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Workouts, recipes, health, and pregnancy tips for your healthiest pregnancy

Core + Pelvic Floor Health During Pregnancy - Part 3: Application

Posted on 07 April 2017

Welcome back to learning all about core + pelvic floor health during pregnancy! If you didn’t catch Part 1 or Part 2 go give them a read here and here.

Part 3 is our final part of this series and it's all about applying proper core + pelvic floor activation to exercises and to give you a few exercises you can do during pregnancy and postpartum that will help strengthen your core + pelvic floor. In this video I will show you the 3 exercises and talk about some final things you should know.

 

3 Core exercises + their descriptions

1. Bridge Lifts

  • Begin lying on your back, knees bent, with feet flat on the floor, in a bolstered position.
  • As you exhale, push through your heels, lifting your hips and back off the floor, only going as high as you feel comfortable, focusing on the exhaling breath and engaging your core + pelvic floor. Inhale and relax your core + pelvic floor as you lower back to the starting position.
  • Repeat slowly for 10-20 reps, moving with your breath and focusing on correctly engaging your core + pelvic floor.

2. Heel Slides

  • Begin lying on your back, knees bent, with feet flat on the floor, in a bolstered position.
  • As you exhale, begin to slowly slide one leg straight out with the heel leading. As you are sliding your heel out and exhaling your breath, focus on properly engaging your core + pelvic floor.
  • Slide until your leg is fully extended; once your leg is fully extended inhale and relax your core + pelvic floor.
  • Once you take a full inhale, exhale and begin to slide your heel back up to the top.
  • Repeat for a total of 20 reps, 10 on each leg. You can alternate your legs or complete 10 full reps on the right side, and then switch to the left.

3. Resistance Band Pull Aparts

  • Begin lying on your back, knees bent, with feet flat on the floor, in a bolstered position.
  • As you exhale, begin to pull your legs apart, creating tension in the band, focusing on your core + pelvic floor contraction.
  • Once you have exhaled fully and your band is pulled apart, inhale and relax your core + pelvic floor as you bring your knees back together, releasing the tension in the band.
  • Repeat for 10-20 reps, focusing on slow and steady reps, moving with your breath each time.


Tips for Effective Core Training

1. Make sure you are correctly activating the TVA! (Do some breath activations to get connected to your TVA before starting your other exercises)
2. SLOW AND STEADY! Do not rush through core moves. Doing them correctly is key to strengthening, and rushing does not aid in proper core + pelvic floor activation.
3. Focus all your mental and physical energy on your core! Your core needs to be doing the work more than your back, legs, bum, etc. If you feel like you are transferring work to another muscle to compensate for core weakness, pause and rest for a moment and then continue when you feel you can isolate the work mostly in your core.
4. Find a mental image to help with core contraction if you find this helpful.
5. Place one hand on your abdomen as you’re doing the moves. I want you to have one hand on your tummy so you can FEEL if your tummy is engaging or if it is doming upward!) If you have a mirror it is also helpful to see what your core is actually doing!
6. Consistency is KEY! Correct core activation is key in core moves, other exercises, and everyday movements such as bending down, picking up something, and carrying a cute kid or heavy grocery bags.
7. Be Patient with yourself! Don’t become frustrated if these moves feel strange, you’re having a hard time engaging, or if it feels too slow. You will get the hang of them and you will start to feel stronger and more connected to your core as you take the time.
8. Be mindful and modify any and all exercises so they become the most effective for your level! Never have doming on any exercises. Slow down or modify if there is lower back pain, or if you can’t control the movement or feel proper core activation.

 

Your challenge

Start incorporating these exercises into your daily exercise routine both during pregnancy and after! When done correctly, these movements will help strengthen your core + pelvic floor and help you become more connected to these vital muscles! Lastly, a big thank you for joining me in this series on prenatal core + pelvic floor health! I hope you learned some new and valubale information and most importantly, I hope you apply it to your pregnancy and beyond!

 

Xoxo

Nicole

 

About the Author:

nicole atwoodHey, I’m Nicole Atwood! I am a wife to my love and a mother to the sweetest little girl + one on the way! I am a prenatal and postpartum personal trainer with a true passion to help women feel connected + confident in their bodies. I focus on educating about proper core + pelvic floor health during pregnancy, after pregnancy, and beyond! I also have a deep love for milkshakes, Harry Potter, and autumn time when the leaves are changing colors and falling! Let’s be friends and connect on social media! You can find me on instagram and facebook where I share fitness tips, core + pelvic floor information, and little bits of my personal journey through this second pregnancy! You can also find me on www.abeautyblooming.com/blog 

 

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