As a pre/postnatal exercise specialist, I often hear moms-to-be complain about the lack of “ab exercises” available to them. “Sara, they are all so boring!” Well, this is somewhat because we don’t want to overuse or over tighten our abdominals during pregnancy because they need to be able to separate with ease as our baby grows. When we fight it, we can sometimes end up with a condition called diastasis recti, which can often make postpartum recovery more challenging. Our ab workouts are also limited because some of the most common ab exercises can become increasingly uncomfortable as we get further along into our pregnancies.
What I recommend, instead, is to focus on working the other core muscles that support the abdominals a little bit more: the obliques, lower back, glutes, and pelvic floor. Here are my 5 of my favorites that will keep your core routine during pregnancy a bit more interesting and challenging while keeping your abdominals from being overworked. And if you do want that list of what core exercises you should NOT do during pregnancy, please go HERE.
Side Crunches: Yes, traditional crunches lying on your back are NOT recommended for pregnancy. Switch it up by lying on one side and strengthening the obliques and stretching the side body, while simultaneously working the outer thighs and glutes. Perform 12 reps on each side.