5 Tips For Ab Exercise While Pregnant
Many women fear doing ab exercise while pregnant. They worry that the muscle contractions could cause harm, which is why abdominal workouts get abandoned altogether. This is far from a good idea. Safe ab exercises during pregnancy produces a range of important benefits. There are dozens of exercises to choose among and these can be easily incorporated in a healthy pregnancy workout plan.
The Benefits Of Doing Ab Exercise While Pregnant
Doing ab exercise while pregnant will contribute to a range of benefits.
Keeping the core strong throughout pregnancy will support the pelvic organs, enhance circulation and even give you better control during labor. So few women are aware of these benefits and it’s a pity. Stronger core will also contribute to much faster post-delivery recovery.
While opting for the most vigorous form of abdominal exercise isn’t the best idea, there are dozens of routines that pregnant women can do. Here are some of the best abdominal exercises for moms-to-be and the correct ways to do them.
Standing Up Crunches
Standing up crunches rank among the best forms of ab exercise while pregnant. These are incredibly easy to do, as well.
• Stand up straight and keep your feet hip-width apart. Tuck your pelvis slightly and keep conscious control of your belly muscles throughout the workout. Crunch forward while keeping your hands behind your head. Squeeze the abdominal muscles while doing so.
• The movement should be similar to the traditional crunch – a standing up crunch is simply easier and it doesn’t put that much strain on the core. Relax, return to the original position and repeat. As you grow more confident, you can increase the number of series and repetitions that you do.
This is an exercise that’s safe to do during all of the pregnancy trimesters. Apart from strengthening the core, it also works the back and the shoulders.
• Stand up straight and raise your hands above your head. Fold one of your knees forward and stretch the other leg back. Keep the toes down and the hill up. The extended leg should form a straight line.
• Slightly angle your body – this move will create more length and target the abdominal muscles even better. Exhale and pull your elbows down. Simultaneously, lift the extended leg up. The elbows and the knee should pass each other in front of your body. Do several repetitions using one leg and move on to the other.
Seated Bicycle Crunches
Seated bicycle crunches rank among the safe ab exercise while pregnant routines. You can do the exercise for as long, as you feel comfortable.
• Sit in a chair and keep your back straight. Your feet should be flat on the floor and your hands are positioned on the sides of your body.
• Bring your hands behind your ears while keeping the back straight. The chin should be lifted and you should look ahead of you rather than up or down. Twist at the torso so that one of the elbows moves towards the front of your body. Hold it and come back to the center. Repeat the move but this time, twist to the other side.
Ladies that have stronger core muscles can do a more challenging version of the exercise. In this scenario, they’ll have to bring the elbow towards the opposite knee. In this case, the body is bending forward and coming back up. The hardest possibility involves lifting the opposite knee to meet the elbow as the body bends forward.
Ab exercise while pregnant should target both the upper and lower abdominal muscles. The heel slides are an excellent example of a routine that does both.
• Lie on your back and keep your upper back, neck and head supported by the elbows. The palms should on the ground, on the sides of your body. Bend the knees and lift your feet slightly off the ground. Extend one leg while keeping the other one bent. Return to the original position. Repeat using the other leg.
• While you’re supporting your body on your elbows and keeping the upper core contracted, the exercise move works on the lower abdominal muscles. Thus, heel slides are comprehensive and they’ll give you a much stronger core.
Cancan is an advanced pilates exercise and it’s best for pregnant ladies that already have relatively strong abdominal muscles.
• The original position is the same one as in the case of heel slides. Don’t slouch – keep the upper core strong and open up the chest. Instead of extending your legs, twist the knees from one side to the other. You should be doing a semi-circle with your waist and your feet being the pivot points.
• If you feel really confident in your core strength, twist your knees to one side and extend your legs out. Fold them and twist to the other side.
Doing ab exercise while pregnant three times per week will be sufficient to get results. You can choose one or two of the exercises mentioned above and combine those with routines that target other muscle groups. Diversify the exercises to strengthen different parts of the core and be consistent throughout your pregnancy.