Core Training During Pregnancy

October 22, 2015


Is it Safe?



Why work on my core when my stomach will start to resemble a watermelon?  Training your core while pregnant does indeed sound a little ridiculous especially since you won’t exactly see that “six pack” you are dreaming of.  So, why do it?  Well, strengthening your core while pregnant can not only help you feel better during the actual pregnancy itself, it can help with delivery and help you bounce back quicker post delivery.


Lots of pregnant women complain of back and/or sciatic pain during their pregnancy.  A strong core can help minimize any discomfort.  Most women have to go about their daily routines whether it is going to a job outside of the home or taking care of other children.  The less pain, the better!  Strong cores also help promote healthy posture.  Standing up nice and tall can prevent any lower back pain one may have as well.  Lastly, labor and delivery is quite the event – the higher your fitness levels are, the better.


According to the American Congress of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG), you should not do any supine or prone exercises after the first trimester.  You finally have an excuse to say “no” to those pesky crunches!  Also, if you are new to exercise or haven’t performed any of the listed moves before, you should get the “okay” from your doctor first.  Pregnancy is not the time to try new exercise moves!


So, what are a few safe and effective exercises? 


  1. Planks are a great exercise to perform (modification to knees is perfectly fine) as long as they are comfortable.  There are many variations of planks (side planks, for example) that can be performed if you can remain stable and they feel comfortable. 
  2. Deadlifts (with or without weight).  Form is crucial.  You may have to widen your stance depending on how far along you are. 
  3. Cat/cow.  This move not only works all of your stabilizing muscles, it can offer a nice stretch.


If you exercised regularly before getting pregnant, you may absolutely keep it up (unless your doctor says otherwise).  Exercise in general boosts your mood and wakes you up!  Pregnancy can cause severe tiredness (especially in that first trimester) and getting yourself moving can most definitely help put some extra pep in your step.  Here’s to a strong and healthy pregnancy!

The Author

Karen Bobos, MSed

Karen M. Bobos, MSed, has been in the fitness industry since 1996 and feels her highest accomplishments are those results achieved by her clients through her guidance. She educates clients that there is no trick to being healthy, no magic pills, but rather optimal health is achieved through eating right and moving your body.

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