A strong core helps to protect your body, as well as connects your arms and legs to your torso, ensuring your body can work well as a complete unit. There are so many ways to strengthen your core without ever doing a crunch. Remember, you want to make your abdominals strong enough to support your baby, but also flexible enough to allow your baby to grow.
Focus on how you’re breathing and how it connects to your abdominals: The muscles to focus your attention on are your deep core muscles (transverse abdominis, pelvic floor musculature, and diaphragm). These muscles will specifically help to support you and your baby as he/she grows. Did you know that you use your transverse abdominis to help push your baby out during labor? You can activate these muscles by simple breathing exercises. The specific style of breathing that activates these muscles is called 360° Breathing (learned through PROnatal Fitness Training). This is one of the first things I teach clients whether they are pregnant or postpartum. Here’s a quick description on how to achieve this:
Your rectus abdominis (top layer of your abdominal wall) is what we want to try to keep flexible and is a reason why crunches and other movements of that nature should be avoided once you’ve entered your 2nd trimester.
Erin Livingston is the owner of MamaStrength, a start-up fitness personal training company. She has been working with women in the fitness industry for over 7 years with Physique 57 in both group and individualized settings. Erin started in Dubai and spent the last several years in New York City. Her passion for helping women in fitness grew even more when she became a mom of 2 little girls. That inspired her to focus her energy on pre/postnatal training where she continued to advance her education with certifications from the National Academy of Sports Medicine, PROnatal Fitness, and Athletics and Fitness Association of America. Having this diverse set of fitness experiences has empowered her to open MamaStrength. Her goal is to provide you with a customized framework of strength building tools that guides you through all stages of motherhood. You’ll improve your overall energy, gain more confidence, and feel more in control, helping you become the best mom, and person, you can be!