Summary: Planking is one of the safest exercises that pregnant women can do to maintain their core area. It is effective in preparing the body for labor and delivery. A lot of pregnant women who have never tried planking before may find it daunting. However, there are modifications and poses that can be done to make it suitable for them.
1. Benefits of Planking During Pregnancy
Planking during pregnancy provides numerous benefits to expecting mothers. One of its significant benefits is improved core strength. Pregnant women need a good core workout as it helps stabilize their posture and balance. Strengthening your core muscles can also help ease the strain on your lower back, which may get worse as your baby grows bigger. Planks also help improve circulation, posture, and breathing – all fundamental to a healthy pregnancy.
Moreover, planking strengthens other areas of the body, including the arms, glutes, and legs. Stronger leg muscles can help improve pelvic stability, which is essential during childbirth. Additionally, planking is safe and effective for women with diastasis recti, a condition common during pregnancy that causes separation of abdominal muscles.
Overall, including planking in your daily exercise routines can help improve your physical and emotional well-being during pregnancy. However, it’s important to discuss any new exercise program with your healthcare provider first.
2. Precautions for Planking During Pregnancy
While planking can deliver several benefits to pregnant women, it’s advisable always to take precautions before every pregnancy workout. Pregnant women should not engage in planking if they have placenta previa, gestational hypertension, preeclampsia, or if their healthcare provider has advised them not to.
For beginners, it’s critical to start slow and gradually work up the repetitions. Always listen to your body and modify the poses as needed. During pregnancy, it’s not advisable to hold the plank for more than 60 seconds. Holding this position for too long can cause too much intra-abdominal pressure, which can lead to adverse effects on prenatal health.
Additionally, pregnant women should be mindful of their mat to avoid slipping and ensure proper support when performing planks. It’s essential to wear stable shoes to help maintain balance and prevent injury.
3. Modifications for Planking During Pregnancy
For pregnant women, there are modifications to make planking safer and more comfortable. Modified V-sit involves sitting on your mat and stretching out your legs. Then lean back slightly and bring your knees and chest closer together. Hold this position for 10 seconds and return to the starting position.
An alternative position is the wall plank, which is done by standing facing a wall, placing your hands on the wall at shoulder height. Walk back slowly while maintaining your plank position. This position will work your upper body without putting too much pressure on your core.
Finally, you can try side plank by lying on your side with one arm holding you up. Hold the position for 10 seconds and switch sides. This exercise is good for strengthening the side muscles of your body.
4. Poses to Avoid when Being Pregnant
While planking has many benefits for pregnant women, some poses should be avoided or modified during pregnancy. These include high plank to low plank, where the body is lifted and lowered to the mat. This move can strain the lower back and pelvic floor muscles.
Another pose that should be avoided is the plank with leg lift. In this pose, one leg is lifted while holding the plank position, which puts too much pressure on your core muscles and pelvic area. The challenging yoga poses like crow pose or headstand should also be avoided as they can lead to unwanted injury during pregnancy.
Pregnant women should stop planking exercise immediately if they feel discomfort or pain at any point in their workout.
5. Final Thoughts
Planking is an effective and safe exercise that pregnant women can do throughout their pregnancy journey. It helps maintain core and muscle strength while reducing back pain and preparing your body for labor and delivery. However, it is essential to ensure proper modifications, precautions, and listening to your body, ensuring a safe and healthy workout routine during pregnancy. Work with a certified personal trainer or healthcare provider on creating a suitable planking exercise routine tailored to your specific needs.
In conclusion, planking is a great exercise option for pregnant women, especially those looking to improve their core strength. With its many benefits and modifications, pregnant women can enjoy planking by taking adequate precautions and consulting with their healthcare provider before starting. Remember always to listen to your body and modify your poses when necessary, ensuring optimal health and safety for both you and your baby.