Your core exercises and workouts should include so much more than crunches, sit-ups, and front planks. It’s possible that you shouldn’t be including these exercises at all.

Especially if you’re pregnant or you’ve had a baby.

It’s effective for our cores to move the body in different ways and directions, as we know that the “core” isn’t simply the abdominals.

It’s also important to know that crunches and sit-ups could potentially be causing your post-pregnancy body more harm than good.

These exercises might not be staples in your exercise program, but they are ones I love and use on the regular for myself, my clients, and my pregnant gals and mama’s in the To Pregnancy & Beyond club.

NOTE: I use these exercises, and variations of them, with my clients in pregnancy, post-pregnancy, with diastasis recti, and with pelvic organ prolapse.  

Below are 5 core exercises that you can use as part of your strength training workouts. No crunches included.

Exercise 1: Racked + Suitcase Carry

How to do it: Hold a medium heavy dumbbell in each hand. Pop one dumbbell up above your shoulder. Walk at a normal pace, breathing normally.

Make sure your ribs aren’t “thrusting up” as you walk.

Watch it here: 

When to do it: Perform 1-2 times per week for the next 4 weeks, walking for 15-20 seconds each side.

Exercise 2: Band Pullover + Leg Raise

How to do it: Attach a light resistance band to a sturdy post. Set up so you can hold the resistance band fully stretched, with straight arms – you want the band to have just a bit of tension on it at this starting position.

Press your legs tight to the floor. Pull the band using your back strength so it’s directly over your chest. Slowly raise one leg up in the air ONLY as high as it can go staying completely straight with the other leg glued to the floor.

Hold the band position, slowly lower the leg down and then switch legs. That’s 1 repetition.

Watch it here:

When to do it: 1-2 times per week for the next 4 weeks, for 5-6 reps each side.

Exercise 3: Supine Pallof Press

How to do it: Set a light to medium resistance band up on a sturdy post. When lying down your chest will be in line with the band.

Exhale to press your arms completely straight in the air. You’ll feel tension and like you have to work to resist rotation. Keep the hips and shoulders steady on the floor.

Watch it here:

When to do it: 1-2 times per week for the next 4 weeks, for 8-12 reps each side.

Exercise 4: Alternating Arm and Leg Heel Slides

How to do it: Start your exhale breath, then extend opposite arm and leg so they are hovering above the floor. Keep the hips steady.

Inhale to return back in, then switch sides.

Watch it here:

When to do it: 1-2 times per week for the next 4 weeks, for 8-12 reps each side.

Exercise 5: Half Kneeling Kettlebell Lift

How to do it: Set up in a solid half kneeling position. Start with the KB down by the hip. Then, lift the KB (or dumbbell) into the chest, then overhead, and above the opposite shoulder.

Watch it here:

When to do it: 1-2 times per week for the next 4 weeks, for 6-8 reps per side.

Better core function = less stress to the body brought to you by pregnancy and mom-ing, less aches and pains, safer exercise, and stronger strength training. 

Jess

Learn more core exercises and full workouts, specifically for pregnancy and moms, in this 4-week strength training workout program. 

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