Best Ab Exercises to Do When Pregnant

Pregnancy is a time of great change for your body. You are growing a new life inside you and your body is working hard to support that growth. It’s important to stay active and healthy during this time, and that includes doing exercises that will help keep your abdominal muscles strong.

In this blog post, we will discuss the best abs exercises while pregnant, and provide tips on how to safely perform them.

You can do ab workouts while pregnant, but you should take a few safety considerations into account. For example, avoid doing crunches or any exercises that involve lying on your back after the first trimester, and make sure to keep your heart rate below 140 beats per minute.

Side - Lying Crunch

When working the abs many people think of the front abdominal muscles but the truth is your abdominal muscles wrap around your sides as well.

The side-lying crunch is an excellent way to work those muscles, and it’s also a very safe exercise to do during pregnancy.

To perform this exercise, lie on your left side with your knees bent and your head resting on your left arm. Place your right hand behind your head. Use your abs to lift yourself up about 6 inches off the ground.

If you’re just starting you probably won’t be able to do a ton of these because they are less used than the front abs.

Sitting Knee Lift

This is a great exercise for women who are pregnant because it doesn’t require a lot of mobility or flexibility but it still gets those core muscles engaged.

You’ll start by cutting flat on a chair with your knees at a 90-degree angle with your soles resting flat on the ground.

Then, without using much leg muscle, attempt to lift one knee at a time as high as you can towards your chest before lowering it back down to the starting position.

Seated Ball Stability Hold

The seated ball stability hold adds another element to your balance with the stability ball.

You’ll sit upright on the ball and slowly lift one leg and raise the opposite arm at the same time.

Your core will have to balance your body on the ball while your arm and leg are raised in the air.

Repeat the same process with the opposite arm and leg and then do as many reps as you’d like.

Core Breathing

This next exercise is the easiest one to complete out of any on the list and probably a great place to start for beginners.

You can do this exercise anywhere, anytime, and no equipment is needed.

Sit or lie down in a comfortable position and place one hand on your stomach and the other on your chest.

Inhale deeply through your nose so that you can feel your stomach expand beneath your hand. Try to keep your chest stationary as you inhale.

Exhale through pursed lips and feel your stomach fall back in as you exhale. You should be able to see your hand move with each breath.

Start with five deep breaths and work up to ten or more.

Side Planks

The side plank is a bit more advanced but you can modify it to make it easier.

To do a side plank, you’ll start by lying on your side with your elbow directly beneath your shoulder and legs stacked on top of each other.

Lift yourself up so that your body is in a straight line from head to toe. If this is too difficult, you can drop your knee to the ground.

Hold this position for 30 seconds to a minute and then switch sides.

You’ll be surprised how much tension it creates in the abdominal muscles to just hold this position.

Standing Bicycle

Make sure you feel confident and comfortable enough with your balance to start this standing bicycle exercise.

The reason is, it involves balancing on one foot while moving your upper body at the same time.

Start in a standing position with both hands behind your head. As you lift one knee close to your waist, move the opposite elbow until it touches the knee you raised.

Repeat the same process with the other side and do as many reps as you can.

You don’t have to go very fast with this exercise because the slower you go the more you’ll feel it.

The Standing Crunch

This exercise is a lot like a deadlift except you don’t need any actual weights.

Instead, you’ll put both hands on the back of your head and then bend over with your knees slightly bent until you reach a 90-degree angle at the waist.

Then, slowly move your body back up. You should have a straight back the entire time during this exercise.

If you angle your back at all you are putting it at risk of injury.

Make sure to really focus on using your abs to pull yourself back up instead of your arms or legs.


Not only are Kegels great for your abs but they’ll also help out when it’s time to deliver the baby.

Kegels are exercises that help to strengthen the pelvic floor muscles which can become weak during pregnancy.

To do a kegel, simply contract the muscles you would use to stop yourself from urinating and hold for three seconds then release.

Start with ten reps and work your way up as you get stronger.


Can I do ab workouts while pregnant?

You can do ab workouts while pregnant, but you should take a few safety considerations into account. For example, avoid doing crunches or any exercises that involve lying on your back after the first trimester, and make sure to keep your heart rate below 140 beats per minute.

How can I keep my abs strong during pregnancy?

You can keep your abs strong during pregnancy by doing a variety of ab exercises that are safe for pregnant women. For example, you can do standing crunches, Pilates, and yoga poses that target the abs.

When should you stop doing ab exercises while pregnant?

You should stop doing ab exercises while pregnant after the first trimester, when your belly begins to get bigger. This is because lying on your back can reduce blood flow to the baby.



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Jason Hughes
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