Maintaining your core strength during pregnancy
13/07/2010

Maintaining your core strength during pregnancy

 

During pregnancy as your baby grows it is inevitable that your bump is going to increase in weight, in doing so this can also result in a reduction in your core strength possibly leading to back pain, abdominal separation and a lack of stability at your hips. It therefore becomes important for you to try and manage this the best you can and still train your core throughout your pregnancy, this article will hopefully give you all the advice you need to do so.

 

Your Core:

 

Core strength is massively important in everything we do, the efficiency of every movement we make hinges somewhat on the strength of our core, for example a postnatal mum who is required to lift, feed, carry and push is massively dependant on her core to give her the support she needs to perform the movements without injuring herself. Your core is made up of a group of muscles:

 

  • Rectus abdominals – the superficial ones that you can see work during work a sit up

  • Transverse abdominals – much deeper and wrap around your core in a “corset” type way, a big contributor to back pain

  • Internal & External Obliques – also referred to as your sides

  • Erector Spinae- also referred to as your lower back

 

Why should I maintain my core strength?

 

There are many great reasons for you to maintain your core strength during pregnancy, not only does it speed up your postnatal recovery it also helps to manage back pain, make you stronger and fitter for labour and helps to get your stomach firm and strong again after you have given birth – something that most ladies want!

 

How do I maintain my core strength?

 

Maintaining your core strength isn't as hard as you may think, although guidelines state that you are safe to perform abdominal crunches until 20 weeks, it solely depends on the size of your bump and due to the implications involved if you are too big we recommend that women don't perform any crunches or rotation movements, both these can contribute to abdominal separation. When trying to work your abdominals the focus should be more so on working your transverse abdominals, performing static exercises like pelvic tilts on and off a stability ball (video link at the bottom) reciprocal reaches on all 4's and abdominal hollowing on all 4's are great ways to safely and effectively maintain or manage your core strength. You can find video links to some on the abdominal work on all 4's on our article - “performing abdominal exercise when pregnant”. It is also important to try and maintain the strength of lower back, performing exercises like a superman (video link at the bottom) and a deadlift are safe and effective ways to do this.

 

Video Links:

Deadlift - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fDt5H8qi07Q

Pelvis Bridge - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WR9F-f3BMmw

Superman - http://www.youtube.com/user/fitness4mum#p/u

 

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