How to Safely Do Ab Crunches and Planks During Pregnancy
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Ab Crunches and Plank on the Exercise Ball during Pregnancy

There is a common misconception that pregnant women cannot do an ab crunch or plank during pregnancy. This is not true! While there are some things to consider, and some modifications from your pre-pregnancy routine, it is safe and beneficial to keep your abs strong and to continue working your abdominal muscles during pregnancy.

How to modify Ball Crunches for Pregnancy ~ 2:37

Exercise Ball Plank During Pregnancy ~ 2:47

During the first trimester, you can usually continue what you were doing prior to pregnancy, perhaps just lower the intensity and range of motion. If you were doing full sit ups, switch to crunches. If you were doing high-intensity ab exercises that involved quick twisting motions or throwing your body around, you probably want to find alternatives.

After your 20th week you no longer want to lie flat on your back. This is where the exercise ball comes in handy. By laying on the ball at an angle you can continue to work your abs throughout your pregnancy.

Remember that the movements are smooth, and the range of motion is small. Crunches are slow and controlled!

As always, talk to your doctor to make sure that it is safe for you to begin an exercise routine. Above all, listen to your body! Stop if something doesn’t feel right.

Comments on this entry are closed.

  • Carolyn July 11, 2012, 6:42 pm


    I just stumbled across your blog- it is wonderful! I was hoping to touch base to see if you allow guest bloggers to post on your site? I would love to send a guest post article that would mesh well with your current content. Let me know what you think!

    Happy Blogging!!

  • Tatum July 11, 2012, 8:48 pm

    Thanks, I appreciate the kind words! I do allow periodic guest posts. Here are the guidelines:

  • Emily Carter August 22, 2013, 7:47 pm

    my question is if we are potentially damaging the abdominal wall. i heard alot about the rectus diastus during and after my first and its made me paranoid.

  • TatumRebelle August 22, 2013, 10:59 pm

    Hi Emily! Thanks for your question. This is a very common concern and people have very mixed opinions. Personally, from years of studying and training pregnant women, I believe that it is more dangerous not to work the abs than it is to perform ab exercises during pregnancy.

    It’s ideal to start before pregnancy and continue throughout, but even if you don’t start until later it is safe as long as it feels okay and the doctor has cleared you for exercise.

    Be sure that all the movements are slow and controlled and listen to your body. If something does not feel right then adjust or move to a different exercise. If you have any other questions please let me know.

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