7 Pregnancy Core Exercises You Can and Can’t Do at Home!
Did you know that only 42% of women claim to have exercised or be exercising during their pregnancy?
It may seem that growing a little baby in your belly and doing abdominal exercises at the same time is not a good idea, but alas, this is not true! Exercise can increase oxygen in the body and promote a healthy environment for your little bean to grow big and strong.
If you find yourself worrying about doing pregnancy core exercises then keep reading to find out why you should worry less!
Pregnancy Core Exercises for the Win
So you’ve decided that you want to do pregnancy core exercises! Not only can these exercises help you feel and look great, but they can help your body get ready for the birthing process.
With that being said though, there are certain exercises which you can do, and those which you should avoid. Let’s have a look at the must-do pregnancy core exercises.
- Pelvic Tilts
The word pelvic will be heard, no doubt, regularly throughout your pregnancy. Pelvic tilts are a completely safe pregnancy core exercise for you to perform.
How do you perform a pelvic tilt?
Lie down on your back on a mat or cushioned surface, bend your knees and lay your arms out flat beside you. Slowly raise your pelvis up towards the ceiling and hold it up for 10 seconds, then slowly bring the pelvis back down. Performing a few reps of this exercise is great for your core.
- Reach and Curls
Reach and curls are not only great for those core muscles, but they’re on exercise that can activate other muscles in your body in a safe way.
Simply go down on all fours, like a crawling position. You’re going to slowly lift your right leg so it’s parallel to your body, and at the same time you’re going to extend your left arm out forward. Hold that position for a few seconds and then slowly return to the ‘all-fours’ position. Now perform the exercise again with the opposite leg and arm.
- Plié Curl to Press
This is yet another exercise that will activate more than one muscle in your body.
You’re going to want some light dumbells for this exercise. Stand in the squat position and lower your bum slightly so you’re almost doing a ‘continuous’ squat. Now, keeping your elbows in, do a bicep curl up and slowly back down with both arms at the same time.
It’s important to keep your core engaged during this exercise to feel the maximum effect.
- Standing Rotations
This is another great exercise if you feel that you don’t want to get down onto the floor level.
Stand up straight with your feet apart (shoulder length), extend your arms straight out in front of you while holding a light dumbbell. Now, you’re going to slowly swing from left to right and back again while keeping the dumbbell extended out in front of you and your abdominal muscles engaged and tight.
Core Exercises That Are a No for Pregnant Women
Now while exercise can be advantageous to your overall wellbeing and the development of your pregnancy, there are some exercises that can do more harm than good.
Let’s have a look at the exercises that you should avoid while pregnant.
- Spinal Flexion And Extension
Any exercise that causes your spine to curve is best to be avoided during pregnancy.
Exercises like your usual stomach crunches should be avoided as these typical cause rounding of the spine. Your body is already going through a transformation and adjusting to carrying extra weight, so curving your spine regularly is not a good idea.
The same goes for exercises that cause your spine to overextend, such as back-bends and upward dog position in yoga, these should also be avoided.
- Rotation of Hips and Shoulders
This may sound counterintuitive to what we’ve said above, but the fact is that exercises that cause your body to ‘twist’ should be avoided.
Exercises such as alternating leg crunches are not good, as you’ll be putting a strain on your midsection through the twisting of your abdomen.
- Side Planks and Full Planks
During the beginning of your pregnancy planking can be advantageous for your core. However, as your belly begins to grow, putting your body into the plank position can create unnecessary pressure inside your abdomen, where your baby is growing.
You can adjust this exercise by doing it against a table or something else, where your body can maintain a 45-degree angle to the ground and not create immense pressure in your abdomen.
Listen to Your Body
Ultimately, while performing any pregnancy core exercises it’s imperative to listen to your body. If something doesn’t feel right, then stop doing it.
Keep up your exercise regime only for as long as it feels good to you. Don’t overextend yourself, or your muscles. Knowing more about what exercises you can perform is already a step in the right direction.
Some women can have bellies that are significantly larger than others, so just because your pregnant friend can do a certain exercise with ease, doesn’t mean that you will have the same experience.
At the end of the day, listen to your body, it will tell you what you need to know.
When it comes to staying fit, pregnancy core exercises are a definite must-have for your exercise regime. Don’t let the fear of your growing belly keep you from staying fit and feeling good.
So long as you move forward with caution, you’ll be able to maintain your healthy lifestyle for as long as your little human will allow it.
If you need more fitness advice, head on over to the fitness section of our website to get your fill.