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.

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.

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