When I was pregnant with Logan I was so scared of miscarrying, and of course the random spotting that happened in the beginning, not to mention my NYC doctor’s overly cautious approach (to the point where some blood work I had done indicated there was a .001% chance I could miscarry after 28 weeks… to which my doctor told me there’s a very small possibility we could lose the baby — it wasn’t until we looked at the results ourselves and saw just how small a percentage), didn’t help either. I had been doing CrossFit for almost a year when we found out we were expecting, so was in pretty great shape, but I stopped working out during my first trimester. I would get a workout in here and there, however, it was nothing like my every-day routine prior.
This time around, I’m feeling great and have a better understanding of the whole process. I also know the limits of how far to push my body and have found modifications to favorite workouts that still allow me to be active and get my heart rate up. One of my favorite pieces of equipment is turning out to be the erg. As a college rower, erging was always my least favorite thing — I’d much rather be on the water. However, fast-forward six years and pregnant me is loving it. I can get a great workout in that targets my legs, arms, back, and abs, without any pressure or discomfort on my belly. (I had to stop running a few weeks back, because of this. The belly was way too big and all that bouncing from running was a killer on my back.)
I’ve also been in touch with a trainer friend and momma for some great ab exercises (outside of my go-to planks) that I could continue to do throughout my pregnancy. According to Maddie, her main focus with pregnant clients is strength and stability. The moves below aren’t what you’d consider traditional “ab movements” — the goal is to load multiple muscle groups of the body, with a focus on the abdominals. This ultimately gives you a more well-rounded workout.
When working through the circuit below, remember to concentrate on contracting the ab muscles. And speed is not key here, rather focus on performing quality reps!
For 24 minutes, every minute, on the minute perform the following:
Seated on the floor and with heels on the floor, come to a 45-degree angle with your upper body. Extend arms out and twist from side to side. 1 left + 1 right = 1 rep
Be mindful to eliminate any arching in the lower back. To do so, contract the abdominals to keep the hips tucked. Do not overextend the ribs as you perform the lift and maintain a contracted core.
Switch sides each round and maintain proper posture by keeping the shoulders retracted, core engaged.
Use a weight that is light enough so all reps should be able to be done unbroken. Tighten in the core as you lunge forward and as you step back to center.
Eliminate any arching in lower back by using the lower abdominals to tuck the hips.
The momentum of the swing is controlled by the power generated in your hips and core. As the swing reaches its pinnacle (just at eye level, if using kettlebell) squeeze the glutes and contract the core.