Keeping a strong core during pregnancy is so important to help prevent back pain and keep your body strong for labor and delivery. But, if you're anything like me, it can also be scary to know what is safe for baby with all of the various information out there. After a lot of learning throughout my own pregnancy, I have developed a pregnancy-safe core routine that works great for me, and I am excited to share it with you:
1. Transverse Abdominal Breath
Tips: Sitting in a comfortable position, allow your belly to expand on an inhale. As you exhale, tighten your deep core muscles. You can also include kegels in this exercise, lifting your pelvic floor as you exhale.
2. Cat & Cow
Tips: Practice cat/cow with your toes tucked to help protect your lower back. On an inhale, engage your core, open your chest and look up. On an exhale, round your spine and tuck your chin. Only go as far as feels comfortable. Don’t force any movement!
Tips: On an inhale, extend opposite arm and opposite leg to find as much length as possible. On an exhale, tighten your core and take your elbow and knee together, being sure to leave plenty of space for baby.
4. Standing Bicycle
Tips: Get your heart rate up with this core move! Standing on your mat, engage your core and lift one knee, meeting it (about a foot away, as pictured) with the opposite elbow. Be sure to do both sides and keep a long torso.
5. Warrior III Balance
Tips: Keep a chair or a wall handy for this pose, as avoiding a fall is your number one goal! Shift your weight into one leg, being sure to keep a slight bend in the standing knee. Then, lift into Warrior III, with all 5 toes pointed down towards the mat to ensure square hips. Transition by tightening your core and lifting your knee to your chest. You are strengthening both core AND hamstrings in this full-body balance pose!
6. Side Bend Lunge
Tips: Start in a high lunge, scissoring your thighs together to help find stability. Then, taking palms together or steeple fingers, gently lean your upper body to one side. Engage your oblique muscles to return to center. Repeat on both sides.
7. Bridge Heel Slides
Tips: Start in a simple bridge, walking your shoulders under to create an open chest. Slowly slide one heel away from your body, straightening your knee. Repeat on both sides, remembering to lift your hips back to the sky between reps.
I encourage you to try these moves and create a routine that works for you, practicing everyday before bed or when you wake up in the morning.
Want more tips and tricks? Join me for my Christian prenatal yoga series, STEADY, as part of the Yoga Moore Monthly Membership: https://www.yogamoore.com/onlinemembership