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Pregnant woman holding exercise mat ready to do a pregnancy workout

Pregnancy Workouts that aren’t just something you ‘can do’ but that DO something (actually a lot of things) for you!!! (and safe for baby, too!)

The Pregnant body is NOT destined to be in pain.
Your Abs, and Pelvic Floor, even with their separations, are NOT doomed to be weak…We were built to have babies.

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Pregnancy Workouts you choose can make a huge difference when it comes to the:

  • comfort of your pregnancy,
  • the preparedness for your labor/delivery and
  • your postnatal experience of getting your body back.

Free PDF: 3 Safe & Effective Ab Exercises PLUS 2 Protective Ab Tips

Starting with Pregnancy Workouts. Here’s what we need to know to make good choices.

Your body is set up to change in order to be able to:

  • nurture,
  • protect, and
  • provide

your growing fetus with what it needs during this miraculous time!

2 examples of how your body changes to accommodate your baby:

1. your blood volume increases.

2. your tendons, muscles, and ligaments become lax enough to make room for your little one to grow.

When we choose which workouts to do during pregnancy, it’s imperative to keep body changes like these in mind so we can protect your body and your baby.

Especially vulnerable when blood volume increases are your Veins.

Varicose veins of your legs are common, and for some women, Varicose Veins of the Vulva can be painful.

Lax muscles, tendons, and ligaments create vulnerabilities for your Abs, Neck, Back, Pubic Symphysis, and Pelvic Floor.

You can work with your body to Protect:

  • Your Veins,
  • Abs.
  • Neck, Upper, Mid, Lower Back
  • Pubic Symphysis and Pelvic floor.
Illustration of the impact pregnancy has on the Spine and Pelvic Floor

Not only can you protect the items listed above, but as you are protecting them, using the right exercises in the right order at the right time, you’re laying down the foundation for a Stronger, Fitter YOU:

  • throughout your entire pregnancy,
  • during your labor, delivery, and
  • Postnatally through the end of Postnatal Phase 3!

I know this to be true! My firsthand experience with generations of stronger, fitter pregnant women working with their bodies’ changes during and after their pregnancies was always the most amazing experience.

Please don’t let others convince you that your Veins, Abs, Back, and Pelvic Floor Muscles are doomed because you are pregnant.

3 Safe & Effective Ab Exercises Plus 2 Ab Protective Tips

Grab your FREE PDF

Choose Pregnancy Workouts that Result in a Stronger, Fitter You!

The key- is taking into account

  1. HOW the body is set up to:
  • Provide for,
  • Nurture and
  • Protect

you and your growing baby during pregnancy. Then,

2. Leverage that knowledge to:

  • do the right exercises
  • in the right order and
  • at the right time

during pregnancy and then three postnatal phases.

When it comes to your Veins

Your Veins will expand and make room for the increased blood volume. When you know that your veins have valves that only go one way and you focus on positions and exercises that promote circulation instead of constricting it, you can avoid varicose veins. Even in the Vulva.

Be sure to the exercises you choose:

  • contract-release your muscles
  • are doing exercises in the right order
  • are positioned in a way that avoids constriction of blood flow

This way, the exercises will help you reduce your swelling or, better yet, eliminate it.

illustration side view pregnant body text identifies the parts including the cervix, vulva, vagina, bladder rectum.

Vulva Varicose Veins

When it comes to your Ab muscles

Abs: Your Ab muscles are designed to be able to slowly expand and separate when necessary in response to your growing baby.

This is a miraculous ability that helps keep you and your baby safe by making the room necessary for the two of you to co-exist.

Pregnancy Workouts Should Strengthen Your ABs in a Way that is Protective:

Having the understanding that your Abs are receiving hormonal messaging to be more lax helps provide 2 very important parameters that your Ab Strengthening Exercises should always follow:

Ab Protective Parameter 1

The Muscle Action should always be done in a way that your contracted muscle is moving toward your Spine.

This means avoiding exercises that have your belly bulging, like sit-ups, crunches, and knee to nose…instead, use your Abs in a way that the Action has your Abs moving toward your spine. Here is a quick example:

Pregnant woman doing the best pregnancy Workout

This mom is sitting tall and using her lower belly to press her air up and out of her open mouth.

As she does this, she is exercising her ab muscles against the resistance of the baby.

The baby rocks gently, and there is no pressure on the back. This is an amazingly safe and effective Ab exercise.

Ab Protective Parameter 2

Straight line of pull: This means choosing exercises that focus on positioning and action that keep your torso in a straight line of pull. In other words, AVOID twisting exercises. The 3 Ab exercises in the PDF show you the 3 best Ab Exercises to use throughout your pregnancy.

You can still work the sides of your torso (obliques, transverse) safely by choosing exercises that are positioned in a way that:

  • fully support your back (but not lying on your back)
  • are performed nice and slow, and
  • engages the lower 1/3 of your abs while
  • directly lean to the side, and then back up.

When it comes to your Pelvic Floor Muscles

Knowing that they work in sync with your diaphragm muscle (your spine’s Number 1 stabilizer) means you can train your diaphragm with your ABS and end up simultaneously strengthening your pelvic floor!

And you know what this does? It strengthens your entire CORE.

The Best Way to Workout During Pregnancy

Short spurts and throughout your day. Weaving the 3 Best Pregnancy Ab Exercises into your day will make a huge difference, as will the 2 Ab-Protective tips.

This is because the 3 Ab exercises work with your body day in and day out, taking advantage of your baby’s incremental growth each day.

Free PDF: 3 Safe & Effective Ab Exercises PLUS 2 Protective Ab Tips

So instead of doing an hour class once or twice a week—which is great for the social aspect—it’s totally doable to do the Ab workout once a day and then weave the lower Ab exercises throughout the day.

This is the absolute BEST way to keep you comfortable and slowly build a stronger, fitter you. You will be astonished.

A great place to start is with the 3 Ab Exercises PDF.

The PDF is a bite-size piece of information you can consume in 2 minutes and begin using immediately. Pregnant? 3 Safe & Effective Ab Exercises PLUS 2 Protective Ab Tips

The 3 Ab exercises are safe and 100% the most EFFECTIVE resistance training you can do during Pregnancy!

Its best to start early on using the lower 1/3 of your abs (from the belly button down) to strengthen your Abs. But even if you are starting in your last trimester or even just weeks before delivery you can train your abs and strengthen them like never before.

This is true whether you have been a couch potato, a never-exerciser, or have always been an athlete; you will benefit!!!

The 3 Ab exercise training is optimal for the Ab muscles that run up and down the front of your body as well as your transverse (and as the baby grows and grows, your Obliques). But it’s the lower 1/3 of your abs that especially benefit from this training!

It helps you train your Abs in a way that is also super helpful when it comes to what’s called the postnatal belly pooch. And, again, it is a huge helper in keeping your neck from sliding into the dowager’s hump that many moms incur during their childbearing and rearing years.

Pregnancy Workout that Protects Your ABs

While strengthening your Abs is protecting your Abs there is additional support you will want to incorporate when it comes to protecting your Abs.

The support you should weave into your day: Lifting your AB muscles in three ways: 1 internal lift and 2 external lifts.

INTERNAL LIFT: Each time you go to stand up from sitting or are sitting to standing, rock your pelvis, using the lower 1/3 of your Ab muscles, literally pick the baby up. Weave this Standing and Sitting C into your day—over and over and over. You can see how this ongoing training, with the incremental increased resistance of the baby, will strengthen your lower abs! How amazing is that!

EXTERNAL Support: Support your belly when you are on the couch, bed, or floor if you are lying on your side. Place the pillow or rolled blanket beneath your belly so it supports the side that would be hanging. This support protects you from having one side of your ab muscle being overstretched by the weight of your growing baby. Do this right from the beginning of your pregnancy! Most moms wait until the baby is big and uncomfortable. If you do this from early on, you will protect your Abs from excess separation. Mimimizing Ab separation is a BIG factor in preventing hip and back pain. By keeping the 2 sides of your abs as equal as possible, they can better stabilize your hips and lower back, which too are impacted by hormonal messaging to be lax.

EXTERNAL LIFT: Pick the baby up using your arm before you turn from one side to the other. The same positive results as number 2 will be the payoff.

Free PDF: 3 Safe & Effective Ab Exercises PLUS 2 Protective Ab Tips

Pregnancy Workout: Neck, Upper, Mid, Lower Back: The Right Order

When you Strengthen and protect your abs, first, it goes a long way toward protecting your Neck, Upper, Mid, and Lower back.

Strong Abs that stay balanced and keep getting stronger due to the incremental increase of your baby’s growing weight and size help counteract the forward and downward pull on the Spine that naturally occurs during pregnancy.

Pregnancy exercises Simple Illustration of How the Sitting C exercise helps the spine and pelvic floor

Doing the Ab exercises FIRST means we will have less need for a whole bunch of other exercises. This is why The Prenatal Exercise System accomplishes so much in mere minutes each day.

When your Abs are strong, protected, and balanced, you can add additional exercises that focus on strengthening your Neck and Back using your legs and arms.

When we layer on arm movements to the 3 Ab Exercises for the same amount of time, we get exponential results. The Neck, Upper, Mid, and Lower Back Muscles are also trained equally and incrementally!

Win, win. I hope you are getting a feel for the efficiency of working out muscles in order.

There is so much more to systematically working out during Pregnancy, and I’ve turned a Train These 3 Muscle Groups Masterclass into a FREE webinar if you want to explore more about The Prenatal Exercise System.

For this post, I am staying focused on the FOUNDATIONAL exercises: the 3 Ab Exercises, and how they can be done throughout Pregnancy. to protect your Neck, Upper, Mid, and Lower back, and when done in the right order and add a breathing technique they strengthen and protect your pelvic floor too! Simultaneously!!

Pregnancy Workout Includes Your Pelvic Floor

Sticking to the right exercises, layered on in the right order at the right time the addition of a breathing technique layers in another VERY important muscle.

Your Spines #1 stabilizer. This, too, is done while exercising the 3 Ab muscles. This is where your core strength will improve dramatically and become very apparent in its value by the time you get to the 3rd Postnatal Phase. It is then moms would come in bewildered, showing me their Abs were in better condition than before they were pregnant.

Training the number 1 Spine stabilizer has another amazing benefit: it strengthens your Pelvic floor.

So now we have layered:

  1. The 3 Ab Exercises that Strengthen and 3 Ways to Protect Your Abs and then added
  2. Resistance to further Strengthen and Protect Your Neck, Back, and All your Joints for that matter with
  3. Inclusion of Training the Spines Number 1 Stabilizer, the Diaphragm, Advancing Your Core Strength as well as the Pelvic Floor.

Done in any other order all three would be less effective.

When you focus on Prenatal Exercises that are inclusive of those 3, are layered on in that order your:

Pregnancy Workout will Result in a Stronger Fitter YOU!

And you’ll have Payoff Post-pregnancy as well.

After delivery and through your 3 Postnatal phases you will STILL want to strengthen your abs and protect your abs.

Prenatal Workouts are Foundational for Postnatal. Photo of prenatal belly then postnatal with mom holding little one

Here again, strengthening should always follow two very important rules:

Rule 1

Keep your entire torso supported, and use your legs to challenge your torso. Initially, stay away from using your Abs in ‘exercises’.

Instead, focus on positioning your back flat ( this time lying on your back right in bed) and then slide your legs one at a time away from your torso in a way that creates a challenge to your Abs. They will have to work to simply keep your torso flat on the bed.

This will work your abs in the best way possible for the first 10 days to 2 weeks.

Rule 2

Always focus on a straight line of pull. In other words, just like during Pregnancy, postnatally, you want to AVOID twisting exercises.

Your abs are lax now because you lost the pressure and resistance the baby created before delivery. Now, they have nothing to keep them taut. This means while your Abs are reducing in size, you will want to support them because they are not able to support your torso, lower back, and hip regions yet.

After the first Postnatal Phase, you will be able to work the sides of your torso (obliques, transverse) safely by choosing exercises that fully support your back, are performed nicely and slowly, and, where needed, support using the arm wrap.

Postnatal Phase 2, you’ll be back to weaving the 3 Best Pregnancy Ab Exercises into your day.

There are very specific Postnatal Ab exercises you’ll do immediately after delivery and for the first couple of weeks. They are all done right in bed. They work with your hormones that are directing your Muscles to clamp down. It is a fantastic advantage to do the Postnatal Phase 1 Exercises from day 1 through 14.

Then, the 3 Ab exercises that worked with your body during pregnancy will be super effective during Postnatal Phase 2.

Incorporating the 3 Ab exercises throughout your day, especially when you are now picking up and holding your baby, is super important and effective at helping to keep any ab separation from getting bigger and help to close any ab separation that you may have.

Free PDF: 3 Safe & Effective Ab Exercises PLUS 2 Protective Ab Tips

PROTECTING Your Abs Postnatally.

Keep supporting your Abs when you are lying on your side. Continue to use your arm to lift your belly when you turn from one side to the other to protect against furthering any Ab separation (Recti diastasis)

AVOID twisting exercises, crunches, and even planks initially.

First, build your Postnatal Foundation a different order.

  1. First, focus on Training the Spine’s Number one Stabilizer, the Diaphragm, which will help strengthen the Pelvic Floor. Then, use your Ab Protective Tips.
  2. Next, in Postnatal Phase 2, Use the 3 Ab Exercises again, then Postnatal Phase 3, you’ll be ready to
  3. Add Resistance exercises to further Strengthen your Foundation for a Stronger, Fitter You!

When you work with your body exercising the right muscles in the right order throughout each of your prenatal and postnatal phases, your body will have a stronger core, more balanced foundation, and overall increased fitness level than even before you were pregnant.

Free PDF: 3 Safe & Effective Ab Exercises PLUS 2 Protective Ab Tips

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Pregnancy Workouts for a Stronger, Fitter You!