18 Safe Abdominal (Ab) Exercises To Perform During Pregnancy

Are you pregnant and thinking about how you can continue to stay fit and healthy without hurting your unborn baby? Do you want to try some abdominal or ab exercises during pregnancy that will tone the muscles in your abdomen and help you throughout till the childbirth?

If you are looking for some pregnancy ab exercises that are safe and will also offer you additional health and fitness benefits, scroll down to check out our exercise recommendations.

Best Ab Exercises During Pregnancy:

When you are pregnant, it is important to stay fit and maintain your daily exercise routine after you consult your doctor about it. In some cases, your doctor will ask you to stay away from any other form of exercise other than walking. It depends on your overall health, the way your pregnancy is progressing, and also the level of activity or exercise you undertook earlier.

Being fit and exercising during your pregnancy will help your body stay flexible and prepare for the big day, the birth of your baby. Abdominal exercises help keep your muscles flexible, something that is important while giving birth. So once you get the go-ahead from your medical practitioner, make sure you try the following abdominal exercises during pregnancy, here:

1. Sitting Knee Lift:

  • Take a sturdy chair and sit down near the edge.
  • Keep your feet flat on the floor and make sure you place them directly under your knees.
  • Take your hands with the palms facing downwards and put them on your hips.
  • Slowly, start contracting your abdomen in such a way that your pelvis starts to tilt.
  • Hold the position and slowly bring your bent left knee back towards your chest.

Start lowering your left foot to the floor while contracting your abs.

  • Use your abs to hold on to the position.
  • Slowly release the tilt to a neutral position and repeat all the above steps.
  • At first, perform all the repetitions with your left leg. Once you complete those, move on to the right leg and perform all your repetitions using your right leg.
  • In your first trimester, do about 2 sets of 8 to 12 repetitions. In your second and third trimesters, do about 1 to 2 sets of 8 to 10 repetitions, depending on how comfortable you are.
  • You can also try and attach a 1 to 3-pound weight to each ankle while doing the exercise in your first trimester.

2. Side Lying Crunch:

Side Lying Crunch Abdominal Exercise in Pregnancy

  • Lie down on your left side and bend your knees at a 30-degree angle to your hips.
  • Slowly roll your body towards your right side, so that you only have to lift your knees about six inches from the floor.
  • Make sure that your body weight rests on the back of your left shoulder as well as your shoulder blade.
  • Take both your hands and place them behind your head. Take care that your fingertips are touching but your fingers should not be in a clasping pose. Your elbows should also be in an open pose.
  • Curl your torso upwards in a diagonal position. At the same time, bring your breastbone towards your right knee.
  • While you are doing the above steps, your left shoulder will only lift a little from the floor.
  • Take both your arms towards your knees and make them curl a little higher.
  • Now place your hands in a backward position behind your head and lower yourself to the starting position.
  • Repeat all the above steps again.
  • Perform one set of six repetitions. Once you are done, change your side to repeat on the other side. As you get comfortable, move on to doing about 12 repetitions instead of just 6.

3. Core Breath:

Core Breath Abs Exercise During Pregnancy

  • Sit down comfortably with your back straight. Position both your hands on the ribs on your side.
  • Inhale and open your ribs outwards towards your side. Take a deep breath.
  • Adjust your posture so that can take in a good amount of air.
  • Next, slowly start exhaling the air. As you breathe out, bring your ribs back to a closing position. Contract the front of your pelvis and your tailbone while relaxing your stomach.
  • Repeat the steps.


4. Seated Ball Stability Hold:

Seated Ball Stability Hold Abs Exercise in Pregnancy

For the particular pregnancy ab workout, you will need to use a stability ball. If you are not comfortable using one or haven’t used one before, ask your partner or a friend to help you balance while you sit.

  • Sit down on a stability ball and keep your posture straight, with your back erect.
  • Take both your hands and place them on each side to help you maintain your balance.
  • Exhale, with the main focus on breathing out from your core. As you are exhaling, lift one foot off the ground and simultaneously lift your opposite arm up and over your head.
  • Hold your breath for about two to three seconds.
  • Return to the starting position and repeat all the steps using the other arm and foot.

5. Side Plank:

Side Plank Exercise For Abs in Pregnancy

  • Lie down on your side comfortably.
  • Now place one of your elbows directly under your shoulder.
  • Bend your knees and stack them one on top of the other.
  • Make sure that you keep your spine neutral at this time. Start concentrating on your core breathing.
  • Squeeze your hips and bring them forward until your hips are above the floor.
  • Hold the position for about 20 to 30 seconds. Make sure you keep breathing normally.