The Third Trimester: James Duigan’s Safe Pregnancy Workouts

James Duigan

Health & Lifestyle Contributor

Jan 07, 2022

He’s the personal trainer to some of the hottest bodies (and mummies) on the planet, from Megan Gale to Elle and Lara Stone… So what exercises does James Duigan recommend to his A-list clients during their third trimester of pregnancy? Find out here…

James Duigan’s clients include Elle, Rosie Huntington-Whitely, Christy Turlington and Lara Stone. And yes, these uber glam mums can thank James Duigan for their safe and gentle pregnancy and post-baby workout plans.  Of course, we aren’t all as genetically blessed as the Victoria Secret brigade, but that doesn’t mean we can’t adopt the same healthy fitness approach to prepare ourselves for a smooth birth.

Here, the world-famous wellness guru and The Carousel’s very own Personal Trainer, James Duigan, shares an extract from his latest book, Clean and Lean Pregnancy Guide (Check out the goss’ on his new book here). In this wellbeing pregnancy Bible, you’ll find a load of healthy eating tips and recipes, safe exercises for each trimester as well as pre-conception and post-baby workouts. Here’s just one of the many pearls of wisdom you’ll find….


If you feel up to it, carry on exercising during your last trimester, although – as with the rest of your pregnancy – you must listen to your body and continue only if you feel up to it. If you feel tired, choose sleep over exercise. And stay in touch with a health professional you trust – speak to your midwife, doula or doctor at any time if you have any concerns in your last trimester.

The exercises I’ve chosen for you to try during the third trimester avoid any lying on your back, and can also help prevent symphysis pubis dysfunction (SPD). The symphysis pubis is the joint that connects your pelvis joints; during pregnancy your body produces more of a hormone called relaxin, which softens the ligaments that hold together and strengthen your pelvis (to prepare it for childbirth) and a gap in the pubic joint can widen too far, causing inflammation and pain.

The workouts in your third trimester are all about you moving in a safe way that doesn’t lead to overexertion. The exercises in the workout below switch on the important postural muscles. Perform them three times a week on non-consecutive days for no longer than 30 minutes. On the days in between your workouts, go for a brisk walk or a light swim.

Exercise: Side-lying single-leg knee-raise with mini-band
Reps 10-15/side
Sets 1
Rest 30-60 secs

Start position: Place a Bodyism mini-band around both legs just above your knees. Lie on your right side, bend your elbow and rest your head on your right hand. Bend your knees to a 90-degree angle and stack them on top of one another. Keep your body in line and engage your core by pulling your belly button in towards your spine.

The movement: Raise your top knee by pushing against the resistance of the mini-band. Take the knee up as far as you can without straining the lower back, keeping both feet together. With control, slowly lower back to the start position. Repeat 10-15 times on each side.


Exercise: Energy push

Reps 8-10
Sets 1-2
Rest 30-60 secs

Start position: Stand with your feet shoulder-width apart and your hands raised in front of your chest. Engage your core by pulling your belly button in towards the spine.

The movement: Exhale, bend the knees and push the hips back as you lower into a squat position. To stand up, push through the heels and bring the hips forward as you inhale and bring your hands back in towards your body. Focus on breathing slowly and repeat 8-10 times.



Exercise: Arm circle
Reps 12-15
Sets 2-3
Rests 30-60 secs

Start position: Stand with your feet shoulder-width apart and knees slightly bent. Hold your arms out at shoulder height, parallel to the floor, and keep your core engaged by pulling your belly button in towards your spine.

The movement: Keeping the movement small, circle the arms forward 12-15 times, then repeat in the opposite direction, without taking a break if you can.


About James

James Duigan is Fitness Trainer and personal trainer to the A-list. He has been transforming bodies and changing lives around the world with incredible success over the last ten years. He and his cover model wife, Christiane, have also become parents themselves. As well as a host of guest experts featured in the book, Clean & Lean Pregnancy Guide was also written based on James and Christiane’s personal experience.


By James Duigan

Health & Lifestyle Contributor

James Duigan is responsible for some of the most beautiful bodies in world. Elle Macpherson, Rosie Huntingon-Whiteley and Jennifer Lawrence are just a few of his famous clients. Known as the flat-stomach king, James Duigan will provide The Carousel readers a simple and achievable blueprint for a lean and healthy body. Contact: [email protected]



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