Can I Do Crunches when Pregnant?

prenatal exercise

Can I Do Crunches when Pregnant?

Here's what I want you to know to keep both you and baby safe. Crunches are safe in the first trimester, but I recommend you avoid supine exercises once you get into the second and third trimesters.

There are so many more effective and safe exercises you can do for your abs other than the old traditional sit-ups or crunches.

In fact, I recommend that you avoid these old style crunches.

Secondly, when you are pregnant you should not be worrying about trying to maintain your six-pack abs!

The problem with working your abs on your back when pregnant is that your growing uterus can compress the vena cava (major vessel that returns blood to your heart).

This can be potentially reduce blood flow and making you feel dizzy or nauseated.

There is also a direct impact on your growing baby.

So, it is vital you maintain core strength throughout your pregnancy. This will help you during the delivery of your baby and also in the postpartum recovery period.

It is safe to exercise your ab muscles during pregnancy. The key point here is with the right modifications.

Crunches when Pregnant and Your Ab Muscles

Your ab muscles go through a lot of stretching and changes when pregnant to accommodate your growing baby.

And you are probably wondering if there is anything you can do to keep them in shape.

No to mention, help you enjoy a speedier recovery after birth.

You're Pregnant!

Which means your goals and priorities have changed with regards to you’re your body looks and functions.

That doesn't mean you cannot look amazing and sexy! It just means need to make the right decisions with regards to the core exercises you include in your workouts.

Exercising your abs during pregnancy can help reduce risk for back pain.

Are abdominal exercises safe during early pregnancy?

Yes, but be sure to check with your doctor first if they are safe for you and your personal situation. Once given the all clear, most modified abdominal exercises are safe in early pregnancy.

What happens to your abs during pregnancy?

During your first trimester of pregnancy, you may notice that there is an accentuated ridge that runs from the bottom of the breast bone down the middle of the belly.

This is known as diastasis recti.

This gap between the left and right sides of your abdominal muscle affects up to an estimated half of new mothers.

My weekly workouts take this into account and I only provide you with modified pregnancy exercises.

Prenatal yoga is a great class to strengthen your core.

Are planks safe during pregnancy?

I am not a fan of planks, especially when pregnant. Have you ever tried planking? Does your back hurt afterwards? I find they put unnecessary pressure on your back. There are just some better core exercises you can do.

Exercises to avoid during pregnancy

Again, any exercise that puts increased stress and pressure on your abdomen should be avoided when pregnant.

Two of the worst exercises you must avoid are full sit-ups and double leg lifts.


They put more pressure and pull on your abdomen.

What abs exercises can I do while pregnant?

Having a strong core will assist you during labor and will certainly help you postpartum with your recovery. This strong core is important as you start to constantly lift your baby.

Instead of doing crunches when pregnant, focus on moves that work the transverse abdominis (TVA). This muscle that wraps around the abdomen is located behind the rectus abdominis. I share all of these recommended ab exercises in my program.

Crunches when Pregnant

Most importantly, always listen to your body when exercising. If you find that an exercise doesn't feel right or causes you pain, then please stop immediately.

And there are much safer and better ab exercises you can do when pregnant to strengthen your core than crunches.

You can learn more about the best exercises you can do when pregnant right here >