As your belly expands, it may seem counterintuitive to work on strengthening the muscles around the area that increases in size as a natural part of pregnancy. Before I explain why ab exercises during pregnancy is not counterintuitive, let me tell you what the core is. As simply as possible, your core is defined as all the parts of the body except for your limbs and head. Think of your core as your abs, chest, back and hips. Post pregnancy, your healthy muscles will bounce back more quickly from labor.
The transverse abdominis supports your baby during pregnancy. The fibers act just like a corset, pulling the core in from all angles (front and back). They are the most important of the muscle groups of the abdomen. The pelvic floor and TA keep your belly from dropping to your toes. The TA and PF, together with the uterus, work to push your baby out during delivery. Having those muscles be as strong and flexible as possible during labor while greatly ease your baby’s entry into the world and you’ll be grateful for that.
In our pregnancy programs we build on this foundational core exercise. We add 9 functional core exercises in the video above, from planks to pregnancy approved core moves. You can try it totally free – pregnancy programs.
Diastasis Recti is an abdominal separation that occurs in 33-60% of pregnant women. You are more prone to this abdominal gap if you have a weaker abdominal wall, if you are carrying a large baby, if you are carrying more than one baby, if you have a narrow pelvis, if you have more than one child, if had them close together, or if you’re over 35 when you get pregnant. After that long list of predisposing factors, you can see why 33-60% of mamas have diastasis recti during the second half of pregnancy.
See more on diastasis recti.