Exercising Maternity training Pregnancy

Second Trimester Ab Workout6 min read

November 14, 2019 4 min read

author:

Second Trimester Ab Workout6 min read

Reading Time: 4 minutes
Should I do ab exercises during my second trimester?

It’s important to include exercises for your corset muscle and obliques in your second trimester ab workout routine. Inner abdominal exercises help your abdomen to carry the weight of the uterus which may decrease back pain and other posture related discomforts.


Should I avoid sit-ups and planks during my second trimester?

Yes, you should. Your growing uterus puts pressure on the two vertical bands of abdominal muscles, a.k.a the 6-pack, that meet in the middle of your stomach. This can cause them to separate in a condition known as diastasis recti, or abdominal separation. Engaging in sit-ups and planks will most likely add pressure to this separation resulting in an increased diastasis recti.


Which ab-muscles should I exercise during my second trimester?

Your ab-workout routine during the second trimester should only consists of exercises for your inner abdominal muscles which are: transversus abdominis (corset muscle) and internal and external obliques. You should not exercise your rectus abdominis a.k.a “the 6-pack”.

Second trimester ab workout

Second trimester ab workout or “All trimesters” ab workout?

All exercises for your inner abdominals can and should be a part of your workout routine during all three trimesters.

Our stomach consists of these muscles

  • Transversus abdominis/Corset muscle: Wraps around the entire core and looks like a corset, connects your ribs and pelvis, meaning it keeps your upper and lower body together. This muscle makes you fixated while holding the internal organs and the uterus in place. The corset muscle is your most important abdominal muscle to exercise when you become pregnant (and after pregnancy too!).
  • Internal obliques: Reduce / prevent soreness during pregnancy.
  • External obliques: Push the child out during labor in cooperation with the corset muscle.
  • Rectus abdominis a.k.a “the 6 pack”

The functions of the abdominal muscles

  • To stabilize and support the spine
  • Bending the core forward and sideways
  • Rotate the core
  • Maintain the correct position of the pelvic so that you don’t sag or get a sway-back. 

How is the stomach affected by pregnancy?

  • The waist measurement increases by about 50 cm
  • 66% get their abdominal separation during the 3rd trimester and 27% earlier than that
  • Immediately after the delivery, the uterus returns to its normal size. But the abdominal muscles will continue to be stretched and weakened for a very long time and for some women for the rest of their lives. 

Why a second trimester ab workout routine is important

The recovery of the abdominal muscles is much quicker and more effective the greater fitness your in. Therefore it’s important to strengthen your core before and during pregnancy to improve recovery, reduce the risk of abdominal separation and to increase the chance of having an effective delivery. All of this is accomplished by exercising the corset muscle.

In your second trimester your belly grows a lot and you still have quite good energy, in comparison to what you’ll have in the third trimester (in general of course, all women are different). These exercises will help your abdomen to carry the weight of the uterus which may decrease back pain and the strain on Linea Alba and the abdominal separation.

Activation of inner abdominals and pelvic floor muscles on all four

This exercise is a little bit heavier than the previous one and it’s suitable if you feel back pain while lying down. So did I during my pregnancy actually.

  1. Begin on all fours with your hands directly under your shoulders and your knees directly under your hips.
  2. Activate your pelvic floor muscles (imagine yourself stop peeing midstream, that’s how you activate your pelvic floor muscles).
  3. Breathe in… and as you breathe out – suck your belly in (which is no danger to your baby so no worries) by pulling your belly button toward your spine without bending your back.
  4. As you breathe in again you return slowly to the starting position
  5. Do at least 10 repetitions.

Cat pose – One of the most important exercises in your second trimester ab workout

This exercise is very similiar to the previous exercise but this time we will push our back toward the ceiling to activate our abdominals even more!

  1. Begin on all fours with your hands directly under your shoulders and your knees directly under your hips.
  2. Activate your pelvic floor muscles (imagine yourself stop peeing midstream, that’s how you activate your pelvic floor muscles).
  3. Breathe normally and as you breathe out – suck your belly in (no danger to your baby so no worries) by pulling your belly button toward your spine and push your back toward the ceiling.
  4. Breathe in and return slowly to the starting position
  5. Do at least 10 repetitions.

Adjusted side-plank

Let’s make our obliques work!

  1. Lie on one side with your knees on the floor and bent to 90 degrees.
  2. Activate your pelvic floor muscles (imagine yourself stop peeing midstream, that’s how you activate your pelvic floor muscles).
  3. Using your elbow, bring your hips up, balancing on your stacked knees.
  4. Make sure to keep your abs tight the entire time by pulling your belly button toward your spine.
  5. Your body should form a straight line from your knees to your shoulder as you hold this position for 10 seconds.
  6. Repeat 5-10 times

Abdominal Twist

This is (mainly) a static ab workout and focus should be on keeping your core tight and strong.

  1. Place your feet in a hip wide stance with your hips and upper body facing forward.
  2. Keep your arms fixated straight out in front of you parallell with the floor.
  3. The resistance band should be attatched to your side and slighlty behind you.
  4. Twist your upper body toward the same side the resistance band is attatched. Do this by pulling your belly button torward your spine and contracting your obliques.
  5. Twist your hips as little as possible.
  6. Work your way back to the starting position.
  7. Repeat 5-10 times

Rolling cat

This exercise is great for increased contact in your inner abdominals. This exercise might be a hard one that needs a lot of practice 🙂 I wish you luck!

  1. Begin on all fours with your hands directly under your shoulders and your knees directly under your hips.
  2. Activate your pelvic floor muscles (imagine yourself stop peeing midstream, that’s how you activate your pelvic floor muscles).
  3. Breathe normally and as you breathe out – suck your belly in (no danger to your baby so no worries) by pulling your belly button toward your spine.
  4. Push your back toward the ceiling in a circular movement by contracting your inner abdominals and obliques. The top position should be the same as the cat pose.
  5. Breathe in and return slowly to the starting position by completing the circle (not going back the same way, but the opposite).
  6. The next repetition you do in the opposite direction.
  7. Do at least 10 repetitions.

You’ll find maternity activewear here!

Leave a Reply

avatar
  Subscribe  
Notify of