able to still touch my toes even as my belly has become quite cumbersome when trying to reach my feet.
I recommend that you ask your OB or family doctor what stretches you can incorporate to keep growing pains and tightness at bay. Even the original exercises I have modified toward the end of the second trimester because of my growing belly and use the side of the bed for balance and assistance.
It’s also summertime now and I have been able to add in swimming. Swimming has been amazing and my belly feels very lightweight and buoyant in the water. I get to move around and get some cardio in without feeling like I’m going to pass out or that my joints are going to snap under the new weight. It’s also great because it really cools me down and this summer has been hot.
When swimming I choose to go after the sun is behind the building so that I’m not cooking or dehydrating myself. I have felt more sensitive to the sun than I did before and try stay out of direct sunlight while I’m swimming around. So after dinner is a great time for me to take a cool dip and get in some exercise. It’s also a great place to get some stretches in.
Second Trimester Twin Pregnancy Exercises:
- Walking 2 times a day (total 1.5 miles)
- Active stretching every day
- Zumba (no jumping)
I’m now in my third trimester and have changed up what I do for exercise quite a bit. First, I have cut way back on walking. I was putting in around 6-8K steps a day total in the second trimester but now that amount has me in tears and hobbling at the end of the day.
The round ligament pains have been raging for the past two weeks and I’ve been forced to slow way down. Under the advice of the doctor I’m using the pool for any exercise I want to get. I have been feeling very cabin feverish because I’m only walking about a half-mile a day now with my dog. Even though exercise isn’t comfortable, I feel restless.
So the pool is where I am spending all my time! I have moved stretching to the pool or a warm bath with Epsom salts at the end of the night. It’s much more comfortable to do stretching in water for me now and allows me to stretch without the worry of hurting myself.
I have also just taken up leisurely swimming laps and floating around and feel great. I still get some exercise but also get some relief from the growing pains that have been restricting my range of motion.
Third Trimester Twin Pregnancy Exercises:
- Walking (.5 miles)
- Swimming (stretching and leisurely laps)
I feel lucky that I have a pool to keep moving around otherwise there would be very few exercises I would be doing day to day outside of light weights for my arms or short walks around my house.
If I didn’t have a pool I would either go to a friend’s house or pay for a gym membership to one that had a lap pool. I’m sure that it would be worth it to me at this point.
No matter how I’m exercising during this twin pregnancy I have stuck to a few rules:
- Always consult a doctor before starting any exercise during a twin pregnancy
- Keep hydrated – if you’re thirsty, you’re already dehydrated
- Take it slow and work up to your healthy limits
- List to your body – if you’re tired and have no energy, consider holding off on your workout
I always love to hear from you! If you’ve had a twin pregnancy, what exercises were you cleared to do and what made you feel good? Or if you’ve just enjoyed exercising in any pregnancy what did you do to keep active? Leave a comment below!