When should I stop twisting during pregnancy?

Answered by Robert Flynn

During pregnancy, it is important to be mindful of the exercises and movements you engage in, especially as your belly grows and your body undergoes changes. Twisting exercises that involve rotation with dissociation of the hips and shoulders should be avoided starting from the second trimester or once you have an obvious belly.

Twisting movements, such as those found in exercises like Russian twists or bicycle crunches, can put strain on the abdominal muscles and connective tissue, which may already be stretched and under increased pressure due to the growing baby. These movements can also potentially strain the ligaments that support the uterus.

As your pregnancy progresses, the hormone relaxin is released in your body, which softens the ligaments and joints, making them more prone to injury. Twisting movements can put additional stress on these already weakened areas, potentially leading to discomfort or even injury.

It is essential to listen to your body and pay attention to any discomfort or pain during exercise. If you experience any discomfort or feel that a particular movement is straining your abdomen or causing discomfort in your pelvic area, it is best to stop and modify the exercise.

Instead of exercises that involve twisting, focus on exercises that promote stability, strength, and flexibility while keeping your body aligned and supported. Some safe exercises during pregnancy include:

1. Pelvic tilts: These help strengthen the core and pelvic floor muscles. You can perform them by lying on your back with bent knees and gently rocking your pelvis forward and backward.

2. Squats: Squats help strengthen the lower body and can be modified as your pregnancy progresses. Make sure to maintain good form and keep your knees aligned with your toes.

3. Modified planks: Planks can help strengthen the core muscles without putting strain on the abdomen. Instead of a traditional high plank, you can do a modified plank on your knees or using an elevated surface such as a bench or wall.

4. Prenatal yoga: Prenatal yoga classes or modified yoga poses can help improve flexibility, strength, and relaxation. Look for classes specifically designed for pregnant women or consult with a certified prenatal yoga instructor for safe modifications.

5. Walking or swimming: Low-impact cardiovascular exercises like walking or swimming are generally safe throughout pregnancy and can help maintain overall fitness.

Remember, every pregnancy is different, and it is essential to consult with your healthcare provider before starting or continuing any exercise routine. They can provide personalized guidance based on your specific circumstances and any potential risk factors.

It is recommended to avoid exercises involving twisting and rotation with dissociation of the hips and shoulders during pregnancy, particularly starting from the second trimester or when you have an obvious belly. Focus on exercises that promote stability, strength, and flexibility while avoiding any movements that cause discomfort or strain on the abdomen or pelvic area. Always seek guidance from your healthcare provider and listen to your body throughout your pregnancy fitness journey.