Project Fit Pregnancy: Week 16


Ab Exercises During Pregnancy - Advice From A Midwife

Today marks the 16th week of pregnancy for yours truly. We were exceedingly happy last Tuesday evening to be able to hear our little one’s heartbeat. A more precious sound has never been heard.

By the way, if you spend some time in the cold outdoors before your midwife attempts to draw blood from your arm, it’s not going to go well. Yeah, I still have a bruise on one arm.

On Monday of last week, Gabriel and I were out of town at a cattle grazier’s meeting, so I doubled up on my workout Tuesday to compensate. Well, maybe I didn’t do exactly double, but close.

I also learned last week that burpees make excellent high intensity cardio. I think they’re going to become a regular.

So here’s the breakdown of last week’s workouts:

Out of town = rest day

Bench press
Tri-ceps extensions
Lat pull down
Goblet squat
Glute bridge

Bench press
Bent over rows
Kettlebell swings

Back squat
Calf raise

 About abdominal work

I mentioned last week that I was going to ask my midwife her opinions on abdominal exercises during pregnancy. In fact, I actually wrote it down so I wouldn’t forget.

I love my midwife because she doesn’t just spew the traditional “this-is-what-you-do-or-don’t-do-during-pregnancy” mantras. She actually studies things out and draws scientifically based conclusions.

To be clear, I wasn’t asking “how do I get an awesome six pack during pregnancy?” Personally, my focus is on avoiding diastasis recti, which for the most part means not working the abs. The main reason I was concerned is that I also don’t want to give up chin-ups if I don’t have to, which hit the abs pretty hard.

She cleared chin-ups – yay! But did advise that planking was not a good idea. I was surprised. not that I have ambitions of spending 5 minutes of my day in a plank mind you – but planning is one of the most commonly recommended pregnancy ab exercises.

According to my midwife, planking is a very difficult exercise in which to maintain good alignment, and really, abdominal integrity is less dependent on individual exercises than it is on over all postural alignment.

Same thing for the pelvic floor. But that’s a subject for another day.

She recommended to me – and I in turn recommend to you – Katie bowman’s blog at nutritiousmovement.com. Very interesting, very informative website.

My personal, and admittedly not professional, opinion is that many people over train their abs in pursuit of the ever coveted six pack. The best ab exercises (again in my opinion – for what it’s worth) are the compound movements such as bench press, squat, and deadlift, and other exercises which use the abs in a manner in which they were meant to be used.

That’s just my two cents, but I do highly recommend that you check out alignedandwell.com and do some reading.

So now it’s your turn. Drop a line, I’d love to hear what you’re doing to stay fit and healthy these days!

And now, I smell a smell that tells me that a certain toddler was not just hiding in the corner for fun. Yes, I’m aware that’s TMI. But I must go deadlift the aforementioned 30 pound kid, and clean him.


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