The following workout is effective and safe in the second trimester and can be done around three times a week to maintain tone and fitness. For exercises with weights, use 5 lb (2 kg) weights. To warm up, move your legs side to side in a step and touch movement for one minute. Continue for another minute but add the arms: each time you step-touch, lift your arms to shoulder height then down. Next, with hands on hips lift your knees up to your stomach. Alternate the left and right legs for two minutes. Finally, take your left arm in a circle across the body and back to the side; repeat with the other arm. Continue this movement for a minute.
Forward Pull Ups
Stand with your left leg in front of you and both knees slightly bent; slowly lower your upper body toward your left knee and rest your left hand on the knee for support. Start with your right arm straight down, then lift your arm up, keeping your elbow close to your body. Your elbow should end pointing toward the ceiling. Repeat 20 times on each arm.
Stand with your hands on your hips. Step your right leg forward, then with the left foot in place, bend your left knee toward the floor until the right knee is nearly at a right angle. Alternate each side until you've done around 30 repetitions. (After the second trimester, you might need to hold the back of a chair.) Keep your stomach pulled in, your back straight, head up, and shoulders relaxed.
Stand with your feet shoulder-width apart. With your arms stretched out in front of you at shoulder level, squat down, keeping your abdominal muscles pulled in and your feet firmly on the floor. Lower your bottom toward the floor then lift up to the starting point. Breathe out as you lower and in as you lift. Make sure your knees do not go over the end of your toes.
Sit on an upright chair or stand with legs slightly bent, feet hip-width apart. Hold the weights with your arms down in front of your body. Exhaling, slowly lift the weights to chest height, stopping under the chin. Then inhale and lower the weights to the starting point. Repeat 20 times.
Stand or sit as in the previous exercise. Holding a weight in each hand, slightly bend your arms at the elbows and hold your hands above your shoulders. Then, while breathing out, slowly lift your arms toward the sky until they are straight. Repeat around 30 times.
Sit or stand as before. Hold your arms in front of you at shoulder height while holding a weight. Bend your elbows at a right angle, keeping the upper arms parallel to the floor. Bring your elbows together and then gently lift your arms up and down. Repeat 20 times.