My Top Tip for Training during Pregnancy
LEAVE YOUR CORE ALONE!
Stop trying to specifically train or strengthen your core. Your core will work in all exercises that you do, there are other types of exercises that increase the demand on the core, and there are far more important things to focus on (believe it or not).
Everyone is obsessed with doing "core" workouts during pregnancy. In fact, everyone is obsessed with the core ALL THE TIME.
I'm asked constantly "what are the best core exercises for pregnancy"
IMO the best core exercises for pregnancy are the ones you don't do
I jest, just a little. In this blog post I go through my top 5 core exercises for pregnancy.
Everyone loves doing tons of crunches, planks and side-flexion things
This isn't how your core works - the abdominal muscles aren't designed to work like a bicep or a hamstring, so we need to stop training them that way.
And when your abdominal muscles are stretched out around a growing baby, they really don't need this kind of stimulus.
Your core is designed to stabilize you while you do things with your arms and legs. It will work in every single movement that you do.
But more about that in that blog post I mentioned before.
Here are a few other things you can do instead (and might want to focus on more).
Keep your back strong
Your back (your WHOLE back - not just lower, there are upper and middle portions too) is the scaffolding that holds you up. Especially as your belly extends out in front of you. All the muscles of your back are what is going to support that weight.
So focus on horizontal rowing variations for the upper back. Like this Standing Cable Row
And deadlift variations to hit the entire posterior chain (back, bum and hamstrings). Like this Romanian Deadlift
Keeping your back strong can, rather unsurprisingly perhaps, help prevent back pain too.
Do some extra glute work
Strong glutes will help support your back and pelvic floor. Focus on targeted exercises like glute bridges, monster walks and hip thrusts.
Focus on functional exercises
Like squats - which mimics getting up from a chair or off the toilet and deadlifts - which mimic picking things up (and which I talked about above). Both important daily tasks.
Prioritize some exercises that are unilateral
You might try some single arm shoulder presses, or lunges, or single arm standing rows, for example. Because the load is uneven, your core muscles work to stabilize you... THIS is what they were designed to do
AND... If you REALLY want to do some core exercises, check out this post - Best 5 core exercises for pregnancy