Keep Your Tummy Tight—And Your Delivery Smooth

Suzanne Murray
2
baby bump

Photo by mamanorwood

As long as your doctor says it's okay, you can exercise while you're pregnant. In fact, it's good for you. These five moves from Autumn Calabrese-Guzman, founder of Mighty Mommies Fitness and a fitness expert at Modern Mom, will help keep your tummy tight now and get it back into shape faster post-pregnancy. They'll also keep your abdominal muscles strong, which will help you during delivery and make your childbirth recovery a little easier.

1. Standing Crunch
Start, in a standing position, with your feet hip-width apart, draw your belly button into your spine, tuck your pelvis slightly and bring your fingertips to your ears. Crunch forward and squeeze your abdominal muscles (as if you were lying on your back). Try doing 15 to 20 at a time.

2. Standing Bicycle
Start in the same position as the standing crunch.  As you crunch forward, lift your right knee toward your chest and twist so that your left elbow comes to the right knee. Replace your foot and return to the starting position, then raise the left knee and twist to bring the right elbow toward the left knee.  Repeat 10 to 20 times

Watch this video to see how exercises 1 and 2 are done:
http://www.youtube.com/user/modernmom#p/u/38/lejuCLDqfW4

3.  Standing Toe Touches
Start in a standing position with your feet hip-width apart, belly button pulled in to your spine and your pelvis slight tucked under you.  Raise both arms straight above your head. Bend forward at your waist, letting your chest and arms come forward. As you bend raise your right leg straight up in front of you. Return your leg to the ground and bring your arms back up in the air. Repeat, lifting the left leg.  Alternate 10 to 20 times.

4. The Plank
Begin on your hands and knees. Put your forearms on the ground directly below your shoulders, and raise up onto your toes so that your body is in a long flat line. Draw your belly button into your spine and squeeze your buttocks at the same time. Hold the position for 10 to 60 seconds. If you have any discomfort in your lower back, you can do this with your knees on the ground. 

Watch this video to see how to do the Plank:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dz0oFaVGuh4

5. Sitting Abdominal Crunch
Sit on a comfortable, soft surface with both knees bent and your feet flat on the ground.  Place your hands behind you on the ground with your fingertips facing your back. Extend your right leg out straight, and draw in your abdominal muscles. Crunch forward and bend your right knee, bringing it into your chest. Lean back slightly and extend your right leg back out in front of you. Again, crunch forward and pull the knee in, then return to the starting position. Repeat 10 to 20 times with each leg.

Watch this video to see how a Sitting Abdominal Crunch is done:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hcezafqXLVo

 

Are you exercising during pregnancy? What's your routine?

 

Related posts:

Exercise During Pregnancy

Is it Safe? Exercising While Pregnant

Tracy Mallett Interview: Prenatal Fitness

Tracy Mallet Interview: Postnatal Fitness

 

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