My preferred oblique exercises are the Yoga Tune Up® Revolved Abdominal series. I was able to be on my back throughout my pregnancy and did these abdominal exercises all the way up until delivery. This is not the case for all women as some experience low blood pressure from the weight on the vena cava. I believe that the more you do this work pre pregnancy, the longer you may be able to do them prenatal. I am also happy to report that I had no back pain during any of my 9 months!

See this prenatal ab exercise below, as well as on the Quick Fix for Lower Back video.

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Read how to Heal Your Aching Pregnant Feet.

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Tiffany Chambers-Goldberg

Tiffany brings 20 years of experience in various yoga practices. As a teacher, she is influenced by anatomy, dance, movement, psychology, aeriel arts, meditation, hands-on energetic healing and gymnastics. Tiffany brings a caring presence to the classroom, which provides for a supportive and safe environment allowing space for the individual's healing process. Among others, she has studied with Jill Miller, Bryan Kest, Ira Rosen, Heather Tiddens and Ana Forrest. Tiffany's classes are dynamic, challenging, and connect her students to their inner wisdom and ability to heal one's self. For more about me or to view my Yoga Tune Up® class schedule go here.

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Amanda Kreuzer

I did this series while pregnant and at one point the twisting was a tad to much but I just brought the floor higher up with a couple yoga blocks to modify as needed.

M. Summer Zaffino

Very intriguing. I am continually being asked by students and friends how they can stay strong in their core and lower during pregnancy when it seems there is nothing they can do. Would you recommend this to women who are in the early stages of pregnancy if they have not practiced them before? Or should this recommendation only be given to those who are planning to get pregnant and can start them before hand to develop the strength?


Sort but to the point. I find a lot of women don’t realize they still can strengthen their core while pregnant. This is great but there would be a lot of my students who would have trouble on their back. I agree that practicing it pre pregnancy would help.

Julia Sims Haas

Although twisting is not generally recommended during pregnancy, this could help to strengthen and stabilize the back and abdominal muscles if done with strict alignment and less depth, focusing the twist into the thoracic rather than belly.

Gabi Schaeffer

Agreed that if you practice this pre-pregnancy you’ll likely be able to continue for at least some time during pregnancy. I teach prenatal yoga and would not introduce this as I am not sure of everyone’s pre-pregnancy routine. Good to know for me though as well as any students who ask if they can continue. Thanks!

Sarah Soggs

Brief but to the point that doing some form of abdominal strengthening throughout pregnancy is possible. Perhaps done in side lying too could be useful.

Karolina hess

I teach yoga and one of my students is pregnant. She feels great and is a trooper still doing chaturangas, but I wanted to give her options for core, that would be beneficial and safe. Thank you!


As a prenatal teacher, I often have to remind students not to forget about their oblique muscles. These muscles are essential for support and help to take some of the pressure off the spine. In addition to this abdominal series, side plank is a great option (plus, lots of ways to modify intensity!)


This series is great! Simple and effective. Though many of my prenatal yoga students wouldn’t be able to roll on their back like this (especially in the last tri) I second the importance of keeping some tone is certain parts of the abdominals, mainly avoiding the rectus abdominals, during pregnancy. So many women are scared of toning at all because of the risk of tear, but I think it has great value for health during pregnancy and post-pregnancy. And, of course, all in moderation!

Tune Up® Your Pregnancy! | Yoga Tune Up

[…] Pregnancy can present any number of challenges as the body goes through so many vast changes over a relatively short period of time.Some common conditions that women face are swelling, leg cramps and lower and middle back pain.As the baby grows in the uterus, the added weight can cause strain in the joints of the ankles and knees, cramps in the legs, and congestion along the spine.These are conditions that many women share, but they can easily be remedied or better yet, prevented altogether by paying more attention to our pillars of support – the legs and feet! […]

Is Pregnancy Making You Too Hip? | Yoga Tune Up

[…] Read about abdominal exercises for pregnant women. […]

Sunina Young

This is one of the biggest reasons why I like to ‘prepare’ now – the more used to doing these exercises pre pregrancy the longer you are able to prenatal.. confirming this fact via your article is great! Thank you for sharing.


I have known several women who have experienced diastasis. It scared me so much that I didn’t do anything that came even close to a core exercise when I was pregnant. I had a really strong core when I became pregnant, so I really focused on letting everything expand. I would be nervous to recommend any kind of core exercise to a pregnant woman.

Meredith Brockriede

Thanks for sharing this video. I am always looking for more core exercises to teach, and I haven’t seen this one in a class before. I think Tiffany makes a great point about pregnant students in her first comment— just like regular students, what is appropriate for one person is not necessarily going to be for another, and as instructors it is our job to be sensitive to the individual needs and limitations of each student.


Aloha Tiffany,
Wow, you are one strong woman! Very few of my non pre-natal students could successfully execute this & none of my prenatal. Love the idea of keeping the obliques strong throughout the entire pregnancy! Anastasia’s addition of side planks is brilliant. Agreed that staying strong/balanced throughout the pregnancy will assist in a more manageable labor & recovery.
Mahalo for sharing! I feel empowered to add more oblique work in my pre-natal classes.


I’m a pre/post natal certified personal trainer and I love getting my clients ready for their pregnant bodies. I usually start with the most advanced and regress the exercises as we go along. It is very true that every woman and every pregnancy is going to be different and might require different types of abdominal exercise, however I’ve had several clients who had much easier labor and a faster recovery (even kept some of their abdominal muscle tone over a stretched out belly!) with the proper execution of front/side/reverse planks, isometric contractions and oblique exercises such as resistive torso twists,… Read more »


good help thanks a lot. I would like an opinion regarding something. there is a workout program that is in use with a lot others recently. i’ve been doinglots of investigating onto it and looks like this is a very good training course. people have positive things to say on the program and also i’ve seen it working as now i’ve been giving it a go for 3 weeks now. may somebody tell me what’s your opinion right here is a review on it. At this site should i carry on using it because it’s working out very well.

Post Pregnancy Abdominal Strengthening - Postnatal Yoga for Lower Back Pain | Yoga Tune Up

[…] Read our post about Ab Exercises for pregnant women. […]

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[…] Tune Up® Blog « Get Olympic Inspired Shoulders With a Pranic Bath! Abdominal Exercise for Pregnant Women […]


Even though I don’t have clients who are pregnant yet, I will get to work tomorrow morning and share it with a few trainers at work that do! (:


I really love the Revolved Abdominal Poses. I find it’s a very efficient way to work the core and to do it safely. I usually only get my clients to do variation 1 because, not only are they unable to do the other variations yet, but they often don’t know how to engage the QL in this pose. Now that I have my nose in my YTU L1 TT Manual reviewing for these blogs, I see that I could do the sidewinder – minivini to help them make the connection and help them with proprioception. I even have a few… Read more »

Sonya G.

Prenatal Yoga is a fascinating and important branch of modern yoga. At my studio Yoga Garden SF, we have an extensive prenatal and postnatal program. Imagine how lucky those little yoga babies are! Practicing starting in the womb and infancy. One of the most important tips I learned from the director of the prenatal program, Marisa Toriggino, is to think of the pregnant belly as a wet sponge that you do NOT want to ring out. When doing twists during pregnancy it is important to keep from squeezing the belly. So wide twists are ok, and spinal twists where the… Read more »

Claire Miller Murphy

I have taught pre-natal classes for several years now and all of my moms reported back and say the work helped them to have offset potential discomfort as their bodies shifted AND definitely helped them through labor, delivery and recovery. Another important piece to pre-natal work as well is preparing them for After childbirth. I also teach Mommy and Me classes and am always astounded when the moms show up with all their “Gear”. All the lifting- Car seats, and strollers and bags, OH MY! They way a tonne! Ad holding a baby for hours on end and it’s a… Read more »

Jen G.

It seems like it would be really helpful to tone the abdomen during pregnancy. Strong abdominal muscles would be beneficial during labor and delivery, and in the post-partum recovery. My sister is pregnant at the moment and is looking to be healthy by any means necessary. I’m going to see how this works for her. Thanks for the post!

Alex Ellis

This is awesome! Definitely important to keep working the “core” during pregnancy, as we can’t ignore them for 9 months and expect them to still support our spine! Glad to hear that this has worked for other moms too, as I am very excited to put it to use!


HI Stacy! Absolutely people with diabetes can do yoga! One of my first teachers trainings included a women who was just diagnosed with diabetes and was learning along the way how to balance it all. I encourage your friend to try, and remind her of the need to keep healthy snacks right there in case she needs them even in the middle of her practice! I am not a diabetes expert by any means, but what I do know is that the yoga can help us start to make healthier over all decisions in our lives both nutritionally and emotionally… Read more »

Stacy W. Grado

The video’s so amazing. Can people with diabetes do yoga??? I have a friend with diabetes type 1 and she desperately wants to join some sport activities to keep fit & healthy. Can you kindly give her some advice?
Thank you,
Stacy W. Grado from fitness instructor training.


Helene, Thank You for your comment as it opens up a much needed dialogue for this topic. The oblique muscles targeted in the revolved abdominal series are attached to the ribs, pelvis, lumbodorsal fascia, inguinal ligament, and linea alba. Their prime function is spinal flexion, unilateral contraction. and rotation. In my embodied experience as well as the experience of working with numerous pregnant woman, the benefit of oblique work far outweigh the minimal risk of diastasis. It is mostly the rectus abdominals which are most at risk for tearing/over stretching/over strengthening and should be addresses as such. In truth, we… Read more »

Helene Byrne, BeFit-Mom

Olbique exercises such as this one, may cause diastasis recti to occur, and are generally NOT recommended for pregnancy.

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[…] Abdominal Exercise for Pregnant Women […]