During pregnancy, it’s important to address strengthening her deep core through exercises that are safe and effective, minimizing intra-abdominal pressure while improving her overall deep core function and fascial connection. These 3 exercises are recommended for your prenatal clients through all stages of her pregnancy, teaching her how to strengthen her deep core appropriately, how to relax her deep core (specifically pelvic floor), and improve length through her body as well.
1. Relaxed Belly Breathing
This exercise is great to teach your prenatal clients how to relax and release her deep core, specifically, her pelvic floor. As many women may actually be gripping in her pelvic floor it’s important to teach her how to relax, as well as strengthen. Both are equally important but relaxing is even more important as she approaches her due date. Getting her in the relax and release mindset so she is better prepared for delivery. Teach her how to do this exercise in the beginning to help her feel her pelvic floor relax and engage, include in her workouts when she hits a growth spurt and talks about her belly feeling really tight, and instruct her to practice almost daily those last weeks of her pregnancy.
2. Forward Rolls
Include this exercise on day 1 of her sessions. Forward rolls can help her learn how to strengthen her deep core, releasing tension in her low back, and keeping or even improving articulation of her spine as her pregnancy progresses. Articulation, along with lengthening and deep core activation is key to helping her minimize, and even prevent, annoying back and neck pain that so many women believe comes along with pregnancy, but does not have to.
3. Standing Rotations
Full body rotational exercises and movements help to strengthen her deep core, hips and glutes, creating space in her lumbar spine and incredible length through her body which helps to stimulate new fascial networking through her body. Her deep core aids in her overall strength and stability of her pelvis, hips, back, improving overall posture, and strengthening the abdominal wall (mostly made of layers of fascia).
These exercises play a critical role in improving the deep core strength for the prenatal client, along with minimizing diastasis recti, hernias, incontinence and other abdominal or pelvic floor related issues.
Erica Ziel, published author, creator of Knocked-Up Fitness® program, Prenatal and Postnatal Exercise Specialist Course and The Core Rehab Program.