Can I Do Crunches While I Am Pregnant? Yes You Can!

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A doctor hears this question a lot, “Can I do crunches while I am pregnant?” The answer is yes. But there are rules for doing exercise and crunches during pregnancy. Sit-ups and crunches are fine during the first trimester of pregnancy. During the second and third trimesters of pregnancy, you need to avoid lying on your back. As your uterus grows, the weight can compress the blood vessels leading to your heart. This can deprive your growing baby of oxygen.

Also, when you lie on your back, you can experience a rapid drop in your blood pressure. Sometimes this will only last a few minutes, but still should be avoided. There are safe exercises that you can do for your abdominals throughout the three trimesters of pregnancy.

Safe Abdominal Exercises

During your first trimester of pregnancy, you can continue your normal abdominal work-out routine. As you progress to your second and third trimester of pregnancy, you will need to switch to crunches and other abdominal exercises that are safe for you and your growing baby. These exercises can be done in the second and third trimester of pregnancy. Can I do crunches while I am pregnant? Yes, you can!

Side-Lying Crunch:

Lie on your left side with your knees bent at a 30-degree angle. Roll over to the right side only enough to lift your knees about six inches off the floor. Your body weight should be resting on the back of your left shoulder and shoulder blade. Place both hands behind your head with your fingertips touching and elbows open. Curl your torso up on the diagonal, bringing your breastbone toward your right knee. This will lift your left shoulder slightly off the floor. At the top of the movement, reach both arms forward toward your knees, curling up a little higher. Place your hands back behind your head and lower yourself to the starting position, then repeat. Do one set of six repetitions; then switch sides. You should try and progress to 12 repetitions for all three trimesters.

Sitting Knee Lift:

Sit on the edge of a sturdy chair. Place your feet flat on the floor, directly under your knees. Place your hands, palms down, under your buttocks. Contract your abdominals and tilt your pelvis under. Hold this position and bring your bent left knee toward your chest. Contract your abdominals further as you lower your left foot to the floor. Use your abdominals to hold this position. Release the tilt to a neutral position and repeat. Do all the repetitions with your left leg; then repeat with your right. Do two sets of 8 to 12 repetitions in the first trimester and one to two sets of 8 to 12 repetitions in the second and third trimesters.

Reverse Crunch:

Begin on your hands and knees on a mat on the floor. Relax your abdominals. As you take a breath out, contract your abdominal muscles and bring them toward your belly button. Hold this position for one to two seconds. Take a deep breath in and release. Do two sets of 8 to 12 repetitions in the first trimester and one to two sets of 8 to 12 repetitions in the second and third trimesters.

References

Women Fitness: 2nd Trimester Fitness Routine - www.womenfitness.net/second_trimester.htm

Health News: Exercising in the Third Trimester - www.healthnews.com/pregnancy-childbirth-parenting/exercising-in-third-trimester-your-pregna