Shift Your Mindset: Once you become pregnant, it is time to shift your fitness goals. You no longer are training to get a ripped six pack, you are now preparing for a successful and strong delivery. You can continue to crush your workouts, but remember to set new goals to prepare for your next life adventure.
Engage Your Core: During your pregnancy, you experience major shifts in your core in order to make space for and support your growing baby. Become more mindful about your core, and how you are using it during workouts and in daily life. Think about your core as your engine. Without the proper support, your engine will not function at its maximum capacity, and the rest of your body will feel the effects. Proper core engagement will not only lead to the development of a stronger core overall, but also reduce the likelihood of developing low back pain, incontinence, and diastasis recti (abdominal separation) post-baby. To find a deeper connection with your core, make diaphragmatic breathing a part of your everyday life:
- Find a comfortable position seated or lying on your back. If you are pregnant and experience any dizziness or nausea while laying on your back: practice diaphragmatic breathing from a seated position.
- Place one hand on your belly, and your other hand on your chest.
- Inhale through your nose. As you inhale think about expanding your breath down into your low ribs to engage your diaphragm. Feel the hand on your belly rise, without actively pushing your belly “out”.
- Exhale through pursed lips, and think about wrapping your abdominal muscles in and around your spine, like you are cinching a corset around your waist.
Modify Your Workouts: How do you build a strong core during your pregnancy? Ask most people and they will say, “In order to build a strong and functional core during pregnancy, it is important to do a lot of transitional core exercises like crunches and leg lifts.” WRONG. Actually, doing many traditional core exercises during pregnancy can contribute to diastasis recti (abdominal separation), and lead to reduced core strength and function. After entering the second trimester (around 13 weeks), it is time to eliminate exercises that increase intra-abdominal pressure. This includes crunching, scooping, lowering and lifting your legs while lying on your back, and many other exercises commonly found in a group fitness class.
So, how do I strengthen my core if I can’t crunch? Don’t worry, we’ve got you! All of our trainers are certified in pre and postnatal pilates. If you are looking to discover more about your prenatal and postpartum fitness, sign up for our MegaMom Method Workshop on February 24th. Ask any team member for details or Book Your Spot now!