Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Exercises to help with hip and back pain during pregnancy

This is great if done as a circuit, but can also be done one exercise at a time. Make sure you grab a chair or stand next to a counter if you feel like you might need something to hold onto during any of the exercises.

Alternating Leg Lifts-
Start standing with feet hips width apart. Lift your right knee straight up. Lower back to the floor and repeat on the other  side. Keep alternating legs for 30-60seconds.

Side Leg Lifts-
Start with feet together and lift leg straight to the side. Repeat on one side 20 times, then switch to the other leg.

Start in the standing position with feet hips width apart. Squat down until your thighs are parallel with the floor, making sure to keep your knees behind your toes.  Either hold for 30-60 seconds, or do 20 repetitions.

Advanced Warrior-
Starting in standing position, with feet hip distance apart, or closer. Bend forward at the hip extending one leg back and your arms straight in front of you. Come back to standing position and repeat 15-20 times.

Donkey Kicks-
Start with knees under your hips and arms under your shoulders. Pull one knee forward flexing your abdominal muscles, then kick back flexing buttocks and low back. Repeat 20 times on both sides.

Flexing Transverse Abdominis-
Start standing or sitting, whichever is most comfortable. Relax your abdomen completely before pulling your belly button back towards your spine. Make sure to support your belly with your hands to support your muscles. You should feel a deep flex in your entire core including your transverse abdominis, obliques and abdominis recti. Make sure you keep breathing, keeping breath in your chest. Hold for as long as you can, and repeat 15-20 times.

Stretches for hip and back pain associated with pregnancy

Forward Bend-
Hold for 30 seconds, and roll your spine back into standing position one vertabrae at a time. Repeat as many times as you would like.

Low Lunge Stretch-
Make sure when you are in this position that your knee stays in alignment with your ankle. Hold for 30 seconds and repeat on the other side. Repeat on both sides as many times as you like.

Pigeon Pose-
To get into this position, lunge forward and lower your rear knee to the floor. Next, lower your front knee to the floor keeping your foot to the inside and your shin forward. Hold for 30 seconds and repeat on other side. Repeat as many times as you like.

Butterfly Pose.
Sit on the ground, put your feet together in front of you and pull them into your body. Push your knees down if you are not feeling enough of a stretch. Hold for 30 seconds and repeat as many times as you like.

Cow Pose-
Start with your knees directly under your hips, and your arms directly under your shoulders. Extend your stomach towards the floor. Hold breifly, and move into the next pose.

Cat Pose-
From Cow Pose roll your spine up towards the ceiling, tightening your abdominal muscles. Hold breifly and repeat the two poses for about one minute.