Don’t think being pregnant lets you off the hook when it comes to working your abs – in fact there’s even more reason to keep your core strong when you’re expecting!
Maternity fitness and activewear specialists FittaMamma recommend including core strength building exercises in your regular routine during pregnancy. They say:
‘Your TVA (Transversus abdomini) is the deep layer of abdominal muscle that runs between your ribs and your pelvis – it’s your body’s ‘internal corset’. Keeping it strong will improve your posture, help alleviate backache and does much to avoid ‘jelly-belly’ after the birth.
Some separation of the tummy muscles (diastasis recti) during and after pregnancy is perfectly normal (around a third of all women experience it) but regular core exercises can help to minimise the effect and promote a speedier recovery after your baby is born.
These exercises (demonstrated by prenatal fitness expert Kimmy) will help work your thighs and glutes too.
Stand with your back against the wall, feet hip width apart, arms pressing against the wall for balance.
Slide down the wall until your thighs are parallel (or almost parallel) with the floor. Return to standing. Repeat 5- 10 times.
To make this exercise more powerful, hold the lowered position and raise each leg in turn.
Kneel on your mat, hands beneath your shoulders and knees squarely below your hips. Make sure your back is in neutral, head in line with your spine and core engaged.
Extend one arm out directly in front of you and lift the opposite leg straight out behind you.
Hold, breathe and lower. Repeat 5- 10 times on each side
Side leg raise
This will strengthen your thighs as well as your core.
Kneel on your right knee, with your right hand on the mat, using your extended right leg to balance.
Reach your left arm towards the ceiling. Keep your left leg extended, toes touching the floor.
Gently raise your left leg as high as feels comfortable, keeping your leg straight and in line with your body.
Repeat 5- 10 times and swop sides. Balance with your upper hand on your hip if it’s easier.
Bridge on ball
Sit comfortably on your fit ball, feet firmly on the floor, hip distance apart. Step your feet forward, rolling the ball up your spine until you’re in the bridge position. The ball should be under your upper back and shoulders, knees above your ankles.
Keep your arms relaxed, hands loosely on your bump. Engage your core and press your hips towards the ceiling.
Slowly lower your hips back to the starting position.
Repeat 5- 10 times
Remember, when you’re exercising during pregnancy it’s even more important to warm up and cool down before and after your exercise session.
FittaMamma.com is a fantastic resource for information about safe pregnancy exercise, with workout routines and videos. They also offer a unique range of maternity sportswear designed to support your baby bump to make exercise more comfortable, including the ‘Fit Baby’ top worn by Kimmy in these photos.
Tagged in Pregnancy