If you are pregnant, or planning on getting pregnant you have probably already accepted the inevitable expanding waistline. While an exercise program over the next 9 (or 10) months isn’t going to be aimed at getting a 6-pack, those core (a.k.a abdominal) muscles will still need some attention.
We usually think of our core muscles as the ones we use while doing a “crunch” but the truth is, there are many more muscles than that in your mid-section, and crunching in probably the least important exercise in the bunch.
You see, strengthening these core muscles will not only allow you to get back to your pre-pregnant shape (or better) faster, but since these are the muscles you “push” with, strengthening them will will make labor and delivery much easier.
The easiest, and most important exercise is the kegel. Most of you have heard of this before – strengthening the muscles of your pelvic floor. Kegels utilize the same muscles used in stopping he flow of urine when you go to the bathroom.
So, lie on your back with your knees bent and your feet flat on the floor. Contract these muscles and hold them tight for 5-10 seconds. Repeat this 5-10 times.
When you become more comfortable performing this little movement, you can try it while you are sitting or standing. These positions work well because it is beneficial to perform kegels several times throughout the day.
Once you master this, you’ll be ready for the other core strengthening exercises in our Fit and Healthy Pregnancy Guide. In addition to core exercises specific to each trimester, you’ll find easy to follow exercise routines you can do in the comfort of your own home with little equipment.