I’m wondering if there are any pregnant ladies or moms out there who are / were athletes or gym enthusiasts, i.e., had strong abs, and have any insight into how this affects pregnancy. I have pretty developed ab muscles, especially lower abs, and I’m wondering if this has anything to do with the fact that I can’t feel my uterus with my hands yet at all. My doctor felt around at 7 weeks and couldn’t feel my uterus (though she said this was normal for some women). I had an ultrasound at 8 weeks that showed everything was normal. At 9 weeks, my midwife skipped the part where she was going to feel my uterus because she knows I’m a worrier and she didn’t want to freak me out if she couldn’t find it, hah. I’m 11 weeks now, and I still can’t feel anything different when I push on my abdomen near my pubic bone – all I feel is muscles. I do have a different sensation inside though, like if I bend over or if my bladder is full I think I’m feeling my uterus in there. But not at all with my hands. Is this weird? Also, could my abs lead to me showing much later than most women? I’m not showing yet (nor am I expecting that I should) and I’m hoping not to show for as long as possible so I can keep it a secret, especially at school until I get a ton of work done so my supervisor doesn’t just inwardly groan when she finds out, blargh.. so if showing late might be in the cards for me, I’m cool with that!!
Also, does anybody know what kinds of ab exercises are ok during pregnancy and what kinds are off-limits? I have looked this up a bit but I’m not really down with the lingo so it hasn’t really sunk in other than I know planks are ok (and maybe crunches are not so ok?) I read a bit about how some ab exercises can lead to a higher risk of your ab muscles actually separating down the middle (aaahh!!) so I am going to avoid those… but I really just haven’t been doing much in the way of abs lately because I’m nervous about doing the wrong exercises. I don’t want my abs to waste away while I’m pregnant though, and I’m sure it’s good to be strong for labour. So this is something I’ve got to figure out. Any advice is welcome 🙂 Thanks.
I’ve been wondering about what ab exercises are advised, too, but don’t have an answer. But I do think that having strong abs will make you show later. Sadly, that is not my issue, but I have a weak core/abs/back so I want to keep them as strong as possible so I have fewer issues down the line.
I think if your abs are strong you also tend to carry a little higher– people kept telling my sister that she hadn’t ‘dropped’ yet, at the end, but she knew her bump was lower, it was just still higher than some other people’s.
I would stick to exercises that engage the core but aren’t stictly ab exercises. i.e. leg raises, standing crunches, jogging, swimming, power walking, yoga, etc. The risk of separation is more with straight ab exercises/crunches later in pregnancy; I do know someone who experienced it, and she did not have an easy time recovering, so I’d err on the side of caution.
Crunches are ok for now, but you shouldn’t be lying on your back after the 1st trimester anyway. So it’s time to start thinking about new exercises.
It’s ALL ABOUT the strong core as always, but pregnancy adds a new incredibly important excercise – the SQUAT. Squats are pregnancy’s big ticket item – keeping those hips strong and flexible helps in labor supposedly). My yoga instructor wants us doing them in some form EVERY DAY (some days for strength and some for stretching).
So I would focus on lots of squats and similar leg exercises (lunges etc.) and then do dynamic weights with your arms that require core control. (e.g. squat thrusters). As you get bigger everything that you’re doing gets harder and it will take less to get you tired. When you get more than halfway start moving into the pool if you can – can’t get a better full body workout.
my doctor said after the first trimester, you can do floor abs (as long as your head and legs are elevated), and no more than 30degree crunches.
One of the trainers at my gym taught a high impact cardio kickboxing class the entire time – which includes lots of “non-traditional” abs with kicks, knees, things of that nature. It was her second baby so she showed right away. She literally taught the same day she gave birth, and when she went in to the hospital – the doctor barley made it on time – the baby literally slipped out! All those abs helped her.
I do Crossfit which doesn’t traditionally focus on ab exercises, but does use compound movements that definitely engage the core. In terms of exercises that do specifically target the abs, I’ve found planks (and the million variations thereof) and knees-to-elbows (hanging from the pull-up bar, raising knees to elbows) to be quite effective. Since I’ve 21 weeks, I find these allow me to target abs without laying on my back, which is to be avoided at this point.
I don’t think I could feel my uterus emerging from my pelvis until about 12 or 13 weeks, which I think is considered the “norm” for first pregnancies. Even then, it was just the very top of it, just above my pubic bone.
I have very strong abs – when I got my c-section, the doctor actually commented on it because she had difficulty going through to get the baby…
Anyway… during pregnancy I continued working out until I was 6 days past my due date (LO came 4 days later).
I mainly did cardio exercises and kept my core contracted during those. I also did planks (on my knees towards the end).
With proper clothes, people at work didn’t notice I was pregnant until I decided to tell them at 19 weeks. At the end of my pregnancy, the bump was still small. I think it was great, but also annoying because some people would keep commenting on how my baby would be too small and unhealthy, but he was perfect (a little bit small but he has two small parents so we were expecting nothing different).
After giving birth, I had to wait to do ab work because of the c-section. I started at 6 weeks pp, and I was in better shape than I thought I would be – of course upper work was easier, but I was able to manage lower work as well.
My son is now 11 months and I still have about 8 pounds to lose. But my core is there, and you can see the muscles.. the skin is just thicker and it’s hard to get rid of it.
All in all, I can’t complain (well, not a lot). It’s hard work to get back to the shape you want and maybe you’ll never get there, but you probably still will look better than lots of people who never had babies in the first place.
I asked my personal trainer and said after 2 months he stops ab work with his clients. He will continue to lift weights, run etc… he said basically everything you have already been doing except excercises that effect the adomen area
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