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Experts Corner

Fitness

Abdominal Exercise During Pregnancy
By Lisa Stone, ACE

Q. Is it safe to do abdominal exercises during pregnancy? When it is best to stop doing them?

A. Through your first trimester you can continue doing regular ab exercises (crunches, reverse curls, leg lifts, etc.)

After your first trimester you can, and should (!), absolutely continue working your abs, just not in the traditional way. You shouldn't do any exercises in a back-lying position at that point because your heavier uterus could compress your vena cava (the main source of blood return), causing abnormally low blood pressure and restricting the amount of oxygen getting to the baby.

That said, here are a couple of exercise suggestions for the 2nd and 3rd trimester:

  1. Start in a quadruped position (forearms & knees), exhale as you tighten the abs pulling the belly button in toward the backbone, inhale as you release.

  2. You can work the obliques by starting in a side-lying position with knees bent and at a 45 degree angle, exhale as you lift the rib cage toward the hip bone, squeezing in the waist line, inhale as you lower.
You should also combine these exercises with pelvic floor or Kegel exercises to get maximum benefit.

Warning: CHEAP PLUG AHEAD!!!! The Fit For 2 video has a great ab and pelvic floor section. For more info, visit our web site.

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