Y.P. asks from Tempe, AZ on May 17, 2010
13.5 Weeks Pregnant, Is It Ok to Work My Abs as Long as I Don't Lay on My Back?
I am reading conflicting information about working your abs during pregnancy. Some sources say don't work them at all, and some say it's ok as long as you dont lay on your back. I was thinking of using a stability ball and doing table position to do cruches. This puts no pressure on my back. Has anyone's OB told them that it's not safe to work abs at all?
K.G. answers from Albuquerque on May 18, 2010
Google crossfit moms, they have programs for each trimester and will have recommendations on core workouts!! Good luck, I wish I had found them when I was prego!!
M.D. answers from Phoenix on May 18, 2010
Its ok to work out in what ever way you worked out before you got pregnant..so if you did ab workouts before your pregnancy on a consitant basis then your fine to do it now just be careful and if you feel any pain then just stop...you shouldent do them once your belly starts getting big...the stronger your abs the better recovery you will have :)
L.Z. answers from Boston on May 18, 2010
You could always lean against a wall, back side, and lean forward as if you are slightly bending down, but keeping your legs straight as you lean against the wall. There shouldn't be any pressure on your back or your abs if you do this, but you can still work the upper abs a bit. I am an avid exerciser/runner, and I lift weights twice a week. During my pregnancies, I definitely slowed down, but I worked out throughout both. I switched running to walking by the end of the first trimester, and lifted lighter weights throughout. I also did a toned-down version of Billy Blanks' tae bo just to get the legs moving and work my back and arm muscles. My body certainly liked to hold on to the extra fat and pounds, but it came off about 6-9 months after my kids were born with hard work, though working out throughout pregnancy helped. As long as you are already working out and don't try anything new, and you modify and listen to your body as needed, you should be fine. Good luck!
M.B. answers from Washington DC on May 17, 2010
Stomach muscles most certainly DO separate during pregnancy- so much that SOME women should not even do "regular" ab workouts for some time after delivery for the chance that it could make things worse (separate more or tear). There are modified exercises (post-birth) that can help bring the abs back to where they belong and to tone them.
During my first pregnancy, staying fit was a priority,-so I joined a prenatal gym class, and they advised us to NOT work our abs.
I say stay away from those exercises. Your abs will stretch more- and if for not any other reason- don't do it, cause all that work will be undone as you progress in the pregnancy.
V.G. answers from Portland on May 17, 2010
My doctor said doing exercises to stabilize and strengthen your core are ok, but actual exercises that target your ab muscles is not.
Prenatal yoga will give you an all over body workout/toning session, and while you're doing poses it will softly and subtly strengthen your core (abs) also.
Your body is going through so much change, and more importantly, you're baby needs to stay safe!
So I would say no to ab crunches. You wouldn't want to rip a stomach muscle while you're housing such a precious little one!
K.N. answers from Austin on May 17, 2010
Never asked specifically about abdominal exercises, however my OB responded to my question about pregnancy exercise saying, regardless of the activity, it's important to keep breathing regularly. Don't hold your breath... (which people tend to do when they do crunches, for example). "Your breathing should allow you to carry a conversation". Otherwise, if you slip into anarobic exercise, you could deprive the baby of oxygen.
K.N. answers from Boston on May 17, 2010
no need to work your abs, the stomach muscles separate as you progress in pregnancy. Don't risk injurubg yourself.
M.S. answers from Phoenix on May 18, 2010
I personally did crunches until about 3 months into the pregnancy. I believe you're not supposed to be on your back after 4 or 5. Honestly, you probably won't want to do any ab exercises once the pregnancy gets rolling. Good luck!
D.W. answers from Indianapolis on May 17, 2010
Ask your OB/GYN.
I was told not to do any abdominal exercises, but my most recent pregnancy was almost 3 years ago. Medical advice/policies change SO frequently, I'd not risk our advice when you can make a quick call to your doctor to verify.
Personally, I'd not take the risk. The human body is amazing, but it is going to be so traumatized by the pregnancy and accommodating the growth of the baby, I'd personally not want to take a risk nor put in all that effort for nature to quickly take away.
If it were me, I'd focus my energy once the baby arrives instead of during the pregnancy.