Pregnancy exercise | 3 ab exercises you can do during the second trimester

Strengthen your core with these moves during your second trimester.

“At this stage of your pregnancy, place one hand on your stomach when doing abdominal exercises when possible to check for abdominal separation,” says wellness expert Lisa Raleigh. You also want to be mindful of exercises where you lie flat on your back.

While this is safe for a few minutes at a time, don’t maintain this position for long periods as the weight of your baby and uterus can put pressure on the vena cava (a large vein carrying blood to the heart), limiting the blood flow to your body. Lisa suggests propping yourself up on your elbows with a pillow or two to support your back. Roll onto your left-hand side if you feel light-headed or dizzy.

ALSO SEE: 3 ab exercises you can do during your first trimester

Try these exercises:

Slow mountain climbers

  • Position yourself in a push-up stance with a neutral spine – make sure you aren’t arching your back.
  • Slowly bend one knee up to your chest, without letting your foot touch the ground. Pause for a moment, then slowly return your foot to the starting position and repeat with the opposite foot.

Pregnancy exercise - ab exercises - slow mountain climbers

Single-leg drop

  • Lie on your back, supporting your back with pillows as needed.
  • Raise both legs straight up in the air, as close to 90 degrees to the ground as you can.
  • Slowly lower your right leg down to just above the ground. Pause, then raise your leg back up to the starting position and repeat with the other leg.

Pregnancy exercise - ab exercises - second trimester - single leg drop

Opposite-arm-and-leg lift

  • Position yourself on all fours, your shoulders stacked above your wrists and your hips stacked above your knees. Pull your belly button towards your spine.
  • Carefully extend one arm and the opposite leg away from your body. Pause for a moment, then slowly return to the starting position and repeat with the opposite arm and leg.

Pregnancy exercise - ab exercises - second trimester - opposite-arm-and-leg lift

Credits:

  • Photography: Hema Patel
  • Model: Candice Blignaut
  • Hair and make-up: Maria de Vos from One League, Using Evo products
  • Clothing: Lorna Jane
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