It's safe to hold planks during pregnancy.
Why this myth exists
Women are often told by their care providers that it's safe to continue doing whatever workout they did before pregnancy. For many women their pre-pregnancy workout included planks, pushups, planks holds, etc. And if you aren't well versed in the topic of Diastasis Recti, it's not an exercise that you would necessarily think of as a contraindication so many women continue doing them without realizing the damaging they may be causing to their core.
Pregnancy and early postpartum is the time to train our bodies with the utmost attention to detail. For us, that means fully integrating the inner core unit, aka what we call Pump & Kegel, (Learn all about it in our upcoming workshop here!) in EVERY single movement from the moment we find out we are pregnant...if not before!
We perform what we call "moving planks" at FPC in order to fully integrate the inner core unit and protect the linea alba (the connective tissue connecting the two halves of our 6-pack abs together), from any additional outward pressure or strain. Holding a plank potentially increases that outward pressure that we are trying to avoid. When it can no longer sustain the pressure, it can stretch beyond what’s considered “normal” during pregnancy, causing what's called a diastasis recti.
At FPC, we teach that you use your breath, with a properly engaged pump & kegel, to move in and out of a plank position. This is the way to safely modify your planks during pregnancy and early postpartum.
* If you aren't able to maintain the core integration, if you feel outward pressure on the abdominal wall (pushing out) or if you ever see coning or doming through the abs, you should eliminate this exercise completely. It's best to perform moving plank work under the watchful eye of a qualified trainer or specialist.
Join us for our Pump & Kegel workshop on Wednesday, Sept 26 6:30-8Pm to make sure you are properly protecting your core during your workouts and every day movements from a potential diastasis recti.