Monday, April 4, 2011

Safe Abdominal Exercises During Pregnancy.

Can and should you continue to do abdominal exercises while pregnant?

The short answer to this is YES and YES!

Strong abdominal muscles will help support your lower back, keep you safe when lifting things, maintain good posture and help maintain your overall
strength.

Doing abdominal exercise during pregnancy can be safe and effective if done the right way.
Here are a few quick tips to consider. I will explain more in detail so please read on.
  • Traditional crunches must be modified. Video of a modified crunch on a ball.

  • Yes lying on your back for an extended time is not recommended after your first trimester. You can use an inclined position

  • Isometric contractions of your Transverse abdominal group will keep your core strong. Baby squeeze video

  • Keep an eye on any evidence of Diastasis Recti

  • Coordinate lower and upper body movements while maintaining a tight center. Total body exercises are great!
Traditional crunches in your pregnancy exercise program should be modified after your first trimester. As your belly grows you will shorten your range of motion during your crunch. Doing short little crunches will give your the muscle contraction needed with out increasing your abdominal pressure. Remember to breath throughout.

Avoid lying on your back
for an extended time after the first trimester. The supine or "on your back" position puts pressure on the main artery which supplies your baby everything it needs. Use an inclined position instead. An inclined bench or if your comfortable on a stability ball will do just fine. With your hips low and your upper body high you can do your crunch without compromising your baby.

Isometric contractions or muscle contractions without movement will maintain your deep abdominal muscle group the Transverse Abdominus (TVA). Your belly will go inward when your TVA is activated. So put your hand on your stomach and practice this exercise until you are able to do it on que. Don't be surprised if this is hard to do. You must think about it, practice it and become proficient.

As your belly grows the chance of Diastasis Recti increases. You can check and see if there is any separation and if there is please be much more careful or maybe even discontinue your crunches and stick with isometrics to keep your abdominal group strong. Please consult your doctor on this one.

Move your body while keeping your center tight. Now that your abdominal exercise routine during pregnancy is going well tie in total body movements with purposeful abdominal contractions. TVA activation before lifting is a must. Working with an prenatal fitness expert in learning more complex movements will strengthen your body for real life activities.

For more detail on any of the above information please contact us and we will do our best to find you the best possible answers to your questions. Knowledge is power and knowledge about health and fitness will keep you healthy
!

All the best from your Orange County Personal Trainers at Fitness4Baby!

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1 comment:

  1. My friend was doing these exercises when she got pregnant and it really helper her during labor. pregnancy symptoms

    ReplyDelete