Are you pregnant? Do you have a sore back? Or perhaps you are worried about getting back pain during your pregnancy?
Then make sure you read this incredibly important article as I’m going to show you the 3 simple exercises I loved doing myself when I was pregnant and I always give to my pregnant patients to ensure they can enjoy their pregnancy rather than be weighed down with back pain.
Being pregnant is supposed to be an amazing time – you are growing a little person inside of you, all those thoughts about decorating a nursery, buying baby clothes, picking out names and so on.
The problem is that many mum’s limp through their pregnancy due to crippling back pain. It’s pretty hard to enjoy the moment when you have sharp back pain and potentially even pain down your legs.
It might limit your ability to work. If you already have one or more kids, this back pain can make everyday a massive chore to interact with those kids whilst growing a baby on the inside.
Pregnancy belts get thrown out there as a solution but they are incredibly uncomfortable is you are sitting and, pending on how quickly you are growing, you quickly grow out of them.
Now let’s get into it.
I will always vouch that the best brace in the world is your muscles – they are adaptive, you can improve them, you take them everywhere with you and they never give you a rash.
A big issue I see with pregnant mothers is their posture. A lot of them probably didn’t have the greatest posture prior to falling pregnant but then that quickly growing belly makes their bad sway back posture even more exaggerated. Add to the fact that you do have that space occupying object of your growing baby in your uterus and it can be really hard to naturally stand well.
There are 4 main things every woman needs to maintain whilst pregnant is a flexible mid back, strong abs, strong glutes and hamstrings and long flexible hip flexors. Even better I have a great mini routine of only 3 basic exercises to address all of these and you can do them through the whole pregnancy!
Exercise number 1:
Seated thoracic rotation.
This exercise addresses your upper back flexibility. Upper back flexibility is not only really important during pregnancy to limit back pain and rib pain BUT it’s super important for once you have bubs and you will be spending a lot of time hunched over trying to bottle or breast feed them.
To do this one you are simply sitting on the edge of a chair. Have your feet and knees as close together as possible. Put your hands on your breastbone. Then, concentrate on keeping your belly button pointing forwards as you turn from your breastbone. If you already have a big pregnant belly that is touching your thighs when you sit, you shouldn’t feel your belly moving on your thighs when you do this. Where you should feel it working is around your bra strap region.
For the best outcomes with this do 10 twists breakfast, lunch and dinner.
Exercise number 2:
So the classic pregnant lady posture is massively contributed to by having tight hip flexors. These are the muscles at the front of your hips and when they get really tight you get that amazing ducks bum posture. This in turn means you load all those joints in your lower back a lot which can lead to pain and arthritic changes.
Honestly, I’m not a lover of stretches because if all you do is stretch you’ll need to stretch for the rest of your life. I’d much rather just get an area stronger and be able to keep it strong by normal daily activity. Also a hip flexor stretch when you are pregnant is challenging to get down and up off the ground plus you are likely to just cheat with your back.
For this one you are sitting up tall on the edge of the chair. Lift one leg up and then slowly lower it back down to the ground. The magic happens with the slow lowering so make sure you are taking 4 seconds to lower your leg no matter how high you lift it. In fact how high you lift it in the first place isn’t terribly important. But if you are heavily pregnant and your belly blocks you from lifting your leg at all, you can try this one with your bottom perched on something higher like the armrest of your couch or the edge of a table.
Exercise number 3:
Because I love to over deliver so much this will actually be exercise 3 A and 3 B – pelvic tilting on the wall and wall angels.
Honestly, if I could teach a pregnant woman only 1 exercise that she could do while pregnant and after having the baby it would be pelvic tilting on the wall. Prior to having bubs it will strengthen abs, glutes and hamstrings plus stretch out your lower back and hip flexors. After having bubs it will also help with any abdominal separation plus you can easily do it even if you have an incredibly cuddly baby – trust me I know from my second baby.
To do this you stand with your back and bottom on a wall. Have your feet off the wall and your knees soft and slightly bent. The further your feet are away from the wall the easier this exercise is. What you then want to do is flatten your lower back against the wall whilst keeping your upper back and shoulders in contact with the wall.
Because we all learn in different ways other cues we give out is to tuck your tailbone under, pull your pubic bone up or bring your belly button to the wall.
I like to get my patients to ultimately do this like a plank – hold for as long as you can 3 times.
Wall angels are then a great progression from this. It’s the same position but now you are lifting your arms up and down to the side – like a snow angel. This helps improve the strength and flexibility in your upper back so you will then also feel it in your bra strap region.
When your belly is changing daily during pregnancy I recommend doing wall angels 10 times breakfast, lunch and dinner.
The big thing is… YOU DON’T NEED TO PUT UP WITH BACK PAIN WHEN PREGNANT PLUS YOU WANT TO BE STRONG FOR LABOUR AND NURSING AFTERWARDS. We have helped so many mums get rid of their pain and get back to life. They are always so surprised by how quickly they can feel better and love that we are their biggest cheerleaders to ensure they stick to their plan and quickly achieve amazing results.
If you’d like to get these results too then click HERE to book online or give us a call on (07) 4999 9773 so we can get you back to doing what you want to do and what you love.