Great Stretches to Do While You’re Pregnant
Great Stretches to Do While You’re Pregnant : Being pregnant comes with a lot of pains, notably leg cramps, swollen ankles, and back ache. By regularly stretching, you can reduce these discomforts considerably. So if you’re up for it, below are some great stretches you can do while pregnant.
(Disclaimer: While they’re pregnancy-safe, you should still consult with your doctor first before trying out these stretches.)
This move helps strengthen your lower back , reduce hip and lower back aches, and relieve round ligament pain to a degree. It can also improve your spine mobility, since it helps enhance spinal fluid circulation. Best done with a yoga mat.
- Kneel on all fours. Make sure the tops of your feet rest on the mat’s (or floor’s) surface, your hips rest directly above your knees, and your shoulders rest directly above your wrists. Keep your back and arms straight, and your head should be facing downward. This is the initial pose.
- Take a deep breath. As you inhale, gently arch your back and drop your belly. Make sure your shoulders are rolled back and you’re raising your head upward and forward. This is the Cow pose.
- Slowly exhale, while pressing into your hands and rounding your upper back until your head looks toward your belly. This is the Cat pose.
- Alternate between Steps 2 and 3 at least 5 times. Make sure your back is arched when inhaling and rounded when exhaling.
Standing Piriformis Stretch
Meanwhile, this stretch helps loosen up the piriformis muscles deep in your buttocks, relieving any sciatic pain you might be experiencing. The Piriformis Stretch comes in many variants, but let’s focus on the standing version for now.
- Stand up tall and straight, then place one leg above the knee of your other leg. Basically, you should be creating the number 4 with this pose.
- Slowly bend the leg you’re standing on to lower your hips until you’re bending forward at the waist. Make sure your hips maintain a 45-degree angle while doing this. Bend your standing leg as comfortably as possible.
- Reach out to the ground with your arms while maintaining a straight spine. Hold this position for 30 to 60 seconds.
- Switch legs when done.
Note: If you’re having trouble maintaining your balance while doing this stretch , stand near a wall. Make sure your back is against the wall and your feet are 24 inches from it. This will give you extra support whenever you need it.
On the other hand, the Child’s Pose is a stretching routine designed to work on your spinal extensors, rotators, gluteus maximus, and hamstrings. This move is perfect for relieving pain you’re experiencing in your thighs, pelvis, and hips. Additionally, it helps stretch the spine on your lower back. Best done with a yoga mat.
- Kneel on all fours on the floor or on your mat. Make sure your hips are directly above your knees.
- Make your big toes touch each other. This gives your belly generous space to slide between your knees without straining your hips. Alternatively, you can widen your toes instead if the first option doesn’t provide enough room for your belly or puts any pressure on your knees.
- Take a deep breath and feel your spine stretch as you inhale.
- Slowly exhale, while taking your butt to your heels, lowering your head towards the mat, and tucking your chin to your chest.
- Maintain this position for at least 5 deep breaths, with your forehead touching the ground or mat. If you want your head to stay comfortable or if the ground is too far, you can add a headrest beforehand. Make sure your arms stay outstretched during this position.
Pigeon Pose Stretch
Then there’s the Pigeon Pose Stretch. Designed to work on your hips and lower back, this yoga technique can reduce lower back pain significantly. It’s also a great stretching exercise if you want your muscles to stay flexible even while pregnant . Just make sure you do this properly to avoid any strain or injury.
- Kneel on all fours on your mat, while placing your hands in front of you.
- Press into your hands and feet, stretch out your legs straight, and raise your hips upwards. This will leave your body in an upside-down V position.
- Raise your right leg off the ground, and fold it upward until your right knee is between your hands. At the same time, slide your left leg backwards, with your left foot touching the mat’s surface. Make sure your torso is leaning slightly forward over your right leg.
- Take a deep breath, then exhale while slowly lowering yourself toward the ground until your head is touching either your arm or your mat. You can use a pillow to keep your head comfortable.
- Maintain this position for at least 5 to 10 deep breaths, before repeating it with your left leg.
Last but not least, we have the Forward Fold. Even while pregnant, you shouldn’t skip on leg day. This stretching exercise is designed to work on your hamstrings and thighs. Doing this pose helps loosen up your leg muscles, as well as relieve any pain you’re experiencing from your hamstrings and lower back.
- Stand on your mat, with your feet apart and your toes pointing forward.
- Lean forward while keeping your back flat and straight, then slowly lower your hands towards the ground. Continue this until you feel the back of your legs stretching. You can use any support to rest your hands and keep them comfortable. Just make sure you avoid resting them on your knee joints.
- Hold this position for at least 30 seconds. You can also increase the stretch by moving your hands sideways while maintaining contact with the ground.
- Repeat Steps 2 to 4 at least thrice.
Do Stretches Even While Pregnant
Just because you’re pregnant doesn’t mean you can’t keep your body fit. By practicing different types of stretches , like the exercises listed above, you can maintain your muscles’ flexibility and range of motion even while you’re waiting for your kid to arrive.
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