Q. Hi Fitz. I'm five months pregnant with my first child and crunches don't feel comfortable anymore. I don't want to just ignore my abdominal muscles for another five months. I still walk, swim, and do some weight training though. Any suggestions on something I can do for my abs while I continue my pregnancy? Kristi
A. Congratulations Kristi! Motherhood is amazing and you are in for so much fun. Hooray for you! I'm thrilled to hear you're pursuing a fit pregnancy, as being a healthy home is one of the nicest things you can do for yourself and your teeny baby, and you are the home! From your question, I'm guessing you're interested in maintaining abdominal strength and not flat abs. (Which would be both dangerous and silly, by the way.) Very smart. Your back and abs work together to create stability, so you're wise to prioritize this issue.
I suggest that you pursue stability training which will engage your hips, back and abdominal muscles at the same time. Invest in two Versa Disks. These balance tools are very low to the ground and would be ideal for you to stand on while going through a variety of motions. You can even do some strength training with light weights if you feel uber comfortable doing so. LIGHT WEIGHTS. The good news with the Versa Disks is this....you can work your abs just trying to stand still on them. If you are of high-level fitness you can use a small medicine ball or other light weight to make it a bit more challenging.
Another neat exercise that will challenge your abs without requiring you to lie down on your back is something you can do with a cable system and lat pull bar, or tubing. Stand facing the lat pull bar with your knees slightly bent. Grab the bar with almost straight arms and pull it down toward your thighs. You'll have to engage your abs to go through this motion, as well as your lats. Choose a weight you can repeat at least 20 times.
Safety first always. Hate to call you 'fragile', but you do have to be extra cautious right now. If any exercise feels bad at all to you, stop doing it. You and your child's health comes first. Even if you had to ignore your ab strength for the next five months, you'd be able to regain it one your child is born. Good luck Kristi! I wish both well. FitzPosted: Jun 6th 2007 7:42AM by Fitz K.