The belly and back are the most requested parts of the body during pregnancy. The uterus in which the fetus grows and develops until birth is gradually expanding and puts pressure on both the abdominal muscles, as well as the lumbar area and the pelvic floor muscles, causing pain and discomfort.
Specialists claim that the secret to getting rid of these uncomfortable symptoms and to "carry" the baby in the womb more easily is to carefully prepare the abdominal area and the back from the preconception period, through proper physical exercises!
The core of a woman's body most involved in pregnancy consists of transverse abdominal muscles (which practically enclose the abdomen) and small back muscles, explains physiotherapist Chantal Donnely, founder of Body Insight in Los Angeles, USA.
Why is it important to prepare your back and belly before pregnancy?
Toning or preparing the lower back and abdomen during the preconception period is essential to prevent many pregnancy problems and complications. According to writer Julie Tupler, co-author of the book "Lose your Mummy Tummy", when you begin pregnancy with your abdominal muscles and lumbar muscles, you are protected from back pain as the belly grows toward the end of pregnancy.
In addition, it seems that a thorough preparation of the abdominal and lumbar areas helps you cope better with labor and natural birth. There is no evidence and studies in this regard, but many mothers who have carefully worked their abdominal area before conception found that labor was easier to endure and even shorter than expected.
And the recovery period after bringing the baby to the world is shorter and faster when you develop your abdominal, lumbar and pelvic muscles before the pregnancy is installed.
Useful exercises that prepare your belly and back for pregnancy
Not every physical movement is useful in preparing the middle part of the body for pregnancy. The exercises chosen for the preparation of the abdomen and the back should always target the deep muscles involved in the support of the uterus. If the exercises are not chosen correctly and only the superficial muscles work from the surface, you will not get the necessary support you need to enjoy the benefits of a tummy tuck and a toned back.
Sarah Picot, author of the book "Pilates and Pregnancy: An Exercise Book for Before, During, and After Pregnancy" believes that pilates workouts are best suited for deep abdominal or back muscle work.
Here are 5 Pilates exercises useful in toning the middle part of the body before pregnancy! They do not kidnap you more than 5 minutes and must be executed at least 5 times a week, 6 weeks before trying to conceive the child.
- lie on your back (on the mattress or floor) with your feet close and slightly bent; breathe air as you raise your arms to the ceiling and exhale as you bend and bring them to the neck, taking care to keep your head and shoulders slightly raised from the floor;
- lift as much shoulder blades as you can and keep your feet fixed on the floor; you should feel that the muscles of the back and abdomen are already very tense;
- when you feel that you have reached the limit at which you can lift the chest, hold the position for a few seconds and return to the initial position;
- repeat the exercise 5 times.
The Hundred is the most popular classic Pilates exercise and has strong toning effects of the abdomen and lumbar area:
- sit on your back, with your legs straight and hands extended to the body and tighten your abdominal muscles;
- bend your knees gently, keeping your feet flat on the floor, until you form a 90 degree angle between your thighs and legs;
- it begins to lift the head and shoulders from the floor at the same time as you raise your hands and legs until they become perfectly stretched (you must lift your legs long enough to become parallel to your extended hands); the lumbar area should remain glued to the floor;
- keep the abdomen tense and return immediately to the starting position;
- start counting up to 100, during which time you repeat the exercise.
- lie on your back with your hands close to your body;
- raise your feet simultaneously, keeping them perfectly upright, until you form a 90-degree angle with the basin (basically, the toes of the soles should be facing the ceiling);
- it tightens the abdominal muscles and begins to rotate the legs (tight and perfectly attached) clockwise, then vice versa;
- repeat the foot rotations 5 times in each direction.
- lie on your back, your knees raised and your feet flat on the floor;
- keep your hands close to your body, palms on the floor, as you will lean on them to perform the movements;
- tightens the abdominal muscles and expires when you lift one leg from the floor to the level at which the leg forms a 90 degree angle with the thigh; inspire as you bring it into the starting position; repeat the movement with the other leg;
- repeat the exercise 3 times.
- lie on your back, palms brought to your neck; keep your feet perfectly stretched;
- then lift the head 45 degrees from the floor and tighten the abdomen;
- lift the right foot off the floor and bend the knee, bringing it to the upper part of the body, at the same time as you point the head and left elbow towards it, until they reach;
- I return to the starting position and proceed with the other leg, this time, pointing straight at him;
- always make sure to keep the abdomen tight during the execution of the movements;
- repeat the exercise 10 times with each leg.
Do you know any other exercises that are useful for toning the abdomen and back before pregnancy? Do you think it's important to train these parts of your body before you become pregnant? Tell us your suggestions in the comments section below!
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