Top Stretches For Pregnancy

During pregnancy, mothers experience aches and pains in various parts of the body. Apart from following a recommended diet, mothers must also invest some time in keeping their body fit. Practicing simple stretching exercises based on the trimester helps ease pregnancy related pains and enables mothers to connect with the baby. Stretching keeps the body flexible, prevents injuries, and increases the range of physical movements. It also makes life and labor more convenient.

Effects Of Not stretching During Pregnancy

  • Makes muscles short and tight
  • Reduces efficiency of bodily functions
  • Causes spinal misalignment
  • Leads to back pain
  • Results in muscle cramps

Stretches For The First Trimester

1. Knee Hug

Top Stretches For Pregnancy
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  1. Lie down on your back on a soft, yet firm mat.
  2. Using your hands, lift both your knees and bring it up to your chest.Hold the position for about 10 seconds and feel your back muscles stretch.
  3. Slowly, take both legs away from your chest and revert to initial position.
  4. Repeat this exercise 3–5 times.

2. Lean Back Stretch

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Top Stretches For Pregnancy
Image:www.babyprepping.com
  1. Sit on the mat with your feet flat on the floor, and draw your knees towards you.
  2. Keep your hands on the floor behind you for support, so that the palms and fingers are pointing towards you.
  3. Slowly lean back onto your arms.
  4. Lean your head back and slowly stretch as far back as you can, keeping your balance steady.
  5. Stay in this position for about 10 seconds and get back to the sitting position.
  6. Repeat this exercise 2-3 times, while staying in the stretched posture for as long as you comfortably can.

3. Rotation Stretch

Top Stretches For Pregnancy
Image:www.babyprepping.com
  1. Lie back on a mat and extend your arms outwards.
  2. Fold your legs at the knees and roll them to one side, without moving your upper body (ensure that you stretch to a point that is comfortable to you).
  3. Now, roll your knees to the other side keeping your upper body in the same position (do not rotate your hip beyond a point where it hurts).
  4. Repeat this exercise five times on each side.

Stretches For The Second Trimester

1. Lower Back Stretch

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Top Stretches For Pregnancy

  1. Rest on your hands and knees with your head in line with your back.
  2. Pull in your stomach, arching your back slightly.
  3. Stay in this position for 10 seconds.
  4. Then, release your stomach and keep your back as flat as you can (ensure that your back does not sag).
  5. Start by doing this exercise 5 times and gradually increase to 10.

2. Backward Stretch

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Top Stretches For Pregnancy

  1. Position yourself on your hands and knees (your arms must be straight and directly beneath your shoulders).
  2. Lean back towards your heels while keeping your arms outstretched.
  3. Tilt your head downwards close to your knees (your arms must remain outstretched).
  4. Hold for several seconds, and then return to the starting position.
  5. Start by doing this exercise 5 times and gradually increase to 10.

3. Standing Pelvic Tilt

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Top Stretches For Pregnancy

  1. Stand straight with your back against a wall and keep your feet shoulder-width apart.
  2. Push your lower back against the wall.
  3. Retain the position for at least 10 seconds, and then revert to the normal standing position.
  4. Start by doing this exercise 5 times and gradually increase to 10.

Stretches For The Third Trimester

1. Backward Stretch With Pregnancy Ball

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Top Stretches For Pregnancy

  1. Begin from a kneeling down position with your hands straight and placed on a fitness ball.
  2. Lean as far back as you can towards your heels.
  3. Remain in that position for 10 seconds and then return to the kneeling down position.
  4. Begin this exercise with 5 times and gradually increase to 10.

2. Pelvic Tilt With Pregnancy Ball

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Top Stretches For Pregnancy

  1. Sit on the floor with your feet flat on the ground and your hands placed on your waist.
  2. Lean your back against a fitness ball and push the small of your back upward.
  3. Stay in that position for about 10 seconds and then return to the starting position.
  4. Perform this exercise 5 times initially and gradually increase to 10.

3. Calf Stretches

Top Stretches For Pregnancy

  1. Keep your right leg forward (bent) and your foot flat on the floor.
  2. Extend your left leg straight back without lifting the heel (both feet must remain flat on the floor; don’t bend your left knee.
  3. Lean forward towards the wall until you feel the calf muscle of your left leg stretch. Remain in this position for 30 seconds.
  4. Now, repeat the exercise with your right leg straight and the left leg forward (bent).

There are many other stretch exercises specific to each trimester that benefits a particular part of the body. While practicing stretch exercises is important, remember not to overdo and exert yourself. Perform exercises according to your comfort level and always consult your gynecologist.