Trying To Conceive Friendly Core Exercises

Starting an exercise routine and being active is a big move in the right direction when you’re trying to conceive: Exercise, after all, plays a huge role in overall health and wellness and can help prepare your body for conception and pregnancy. You may have heard that too much—or too little—exercise while you’re trying to get pregnant can make it harder to conceive. Here’s what you need to know about getting and staying fit when you’re TTC.

Making exercise a regular habit before trying to conceive can help you feel good throughout your pregnancy, have more stamina for labor and delivery, and shed the baby weight faster. Exercise may even improve your fertility if you’re struggling to conceive due to polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS) or are overweight. Learn how to start or maintain a conception-friendly exercise routine and find out which core exercises are best to get you in shape before you conceive.

Core workouts: why would you need them?

Core exercises form a vital part of a well-rounded fitness program. However, apart from occasional push-ups and sit-ups, people often neglect core-strengthening exercises. Still, it’s important to keep the muscles of your core in good shape. Working your core helps you maintain good posture, balance, stability, and a strong body in general.

Your core consists of a set of muscles that extend beyond the abs. These muscles, which stretch from the diaphragm and pelvis to the hips and back, provide stability and strength to both your lower and upper body.

A strong and solid core gives you a sturdy foundation and makes it easier to do your routine physical activities. Core exercises also help you tone your abs and reach your fitness goals. They will also help you build a strong foundation for your pregnancy.

Given all the stretching that your ab muscles go through during pregnancy to accommodate your growing baby, you wouldn’t be the first woman to wonder if there must be something you can do to keep them in shape and speed recovery after birth. And while pregnancy isn’t the time to strive for the chiseled core you’ve always dreamed of, you can certainly take a few safe steps, with the guidance of your practitioner, to maintain your fitness and keep your core strong during pregnancy. In fact, exercising your abs during pregnancy has lots of benefits, including reduced risk for back pain and potentially even a speedier labor.

Nonetheless, certain physical changes can make it more difficult to stick to the abs routine you practiced before you were pregnant. Here’s what you need to know about your abs during and after pregnancy, along with six exercises you can try (with the green light from your practitioner, of course) during pregnancy.

Best core exercises for beginners

Do warm-up exercises for ten minutes before starting this beginner core workout. 

Forearm plank

  • Get onto your hands and knees and then bend your elbows so you’re resting on your forearms and knees. 
  • Engaging your core, extend your legs back one at a time and put your toes on the ground. 
  • Try to create a straight line with your body from your head to feet. Gaze at the ground. Stay in this position for 10 to 20 seconds. 
  • Release and rest for about 10 seconds. Repeat the pose. 
  • Do 5 to 10 repetitions of this beginner core workout. 

Side plank

Side plank - a core-training exercise
  • Lie on the ground on your right side. Put your left foot over your right. Bend your right elbow and put it under your right shoulder. Your forearm should be perpendicular to your upper arm. Form a fist with your right hand. Put your left hand on your waist. 
  • Engaging your core, lift your hips up above the ground, towards the roof. Make sure that your neck is in a straight line with your spine. 
  • Remain in this position for about 15 to 20 seconds. 
  • Release then repeat on the other side. 
  • Do 5 to 10 repetitions of this core-training exercise. 

Russian twist

  • Sit on the ground and bend your knees with your feet flat on the ground.
  • Lift your feet off the ground but keep them slightly lower than your knees. Lean slightly backward and extend your arms in front. Clasp your right hand with your left hand. 
  • Keeping the lower portion of your body stationary, make a twisting motion to your right side and try to touch the ground. 
  • Repeat on the left side. 
  • Do 5 to 10 repetitions for each side. 

Best advanced core exercises

Bridge

Bridge
  • Lie on the back with your knees bent. Your back should be in a neutral position, neither arched nor pressed into the ground. Don’t tilt your hips. Tighten your abs.
  • Raise your hips off the ground until they are in alignment with your shoulders and knees. 
  • Hold this position for 15 to 20 seconds and release after that.
  • Perform 5 to 10 repetitions of this core-training exercise. 

Single-leg abdominal press

Single-leg abdominal press
  • Lie on your back like in bridge pose. 
  • Raise your right leg off the ground so your hip and knee are bent at a 90-degree angle. Place your right hand above your right knee.
  • Push your hand against your knee and, while engaging your abs, pull your knee toward your hand. Keep your arm straight.
  • Remain in this position for 15 to 20 seconds then release.
  • Repeat on the left side. Do 5 to 10 repetitions of this core exercise. 

Make sure to stretch after your workout and remember to stay well hydrated.

Core-strengthening training benefits

Some of the benefits of core-strengthening training include the following:

  • Core strength exercises can improve your stability and balance. Core workouts train the muscles of your lower back, pelvis, abdomen, and hips to work with each other in harmony. This leads to improved stability and balance both in routine activities and when you’re fitness training. The majority of physical and sports activities depend on the strong muscles of your core. A strong core also helps reduce the risk of falling. 
  • Core workouts don’t require you to go to the gym or use any specialized equipment. There are many core exercises that you can do from the comfort of your home. They require just your body weight and enough space to do a plank. 
  • Core exercises can help tone your abs. Though you have to do aerobic exercise to burn fat in your abdominal area, core-strengthening exercises can help tone and strengthen your underlying abdominal muscles. 
  • Strong core muscles help do most physical activities. Core strength is also vital for athletes such as runners, because weak core muscles can result in less endurance and more fatigue and injuries. 
  • Core-strengthening exercises can help you maintain good posture. Weak core muscles make you prone to poor posture, slouching, muscle injuries, and low back pain. Core strength also helps alleviate back pain. 
  • Core-strengthening exercises can help you reach your overall fitness goals. To have a versatile fitness program and reach your overall fitness goals, you should include aerobic exercise, strength training, and core-strengthening exercises. 
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How to find your core workout routine

You don’t have to be prepared for an advanced pilates class or have six-pack abs to add good core workouts to your exercise routine. You can slip in gentle exercises to strengthen your core and see real benefits. 

Start slowly and challenge yourself gradually. In the beginning, aim for core exercises on two to three days per week. Start with a beginner core workout. Gradually, move on to more advanced core-strengthening exercises. You can also sprinkle in some core stability exercises and stretches throughout the day. 

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Make sure you grab a copy of my FREE guide 5 Steps To Increase Your Fertile Cervical Mucus & my FREE Self-Care Mini Course. You can access either one by clicking on the title. These are packed full of information that you can begin implementing today to put yourself one step closer to getting pregnant, naturally.

If you’re looking for a group of like-minded women with which to share your fertility wellness journey, be sure to check out my Whole Body Fertility & Wellness Facebook group today!


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