Tuesday, February 11, 2014

Stretch It Out Mommas!

Hey ladies! 
Today I want to talk about effective stretches for expecting moms to help prevent injury and ease any pain or discomfort you may be experiencing.  As with anything, you should consult your doctor before doing any exercise or stretch while pregnant.
Breathing deeply with each stretch is important part of making each stretch effective.  

On all fours straighten out your back and arms, making sure the hands are directly under your shoulders. Gently sit back onto the heels of your feet, extending the arms and putting your head to your chest.  Hold for 7 seconds and go back to beginning position.  Repeat this up to 10 times. Make sure when you sit back on the heels you leave space for that bump in between your legs! You should feel the stretch in your back, thighs and pelvis. 

Back to all fours being careful to keep the back in line with your head so there is no slump in your back you are going to curl the back up making a rainbow arch and tucking the head to chest. Hold this for 7 seconds and return to in line position. Repeat this up to 10 times.  You should feel the stretch in the lower back.  You’ll find this will ease backaches
you may be having.

For the next stretch there are 3 variations, standing, sitting, or laying.  It is your preference, whatever you find most comfortable for you and the baby.  Starting with the standing position press your back to a wall. You are going to press the small of your back to the wall tucking that bum under stretching the lower back. Hold for 7 seconds and return to starting position. Repeat this up to 10 times.
The next variation is sitting in a chair with the back in a straight line.  With sitting you want to make sure you are as comfortable as possible so you can sit on a pillow or towel if necessary.  Put your hands on you knees or upper thighs and curl your back as you press your stomach to your back. Hold for 7 seconds and return to start.  Repeat up 10 times. 
The final variation of this exercise is laying on your back with your knees bent and arms by your sides. Pushing down with your feet into the floor, squeeze and lift the bum up off the ground forming a 45 degree angle at the knee. Be sure your pressure lies on the feet and not on your neck. Hold for 3-5 seconds, return down and repeat up to 10 times. If you have an exercise ball you can use this under the small of your back for more support rather than laying on the floor.

Sitting up straight with your back against a wall, put your heels together, outside ankles to the floor.  Gently press your knees to the floor. Hold for 5 seconds and very slowly release up. Repeat this up to 10 times.  This will increase your hip flexibility.

Standing facing a wall put your hands or elbows on the wall in push-up position.  Keep your heels on the floor, toes to the wall, put one leg in front the other to stretch the back of the calf.  Hold this for 7 seconds and alternate legs.  This is best to do before bed which will help alleviate that awful middle of the night charlie horse!

The final stretch is for women who are experiencing lower back, hip and leg pain.  Laying on your back, keeping your hips straight, have your partner gently pull on your leg from the knee.  This will help align your knees and hips. Be extremely careful doing this stretch.

I hope these stretches help in easing all your aches and pains through pregnancy! It also won’t hurt to have your partner give you a back rub!

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