Congratulations! You're pregnant! So much to think about, the birth, feeding, names, sleep….what about your core strength? How do you ensure you keep your core safe, strong and maintain it throughout your pregnancy?
Firstly, let’s take a look at what we mean by core, this simple image below shows the 4 main elements of your core. Working your abdominal muscles in isolation isn’t the most effective way to strengthen your core; they need to work alongside all the connective tissues and muscles to work most effectively. A strong back and strong (but not tight!!) pelvic floor all contribute to your core supporting you throughout and beyond your pregnancy.
Pelvic floor I hear you say? Kegels? Well….yes, but not in isolation. Essential to initially connect to your pelvic floor, and also in those first few weeks after delivery…but if they worked in isolation, we wouldn’t need those special pads during pregnancy #2, when baby is 2, when we sneeze, cough, run, walk and (heaven forbid…) shout at the kids! Keeping your pelvic floor strong in those 9 months will ultimately help in your recovery & reconnection once baby arrives.
So….how do we do this…. From your 2nd trimester, so about 12 weeks, your bump is starting to show, and you are feeling more like you want to exercise, start by concentrating on your posture, breathing, your TVA (transverse abdominal muscle) and pelvic floor is key.
What are the exercises you could be doing to aid the birthing process and keep you healthy throughout pregnancy? An essential piece of kit is the resistance band – for glute work, added resistance in squats, activating your core in a banded bicep curl and cross body banded work. Include a variety of squats & lunges, upper body stretches and openers. Try some of these…
• Glute band walks
• Banded squat
• Wall (supported) press up
• Single leg sits to a box
• Bicep curls – try & connect to your pelvic floor, exhaling on the squeeze up
• Banded deadlifts
• Banded pull apart (scapular retraction) – maybe with a squat or alternate lunge
• Cross body banded pull – from waist to opposite overhead
Finally, learn to relax & get mobile – relax your core, relax your pelvic floor – yes, it needs to be strong, but you also need to be able to relax your pelvic floor – the baby has to come out! Try a few of these to help
• Deep unweighted squats
• Figure of 8 hip rotations
• Wide child pose
• Pigeon pose
• Standing Cat / Cow
• Legs up the wall pose – lie flat or slightly elevated if uncomfortable, with legs resting straight up the wall
Most of all, eat well, exercise carefully and enjoy your pregnancy. Find a trainer that can help engage your core, your breathing, functional movement & life balance. #whatsyourbalance
Have a look at my Holistic Core Restore® Bump page for more information on the services I offer for Pre-Natal ladies