Home » Blog » Training » Core Exercises for Pregnant Women: Workout Without Crunches

Core Exercises for Pregnant Women: Workout Without Crunches

Rate this Article:
Core exercises when pregnant can be done, just not typical crunches on your back. Core Exercises for Pregnant Women: Workout Without Crunches www.runnerclick.com

The last thing many expect when expecting is just how hard it is to continue running. While this means adjusting miles and pace. But what continues to be important is doing core exercises during the pregnancy.

The problem is that some abdominal workouts cannot be done during pregnancy. However, there are plenty of core exercises for pregnancy that is safe to do.

Why A Strong Core Is Important For Pregnant Runners

Runners know the importance of having a strong core. This includes increasing control, leading to better form as well as enhanced stability, balance and posture.

And this is all still true for pregnant runners.


Even though abs are placed by a growing baby bump in appearance, these muscles are there are play an important role.

Sure we can to stay toned during pregnancy, but strengthen the abdominal muscles is important to prevent aches and pains, to increase posture, to encourage an easier delivery and recovery and decreasing the risk of abdominal separation, known as diastasis recti.

Core Exercises Pregnant Runners Can’t Do And Why

Pregnant women should avoid high-contact sports and other types of exercises where they can be at risk for injury.

But when it comes to core exercises, a pregnancy abdominal workout should not include crunches, sit-ups, or any exercise done when lying on their back.

According to the American Congress of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG), exercises down on the back for long periods of time should be avoided.

It’s fine to lie on the back for a few minutes, especially early in the pregnancy. But as the baby grows and the uterus gets heavier, blood circulation can be cut off to the baby as well as to the legs. Too much pressure is put on an artery that pumps the blood to your organs, tissues, and the baby.

This is why any exercises are done while lying on your back is a no, no after the end of the first trimester.

Not only can crunches and related exercises cut off circulation, but it also puts too much pressure on the abdomen wall.

Also, avoid exercises like leg raises.

Any exercises where the belly domes outward are out of the questions. This might mean butterfly kicks or bicycles.

Core Exercises For Pregnancy: What Moves To Do

Even though no lying on the back exercises are what the doctor orders, runners can still work on core strength with other exercises for pregnancy.

One of the best tips for pregnant women is to get a large exercise ball.

Image by ArtCoreStudios from Pixabay

Use this ball to work out the abs and other muscles. This includes working out the transverse abdominis by sitting on the ball and uses the abs to lift one foot off the floor for a few seconds. Then do the other foot.

Working out the shoulders with these moves also strengthens the core. Sit on the ball and put arms at a 90-degree angle with palms facing forward.

Then squeeze the shoulder blades together and release. Repeat this at least 10 times.

This shoulder blade exercise improves postures and uses the core muscles.

Another exercise is a shoulder press that requires using dumbbells and lifting them shoulder length while sitting on the ball. Now reaching overhead, almost having the dumbbells touch at the top. Hold for a second then back to the start. Repeat for 10 reps.

This move is more about upper body strength, while also using the core for stability.

More Core Exercises for Pregnant Women

Also, try this pregnancy abdominal workout. Start with some yoga poses like child’s pose that is done on all fours. Then do the pose bird dog that requires lifting one leg out to be straight and back height, following by the same side’s arm. The goal is to keep a straight line.

Go back to the starting position then do the other side. Repeat this a few times.

Then plank.

Photo by Form on Unsplash

Planking is great for posture and is a great core exercise when pregnant.

Then lie on the back and do hip raises which are great for the pelvic floor. Even though on the back, this exercise is fine to do when pregnant. Lift up using the hips and hold, squeezing he glutes then back down slowly. Repeat.

Another great core exercise is upside bicycles, or the reach and curl. This is done on all fours. Lift the left arm, elbow squeezing down to the core as the right knee comes up and squeezing into the core.

Repeat on the other side and get a few reps in.

Things To Remember

These core exercises for pregnant women are great but always consult with a physician before starting any new workout when expecting.

This is especially the case for high-risk pregnancies.

Stop these core exercises for pregnancy if feeling shortness of breath, back pain, cramping in the lower abdomen, swelling in the hands, fee tor face, chest pain, difficulty walking, contractions or bleeding. Talk to a doctor if these symptoms arise during a workout.

Latest Articles