2023 Author: Anita Thornton | [email protected]. Last modified: 2023-08-25 11:16
Pregnant women all ask themselves the question during their pregnancy: can I continue to do abdominal exercises now that I am pregnant? Some answers and tips.
Are crunches adequate?
Abdominal exercises are recommended and even important for pregnant women. By exercising regularly, you reduce the risk of suffering from back pain and promote good posture. Developing the obliques and transverses of the abdominal sheath will help you during the expulsion phase, at the time of delivery.
For effective strengthening, the abdominal muscles must be worked in this order (from the deepest to the most superficial):
- the transversus abdominis, the deepest muscles that serve as a sheath;
- the internal and external obliques, located on each side of the rectus abdominis;
- the rectus abdominis, which connects the sternum and the pubis.
It is recommended to adopt different positions, depending on the stage of your pregnancy. Instead of doing exercises for the abdominals while lying down (like the famous crunches), favorsitting or standing positions.
From the fifth month of pregnancy, it is not recommended to do certain muscle strengthening exercises while lying down, especially when the rib cage is compressed, such as long series of sit-ups on your back, over a long period of time. In this position, there is a risk of compressing the vena cava with the weight of the fetus, which can cause hypotension in the mother, therefore a drop in blood pressure.
It is not recommended to continue with abdominal exercises if you notice a gap in the rectus muscles.
Here's an exercise you can do throughout your pregnancy
The balanced table
With knees under hips and wrists in line with shoulders, keep back straight and contract abs. Extend one arm forward and straighten the opposite leg. Breathe deeply. The head should remain in line with the spine. Hold the position for two or three seconds or more, on each side. Areas used: gluteus maximus, hamstrings and lumbar dorsal muscles, posterior deltoids. If the knee is on the ground, the abdominals are not used.
To increase the level of difficulty, do the exercise with a rubber band attached to your hand and foot, stretched.
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