Ok, so we certainly don’t advocate working abs as you would pre-pregnancy (no crunches, bicycle legs etc), but it really is important to still work them. Why?
The ab muscles help control the tilt of our pelvis and stabilise the spine (pretty important things I’d say!), and this is especially needed when we have a growing uterus to support.
Conditioning of the muscles will enable them to regain strength and tone more quickly once you’ve given birth - I don’t know about you, but I certainly wanted my pre-baby tum back as soon as possible!
Over-stressing the muscles through doing the wrong exercises/ doing things incorrectly, can exacerbate the separation of the rectus sheaths that run down our middle through our tummy button. These do separate to an extent whatever, but we don’t want to make them worse.
What can I do?
Pelvic tilts - can either do on all fours and arch back up and then back down to straight back, or do standing and just tilt back and forth
Four point kneeling/ superman - get on all fours and lift one arm and opposite leg at the same time, hold a couple of seconds and then switch. Ensure you’re pulling your tummy button towards your spine. This is effectively an adapted plank
Half side plank - lie on your side with your bottom leg bent. Elbow and forearm on the floor. Top leg straight, with hips stacked. Lift your middle/bum off the ground. Lift up and down slowly
Static contractions - sit down, with back upright. Breathe in and on the out breath suck your abs in. Hold for 5 seconds and release. Don’t hold your breath while you do it though - hold for less time if you find yourself doing this. You can also combine this with pelvic floors as you tend to automatically suck them up at the same time!
If you need advice on any exercises then come along to one of my BumpFit classes or ask me about personal training through pregnancy. Email me