It’s that time of the month and you feel miserable! But you also don’t want to skip out on your fitness training, so what exercises can you do to stay fit and help relieve menstrual cramps? Are there certain exercises that will reduce the pain?
The answer: yes and no. Everybody is different when it comes to menstrual pain, so relief of that pain is different for each person. The good news, though, is that you can safely do any exercise you would normally do without fear of making your cramps worse.
Things To Remember
Keep Moving, Even If Your Motivation Is Low
Even gentle exercise like a short walk or simple stretching will release endorphins, which will lift your mood and can relieve pain. Though it’s tough to get going when you’re just not feeling it, you’ll be glad you made the effort once you’re done. (Try this workout when you’re unmotivated: https://youtu.be/zJ77W2vcoNU )
Cut Yourself Some Slack
There’s a place and time for training hard and smashing through goals, but the week of your period usually isn’t it. It’s okay to back off from rigorous training for a few days each month, and in fact, it will probably help your progress. Your body makes more adaptations at rest than at work, so dialing back your training for a week will help you see fitness gains.
Do What Feels Best To You
There’s no one-size-fits-all cure for menstrual cramps, so try a few different workouts and see what feels best. Some months, you’ll be fine with moderate cardio and some months you’ll want to do more toning or stretching work. Listen to your body and remember that any exercise is better than none.
Want to try a simple and gentle stability ball workout that can help relieve your crabby mood and aching belly? Do each of these exercises for 30 seconds to 1 minute with little or no rest in between. It’s not a long workout, but you’ll be glad you did it!
10 Exercises To Relieve Menstrual Pain
1. Overhead To High Knees
Standing with your core braced, feet about hip width apart and the ball in your hands overhead, bring the stability ball down to waist-height while simultaneously lifting one bent knee to your chest. Balance briefly, then return to start and repeat on the other side. This exercise works your abs and your shoulders.
2. Big Arm Curtsy Lunges
Start with your abs pulled in and the ball in your hands overhead. With your left leg, take a big step back and to the right (into a curtsy) while twisting slightly to the right and bringing the ball down. Return to the start and repeat on the other side. This exercise is great for your balance and works your legs, butt, and shoulders.
3. Hip Rolls
Sitting on the ball with your core tightened, gently push off and roll your hips to one side while quickly landing both feet at the other direction. This side-to-side balance work is great for your abdominals and obliques.
With the stability ball under your thighs or knees and your hands on the ground, perform a push-up. The unstable surface makes this great toning for your abs as well as your chest.
5. Pointer Dogs
Get on your hands and knees, with the ball positioned under your stomach. Simultaneously extend your right arm and left leg into a straight line in front of and behind you. Hold briefly, then return to start and repeat on the other side. This exercise works your upper back, abs, and butt.
Lie on top of the ball, facing up and with the ball under your lower back. Support your head and neck with your hands. Squeeze your abdominals while lifting your chest toward the ceiling. This exercise tones your abs.
7. Leg Presses
Sit with the ball under your lower back and knees bent. Slowly extend your legs, pressing your heels firmly into the ground while stabilizing yourself. Keep your torso upright. This exercise works your legs as well as your core stabilizers.
8. Catch And Release
Lie on your back with the ball squeezed gently between your feet. Brace your core and raise your legs about 1 – 2 feet off the ground. Release the ball to bounce on the floor, then catch it again. This exercise works your inner thighs and abdominals.
9. Reverse Hyperextensions
Lie over the top of the ball with it positioned under your stomach. Brace your legs behind you and squeeze your glutes to gently raise your torso off the ball. This exercise works your butt and lower back.
10. Plank Tick Tocks
With your elbows on the ball, come up into a plank position. Carefully step out with one leg and tap your foot to the side. Return to start and repeat on the other side. This exercise is terrific for core stability, upper body, and abs.
Follow along with this workout in real time here: https://youtu.be/gZlE_wvWId4