Hey all! I just hit 23 weeks pregnant — wowza — and I’m doing my very best to stay active, stay fit and stay healthy.
I’ve preached it since my first pregnancy: labor and delivery is the hardest workout I’ve ever experienced. Yes, I gave birth to Audrey without drugs, which certainly didn’t help take any edges off, but no matter how baby comes out, it’s gonna knock your socks off. Plus, unmedicated, medicated, C-section, emergency…no matter what happens in the hospital, you are going to go home and you are going to be sore. For weeks. (In weird places: I couldn’t believe how much my shins ached!)
Assuming you’ve gotten your medical provider’s OK — and I’m super serious about this, because I don’t know you or your specific needs or situation — you may be looking for some great workouts that can help you strengthen all of the muscles you’ll be using at the end of your pregnancy journey. Yay!
PRENATAL CORE WORKOUT: SIX EXERCISES
A few things, though.
1) DID YOU GET THAT PROVIDER’S OK? Just checking.
2) During pregnancy, there are some important modifications. In the second and third trimesters, you want to avoid exercises that require you to be in supine position (flat on your back) or prone position (flat on your stomach).
3) You also need to be very cautious about abdominal and pelvic floor exercises altogether. Many women experience something called diastasis recti, which is essentially a separation of your ab muscles (see this article). It’s already a possibility during pregnancy because of the pressure on your belly — your muscles shift to make room for your internal organs, and if there isn’t enough support from the muscle and connective tissue, you can get a gap that not only makes pregnancy and labor more difficult, it can be very hard to correct after giving birth. So take it easy, lay off the crunches and intense postures, and instead focus on strengthening the entire lumbo-pelvic-hip complex.
Here’s a 5:00 video where I break down six core moves that are appropriate for pregnancy. They’re moves that are in my current routine and I promise, they’re effective and they will get your heart rate up. Plus, they’re easy to do in front of the TV or while waiting for dinner to cook.
Moves demonstrated in this video:
1. Standing Crunches
2. Standing Pelvic Tilts
3. Prone Stretch & Tuck (Dynamic Bird Dog)
4. Heel Slides
5. Heel Drops
6. Side-Lying Knee Lifts
Enjoy, and happy 40+ weeks!