Here are 3 of my favorite “pregnancy ab exercises” that are not only safe to perform during your 2nd and 3rd trimester but are also super beneficial during labor and deliver and of course helping you to bounce back during postpartum recovery.
First make sure you located your deep abdominal muscles ~ Transverse Abdominis “TA” muscles ~ by practicing belly breathing. As you inhale and exhale you can engage, hold and release these deep abdominal muscles.
The Transverse muscles are important during pregnancy for they not only help provide support for your core with your growing belly, but these are the muscles used to help deliver your baby.
As you practice the pregnancy ab exercises below, you will want to be sure that you engage your Transverse muscles by practicing belly breathing with each repetition.
1. The Plank
Raise up onto your forearms and toes keeping your body in a straight line – you will hover over the mat. Keep your back straight and your hips up and in line with your body. Engage your Transverse muscles as you breathe in and out. Goal is to hold the plank position for 30-60 seconds at a time. You can modify this move by performing a push up plank.
Want more of a challenge?
Perform the plank on a stability ball!
2. The Side Plank
Lift into the side plank position – weight is on you forearm and feet, elbow is under your shoulder, knees and hips are stacked, body forms a straight line from head to toe, head and neck are in line with your spine. You will hold this position for 30 -60 seconds on each side. Be sure to engage your Transverse muscles and breath as you hold. You can modify this move by staying on your knees.
3. Bird Dog
Begin in table position on hands and knees, knees under hips, wrists under shoulders. Back is straight. Keep your core tight as you lift and extend your left leg straight behind you keeping your leg parallel to your body and at the same time lift your right arm,straight out in front of you. Pause squeezing glutes for the leg lift, reaching forward with your right arm and breath to activate your TA muscles.Return to start and repeat using the opposite arm and leg.
How To Use
These 3 ab exercises can be incorporated into your current pregnancy workout plan or you can choose to do 1-2 movements a few times throughout the week, while also making the time for yourself to also practice belly breathing.
I’m expecting ~ due October 19th, so each week I will be posting the latest pregnancy fit tips and answering your questions.
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