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Safe Core Exercises during Pregnancy

Updated: May 23

In the prenatal fitness world, there is a lot of emphasis on what you should be avoiding. This is a huge disservice to pregnant people, because it often makes them confused, overwhelmed, and paralyzed. Which often leads to them doing nothing out of fear of hurting themselves or their baby. But the purpose of prenatal training should be to prepare for labor and delivery and the demands of postpartum! And to do this, we HAVE to focus on strengthening the core in a safe and effective way. So that’s what we’re going to talk about in today's post!

If we are meeting for the first time - Hi! Welcome to Vibrant Mama Wellness! My name is Megan, and I am a pre and postnatal personal trainer. I am certified through the National Academy of Sports Medicine, with a specialization in pre+postnatal fitness through Pronatal fitness. I am a mom of one, and became interested in pre + postnatal fitness as I was going through my own pregnancy journey!

(Disclaimer: I am not a doctor and this is not medical advice. This blog is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease or condition. This blog post is based on my own research and experience - please consult a medical professional before starting or making any changes to your exercise program).

Vibrant Mama Wellness, LLC is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to

I may earn a small commission for my endorsement, recommendation, testimonial, or link to any product or services from this website.

First let’s talk about what is happening in your core during pregnancy. The belly is rapidly expanding to make room for the baby, which means the rectus abdominis (6 pack muscles) need to separate in order to safely make room. This is able to happen because there is a line of fascia that runs down the middle called the linea alba. This stretches and accommodates!

But because of this, the core is compromised. Now let me repeat - this is NORMAL and needs to happen (we would be in trouble if the abs didn’t separate to make room), BUT we need to keep the core strong to protect ourselves from injury. This is where training the core comes in!

You’d honestly be surprised at how many exercises work your core without you realizing it! Anything that is moving weight away from your body, anytime you’re pushing against something or pulling away, or resisting rotation in the trunk works the core!

Here are 5 exercises to incorporate into your prenatal routine that are not only safe but also effective at that deep core training.

  • Off Loaded Squat

  • Single arm overhead press

  • Pallof Press

  • Diagonal Band Pull Apart

  • Incline Cross Unders

With all of these moves, be sure that the core is fully engaged and exhale on the effort (i.e. the hardest part of the move!) If you notice any coning in the belly (ridge down the middle) then the move may be too advanced for you at this time.

If you're looking for a pregnancy program where ALL the workouts are safe for all trimesters and all you have to do is show up and press play, check out my Vibrantly You™ Pregnancy Program! It has over 30 full-length follow-along workouts to keep you feeling strong throughout pregnancy and prepare you for birth and postpartum!

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Disclaimer: This blog does not serve as medical advice. Please consult your medical provider before starting a new fitness routine. This blog is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease or condition.

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