How to Strengthen Your Stomach Muscles While Pregnant

Learn how to strengthen your stomach muscles while pregnant from fitness expert Cait Morth in this Howcast workout video.

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The key to getting your figure back fast after having a baby is staying in shape during your pregnancy. Let fitness expert Cait Morth show you how to do the best and safest prenatal stretches, yoga poses, kegel exercises, exercise ball workouts, and much more in these workout videos. When baby is born you'll be glad you did them!

 
 

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We're going to show you a few ways to strengthen your stomach muscles when you're pregnant. The big muscle we're going to work on in the transversus abdominis. It runs horizontally across the stomach and it's going to assist you push baby out during delivery. We're going to start very simple seated up. You can use an exercise ball or any chair. You're going to place your hands on your stomach with your fingers pointing in towards your belly button. Let the muscles relax. Take a deep breath in. And as you exhale, you're going to try to bring the fingertips towards each other, very gently hugging baby towards your spine. As you inhale, let the muscles relax and exhale very gently using the transversus abdominis to draw baby towards your spine giving him a little hug. It should feel like you're wearing a corset. It's also known as the corset muscle. Very nice. We're going to show you two more ways you work on this muscle. Vicky's going to come down to her hands and knees, very gently off the ball. Good. Her knees are underneath her hips, hands underneath the shoulders, fingers spread very nicely. You're going to keep the spine fairly neutral, inhale, letting the belly relax and release towards the floor. As she exhales, she's going to hug baby towards the spine, very, very gently drawing the belly button towards the spine and then inhale, again letting it relax. Because, this is adding a little bit of resistance because gravity is now pulling baby away from the spine. She's going to have to work a tiny bit harder t lift the belly button up. Very nice. And just follow the breath. It will give you a good sense of what your timing will be. Keeping the breath gentle will keep the exercise gentle. Very nice, Vicky. We'll show you one more thing she can do, this time lying on her back. Very nice. Clamp the feet on the mat about hip distance apart, arms along the sides. You're going to find that neutral spine again. The lower back may be a little bit lifted off the mat. Very gently, inhale here. And as you exhale, you're going to drop the lower back towards the floor using these abdominal muscles, not using the butt to do so. As you inhale, you relax, let the spine lift gently, coming to a neutral spine. Exhale, using the abdominal muscles. Very gently drop the spine, letting the pelvis rock a little bit. Once more, letting it relax. And then as you exhale, the pelvis will just gently rock and tip. Good. And then, relax. Later in pregnancy, you may feel a little uncomfortable, might get a little light headed or dizzy lying on your back. If that's the case, you're just going to drop your knees to the left, come to fetal pose. And then using your arms to assist, sit on up and the feeling should pass.

Expert

  • Cait Morth

    Cait is a corrective exercise therapist, yoga teacher, and anatomy devotee. She works with people looking to live in their bodies better, whether they are competitive athletes, desk jockeys, or mamas-to-be. She helps you better understand your unique body while finding the space and strength to improve your posture and movement.