Health & Exercise

ab exercises during pregnancy

Does anyone have any recommendations for ab exercises while pregnant?  I have quit doing all of mine together bc I read crunches and many variations of crunches are bad for you while pregnant.  BUT, I know I need to keep my core (somewhat) strong, as I am a runner.  I am just losing it with my body having a mind of it's own right now!

Re: ab exercises during pregnancy

  • you can do crunches on the SB or core rotations (machine or w/ dumbbell).  make sure you stay away from lower ab exercises (like leg raises or bicycles).  no laying down either past the 2st tri (which is why the SB is going to be your new bff).
  • OH thank you, what a relief, with all the bloating I am experiencing and not doing any ab exercises, I LOOK pregnant already!  I looked in the mirror while running this morning and was like omg, I hope I don't see anyone I know bc they will know something it up!  Aargh!
  • rolling over is my workout
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  • the bloat will go away too in 2nd tri. i totally panicked about that when i was about 8 - 9 weeks. it does get better though!
  • image jennyg0330:
    OH thank you, what a relief, with all the bloating I am experiencing and not doing any ab exercises, I LOOK pregnant already!  I looked in the mirror while running this morning and was like omg, I hope I don't see anyone I know bc they will know something it up!  Aargh!

    I don't know why you would need to stay away from lower ab exercises. I did a prenatal fitness cert. and was never told that.  Nor was I ever told that by my OB who knew I did them. I did them throughout two pregnancies and everything was fine. 

    The only thing really to worry about is after 20 weeks or so do stuff on an incline (like a wedge pillow, or use a bosu) that you would have done lying flat.  Also, watch out for diastasis (ab separation).

    Really, that's it. The other stuff is really not necessary. A lot of doctors still give out recommendations from the ACOG  from the early '90s that were changed years ago.

    A good DVD is Restore the Core. It has pre and post natal modifications. It's on buybuybaby.com and ebay. I love it.

    AND Pilates Pregnancy, a book by Brooke Siler.

    Oh, and the ab work won't help the bloating at all. Sorry. Smile

     

  • As the PP mentioned, I'm pretty sure you just need to make sure you're working on an incline after so many weeks.  I do Summer Sanders and she incorporates crunches throughout the trimesters.
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  • Just a warning, I am a runner (still--woo hoo!) and did some ab exercises during first tri, but that strengthened core meant that I didn't start to show until almost 20 weeks. At that point my pants didn't fit so I was anxious to have a cute bump. Don't be surprised if it takes you a long time to "pop."

     

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  • You can do crunches on an inclined bench.  Planks are also good.
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  • I've continued to instruct boot camp and do CrossFit workouts.  In both, I've stopped doing anything on my back, but instead more planks. I've continued using a medicine ball and while sitting leaning back a bit, knees bent, twisting from side to side to work your obliques.  You could even do row boats, since you aren't on your back, works more of your lower abs, but a great one too!
  • image Laxbugg1410:

    Just a warning, I am a runner (still--woo hoo!) and did some ab exercises during first tri, but that strengthened core meant that I didn't start to show until almost 20 weeks. At that point my pants didn't fit so I was anxious to have a cute bump. Don't be surprised if it takes you a long time to "pop."

     

    That probably has more to do with your body type than your core. I was still teaching boot camp at 6 am at 20 weeks but I had a huge pooch.

  • image Laxbugg1410:

    Just a warning, I am a runner (still--woo hoo!) and did some ab exercises during first tri, but that strengthened core meant that I didn't start to show until almost 20 weeks. At that point my pants didn't fit so I was anxious to have a cute bump. Don't be surprised if it takes you a long time to "pop."

     

    I agree, I'm 21 weeks and still barely have any belly and I think due to my abs a lot more pressure is being exerted up into my chest and lungs instead of out like it should be.  Now I'm just working obliques.  Big Smile  But still keeping up the running!

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  • Youtube prenatal Pilates. I would really avoid most ab exercises though. Don't worry...they'll come right back.
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  • image cstw:
    Youtube prenatal Pilates. I would really avoid most ab exercises though. Don't worry...they'll come right back.

    This definitely....after some work, they sure do.

  • Ugh I'm going crazy too - I had recently run a half marathon and took a few months off running and got prego then. The doc said if I had continued-I could run during pregnancy however since I took a decent break - no running. I'm trying like heck not to worry about the weight and have gained 8lbs in the first 13 weeks already!!!!! I've been keeping up on eliptical, bike and walking inclines to keep at it.

    How are you doing on weight gain? You seem active like myself. 

  • I've been working with a trainer since my 2nd tri (when the nausea and sickness went away). We do alot of core work, from what I understand it's all safe as long as you are not laying flat, you're breathing, and listening to your body. It's also good to practice yogic breathing while contracting your stomach muscles. I hear it's good for labor and delivery.
  • I did crunches on the stability ball until I gave birth and had no issues.
    36 marathons since 2002, 6 Boston marathons, PR 3:17 Silicon Valley 2010

    Boston Marathon 2009 at 25 weeks pregnant in 4:29



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