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Is It Safe To Do Sit-Ups During Pregnancy?

4 min read

Are you a health freak? Are worried about piling up kilos now that you are pregnant? Well pregnancy is the most exhilarating experience for any woman. Every woman looks forward to this phase in their life. But eating healthy and doing regular moderate exercises during pregnancy is essential if you want to have a normal delivery and a healthy baby. Wondering if it is safe to do sit-ups during pregnancy or not? Go ahead and read on to know more on this.
sit ups during pregnancy

  • Is It Safe To Do Sit-Ups During Pregnancy?
  • How To Do A Sit-Up?
  • Benefits Of Doing Sit- Ups During The First Trimester Of Pregnancy
  • Tips To Do Sit-Ups Correctly During Pregnancy
  • When To Stop Doing Sit-Ups During Pregnancy?
  • Why Should You Not Do Sit-Ups During Second And Third Trimester?

Is It Safe To Do Sit-Ups During Pregnancy?

It is safe to do sit-ups in the initial three or four months of your pregnancy, or in other words, your first trimester. After this, it is advised not to do sit-ups, that is, you need to avoid doing sit-ups during your second and third trimester. Let us explain.

How To Do A Sit-Up?

Sit-ups are essentially abdominal crunches. Follow the below steps to do sit-ups:

  1. Lie flat on your back. Preferably use a Yoga mat
  2. Bend your knees and keep the feet firmly on the floor
  3. Place your fingertips behind your ears. This is your starting position
  4. Now breathe out and raise your upper body towards your bent knees
  5. Now breathe out and slowly come back to starting position. This is one rep
  6. You can do start with 10 reps like this, which will be one set. Take a break and do two more such sets
  7. You can slowly increase the number of reps to make your muscles stronger

Benefits Of Doing Sit- Ups During The First Trimester Of Pregnancy

Sit-ups help strengthen rectus abdominis muscles. If you are wondering what that is, rectus abdominis muscles are commonly known as six-pack! During pregnancy, your ab muscles get stretched out a lot so having strong and firm abdominal muscles will do you lot of benefits. For example, stronger abs have the following benefits:

  • It will keep your core strong
  • It will help your abdomen retain some shape and help you get back to shape and recover faster after delivery
  • It will give better support to your pelvic muscles, which will help you push better during labor
  • It will give stronger support to your back muscles, which will be strained due to the pressure from your baby belly
  • It can help reduce lower back pain
  • It can give you better posture during pregnancy
  • It helps in normal delivery

So if you have been working out regularly, you can continue to do sit-ups during the first trimester as it has many benefits.

Tips To Do Sit-Ups Correctly During Pregnancy

Here are some useful tips you should follow while doing sit-ups during pregnancy:

    • If you are new to this exercise, it is recommended that you get a certified trainer to show you how it is done. This is because if you do not follow the proper posture and form, then the chances of getting a muscle pull or an injury are high
    • It is also recommended that you do not work the abs muscles every day. These muscles require 48 hours of rest to recover before the next exercise
    • Make sure you do proper warming up and cool down before and after the workout, respectively

sit ups and pregnancy

  • When doing sit-ups, it is essential to keep yourself hydrated to keep those painful muscle cramps at bay
  • Wear clothes that are comfortable and breathable while doing sit ups during pregnancy
  • Don’t push yourself too much while doing sit ups during pregnancy. Listen to your body. Also, give sit-ups a miss when you are feeling weak or under the weather
  • If you are expecting twins or multiples, then avoid doing sit ups
  • Do not do more than 10 sit ups in a go. Take short breaks in between and then start again
  • As always, make sure you talk to your doctor about working out before starting any exercise during pregnancy. Your doctor knows your health and pregnancy better and can suggest what to do and not to do

When To Stop Doing Sit-Ups During Pregnancy?

Pregnancy is a delicate phase, so you should take utmost care while performing any kind of exercise during this phase. If you experience any of the following symptoms then you should immediately stop doing sit-ups:

Why Should You Not Do Sit-Ups During Second And Third Trimester?

  • As your tummy gets bigger, it will become increasingly difficult for you to do the sit-ups
  • Lying on your back during your second and third trimester is not recommended because it might affect your blood pressure, restrict blood flow in your body (and to your baby) and make you feel light headed
  • Getting up from the floor can be tricky and if not done carefully can lead to accidents and injury, especially when your pregnancy bulge is maximum
  • Doing sit-ups can also be counterproductive during the last few months of pregnancy because it can lead to hernia. This is because your abdominal muscles will get stretched and will become thinner as your tummy grows and sit-ups can result in diastasis recti

That said, the common belief that doing crunches during pregnancy will “squeeze” the baby inside or give it less room to move about is just a myth!
There are many exercises that you can do to ensure a healthy pregnancy and safe delivery. Read more about them here: 8 Effective Exercises To Induce Labor Naturally, Exercises During Pregnancy For A Normal And Natural Delivery and Top 5 Exercises During Pregnancy. Of course, as we mentioned before, before starting any of these exercises, please talk to your doctor and make sure it is safe for you to do them.
Have a healthy and safe pregnancy! All the best!

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