Are Sit-Ups Safe During Pregnancy?

Pregnancy, Sit-Ups & Ab ExercisesToday, many women want to preserve physical and mental wellness even during pregnancy by maintaining an active and healthy lifestyle. This can be done by keeping up with an exercise routine. However, since you are now pregnant, it is advised to modify the type of exercises you engage in order to accommodate the wellbeing and health of the baby. This is especially important as the gestation period progresses.

Sit-Ups & Ab Exercises

One common type of exercise involves toning of abdominal muscles. Engaging in this type of exercise can seem unproductive during pregnancy since the belly will continue to increase in size irrespective of the number of sit-ups and crunches you perform. However, abdominal exercises can help reduce the back pain associated with pregnancy and help you experience a quicker, smoother delivery. Since the abdomen provides your body with a stable, firm core, keeping it lean and strong can help you avoid the curving of the lower back that tends to develop in many pregnant women. This curving results from the weight or force exerted by the bulging belly. Abdominal exercises can therefore help to strengthen the belly and make the delivery process much easier.

Risks of Sit-Ups & Ab Exercises

As much as abdominal exercises such as sit-ups are good, it is very important to note that they should only be performed during the initial months of pregnancy. As the strikes of the baby become obvious, it is important to reduce on abdominal exercises and in particularly sit-ups. This is because sit-up exercises require you to lie on your back. As you do so, the weight or pressure of the fetus will block your vena cava. This is the blood vessel that provides blood and oxygen to your uterus. If you engage in such exercises, you may end up putting your baby’s life at risk due to lack of oxygen supply. That is why it is advised to remain upright. In addition, as your belly weight increases, you will find it uncomfortable and even impossible to do sit-ups.

Pregnant Sit-Ups & Ab Exercises For Each Trimester

You can do full sit-ups during the first trimester and early stages of the second trimester. Afterwards, you can move to doing crunches. When crunching, do not jerk or pull on your neck’s back if you choose to place your palms on the back of your head. Instead, intertwine your fingers at your chest area and gently position your thumbs under your jaw or chin. Every time you crunch, lift up your chin as though you are attempting to touch the ceiling with it. As you move to your third semester you can begin doing side crunches. Even when doing so, you should ensure that you are not straining your lower back, thus compromising on the amount of oxygen supplied to your baby.

One of the best ab workouts for pregnant women is the ball. This large ball absorbs extra shock exerted on your hips and lower back while exercising. With the help of a trainer, you can do various workouts with the ball.

It is however advised to first consult with your doctor before engaging in any type of pregnancy exercise to ensure that you do not injure yourself and compromise on your baby’s health and wellbeing.

Additional Resources on Pregnancy, Sit-ups, & Ab Exercises

LiveStrong – Safe Abdominal Exercises During Early Pregnancy

Australian Government Health Department

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