can I plank during pregnancy

To Plank or Not to Plank?

The Myth:

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. 

FPC's answer

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.   

Debunking Myths Surrounding Prenatal Exercise #4

The Myth:

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. 

FPC's answer

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 Pump & Kegel) 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 tendon connecting the two sides of our six-pack together), from any additional outward pressure or strain.  Holding a plank produces that outward pressure we are trying to avoid.  When it can no longer sustain the pressure, it can tear, 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 your 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 in our Pump & Kegel class on Wednesdays or Sundays at 9:30AM to make sure you are properly protecting your core during your workouts and every day movements from a potential diastasis recti.   

Debunking Myths Surrounding Prenatal Exercise

We recently overheard someone’s prenatal trainer tell their pregnant client “Don’t bring your knees above your belly” at one of the biggest gym chains in New York City. This gave us the idea to start a series to debunk some of the pregnancy exercise myths floating around in the universe.  

 

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Carolina did headstands before pregnancy so she's fine to do them now, right?

Well that depends.  Is she properly engaging her TVA and pelvic floor?  

 

 

THE MYTHIt’s safe to continue doing all the same workouts you did before pregnancy.

Why this myth exists

We hear this advice coming from the media AND our prenatal care practitioners.  The media is the media but your Dr or provider should know better, right?  Not exactly.  It’s not your OB or midwife’s job to make sure you are exercising safely during pregnancy.  They have a general knowledge of exercise science and general knowledge says exercise is good for humans and especially great for moms-to-be.  Unless there is a medical concern, they want you to keep exercising but they haven’t spent the countless hours geeking out over the science that studies the safest and most efficient way to make that happen…lucky for you, we have!

FPCs answer

We always say, just because you can, doesn't mean you should

Your OB or midwife is very good at what they specialized in and so are we!  Their recommendation to “continue the same workout you did prior to pregnancy” is coming from a very good place.  We want you to continue your favorite workouts as well, but you need to continue doing it with more intention, better posture and a deeper understanding of how to incorporate your entire core from the diaphragm to the pelvic floor. Your comfort during pregnancy and postpartum recovery depend on it.  Whether or not you chose to devote your entire pregnancy to FPC workouts or not, it is a good idea to come in for at least a few classes (or check out our online workouts if you can't access the studio) to solidify a safe prenatal exercise practice. 

 

What have you heard?  Leave a comment on our Instagram or Facebook and tell us what myths or mysterious exercise advice you’ve received since becoming pregnant and we’ll talk about it in an upcoming post!