Looking for a prenatal ab workout to target your love handles?
Every time I get pregnant, it seems like my stomach gets wider before I even notice a bump.
Perhaps this is because I have had three girls and it is said that having girls make your belly wider and boys make your belly pointy.
Who knows if this is true or not but I no one really “loves” love handles but navigating ab exercises during pregnancy can feel confusing and intimidating!
Despite popular belief, working your core during pregnancy is extremely important.
Your core muscles are what push the baby out!
And after having an almost 9 pound baby myself, trust me, you want strong core muscles to get that baby out as fast and safely as possible!
This workout will not only target your love handles but consistently strengthening and engaging your core during pregnancy will help you push during pregnancy and help with postpartum recovery!
Prerequisites for Ab Exercises During Pregnancy
- Be aware of Diastasis Recti.
- Master proper breathing.
- Maintain proper posture to support your growing belly .
- How you carry your body during pregnancy makes a huge difference in preventing an achy body and larger abdominal separation.
- The Core and Pelvic Floor Connection.
- They work together for optimal strength and support during pregnancy and postpartum.
Ab Exercise Modifications for Each Trimester
Even though you may be seeing your belly growing toward the end of the first trimester, not much is changing yet with your actual core muscles.
The baby is only about the size of a jelly bean and the muscles have not yet had to stretch to accommodate the size of the baby.
You will most likely be able to the same exercises you would do for non-pregnancy ab workouts which makes the first trimester a great time to set a strong foundation for a strong core and proper posture for the duration of your pregnancy.
This is about the time where you want to start being aware of signs of abdominal separation (Diastasis Recti).
During your core exercises, place your hand on your belly to feel for any bulging or coning in the center of your belly.
If you do notice any bulging or coning, modify the exercise to make it less challenging or omit the exercise all together.
You may feel like your core has completely jumped ship at this point but I promise your abs are still there and sticking to your prenatal core workouts is more important than ever to reduce aches and pains and provide proper posture.
Try to avoid letting your belly just “hang” during the day and instead, focus on keeping your core strong, lifted and engaged. If you notice a sway in your low back or hips pushing forward, engage your core.
How To Get Rid Of Love Handles During Pregnancy
I hate to be the bearer of bad news, but getting rid of love handles during pregnancy is very difficult.
The most important thing you can do to reduce love handles during pregnancy is to avoid gaining excess weight.
And the amount of recommended weight gain for you and your pregnancy will be determined by your pre-pregnancy weight.
These exercises will help you body build strength and burn more calories which will help prevent excess weight gain.
So even though spot reducing your love handles during pregnancy may be challenging, you can use exercise to burn more calories to control weight gain.
Exercises that target the love handles will strengthen the muscles that support your abs and low back allowing you to hold your posture better and may even give the appearance of a tighter, more toned core.
Will My Love Handles Go Away After Pregnancy?
It’s definitely possible!
If you lose the weight gained from pregnancy and heal your core correctly after pregnancy, those love handles will melt away.
Keep in mind that your body shape is largely determined by your gentics and people lose weight differently.
However, you can reach your goals by simply staying consistent with healthy postpartum eating and exercise.
These postpartum recipes are created to help fuel your body for both breastfeeding and weight loss!
Both are important, and you shouldn’t do one without the other.
Brooke is a certified Prenatal and Postnatal Exercise Specialist with a Bachelors of Science degree in Kinesiology-Exercise Science. She is also a mom of 3 girls with more than 15 years of experience in health and fitness. Brooke’s goal at Struggles of a Fit Mom is to help motivate, educate and inspire other busy mamas who struggle with finding time, energy and motivation to take care of themselves in the chaos of motherhood.