Pregnancy-Friendly Exercises To Reduce Backpain
The exercises that I’m going to tell you will ensure that your back becomes stronger and you don’t gain any extra pounds on you. Remember you will gain weight and that is very important but gaining weight that is over the expected pregnancy weight can be slightly irritating. These exercises can be done 2 or 3 times a week. Start with warming up exercises like 10-15 minutes of walking, cycling or swimming.
Pelvic Kegel Tilt (Very easy)
This exercise can be done standing, seated, on top of the ball or kneeling on your hands and knees. Squeeze pelvic floor muscles, tilt your pelvis forward, hold, and slowly release (your lower back should be rounded). Repeat 12-15 times.
“Zipping your Pants” (Very easy)
This exercise tones and strengthens your transverse abdominal muscles and relieves lower back pain. Suck your gut in as if you’re doing up a very tight pair of jeans. These are your deep abdominal muscles working. Contract and hold for 5 seconds. Repeat 15 times.
Ball Balance Knee Lift (Very easy to moderate)
Sit on the top of the ball and slowly raise one foot off of the ground. Eventually balance without using your hands and one knee up as high as it will go. Alternate. Note: If you’re having a tough time getting your balance put the ball on carpet or a mat to provide you with some extra support. If your balance is really compromised.
Abdominal Pull-Ups (Very easy)
Go onto your hands and knees, with a flat tabletop back (so a plate wouldn’t fall off!), you let your tummy drop towards the ground as far as it will go and then you pull your belly button up towards your spine as high as you can go WITHOUT moving your back. It’s a good idea to get someone to watch you do this exercise to make sure it’s your abdominals working, not your back muscles. Note: make sure your neck is in line with your back; do not look up, down or to the side.
Child’s Pose (lower, upper back)
This stretch worked wonders for me! While kneeling open your knees to the sides and sit back, reach your fingers out along the floor as far as they will go, forehead on the floor. Rock side to side if it feels good. Hold the stretch for 30 – 60 seconds and remember to BREATHE!
Since I am a great fan of Yoga, I truly believe that doing the yoga postures correctly can certainly ease backpain. I remember that when by backpain got severe, no matter how much I just wanted to lie down and do nothing, I gathered up all my courage and did some yoga postures that later on, I didn’t regret! Since we’re primarily focusing on backpain, here are all the best yoga poses to reduce the backpain and revitalize your spirits!
The combination of Cat Pose and Cow Pose work well to release pressure on the spine. Get on all fours and open your legs a little wider than hip-distance apart. Arch up into Cat by tucking the chin down to the chest as you curve the back. During your next inhale, ease into the Cow Pose by lifting the chin and the tailbone up to the ceiling. Alternate positions by moving with your breath.
This posture opens the hips and relieves pressure on the lower spine. Draw your legs together at the bottoms of the feet. Place folded blankets or blocks under each knee. If you can, gently hold each ankle. Straighten your back and inhale, letting your shoulders fall from the ears. Exhale deeply. Continue to sit quietly for a few minutes following your natural breath rhythm.
Downward Facing Dog Pose
By elongating the spine in Down Dog, you release tension throughout the back. Start in Mountain Pose, arms at your sides and legs together. On an exhale, fold forward at the waist and walk your hands forward, dropping the chest and head between the upper arms. Lift your tailbone high as you bring your heels closer to the floor. Hold for 20-30 seconds. To come out of the posture, walk your legs forward to meet your arms. Place your hands on your shins and support your rise by moving your hands up the legs until you return to Mountain Pose.
Lie on any one side. Your head should be resting on an arm or on a blanket. Place a body pillow or blanket roll between the thighs. This will provide support to the hips.
Supported Squatting Pose
Step the feet a bit wider than shoulder width apart and squat down with the support of a bolster, blankets or cushions under the pelvis. Make sure you have enough support that the knees, hips, ankles and belly are comfortable. You will feel a stretch in the hips, inner thighs and groins. Apart from relieving the backpain, it is also a great exercise to get you ready for labor.
Water Aerobics For Reducing Backpain
It is also a proven fact that water aerobics do have a very positive effect on many pregnancy discomforts and most primarily, the backpain. It helps you regulate your blood flow and because you’re inside water, your weight is slightly elevated and hence this relaxes the stressed back and spine muscles. However, before you join or intend to join any water related exercise, it is always better to get that friendly nod from your doctor in order to avoid future (and possible) nightmares. Also note that water can get your body tired very fast. You only realize your aches when you’re out of it so be sure to take things slowly and steadily. You simply don’t want to rush and dive and swim like you used to before your pregnancy.
Concentrate on what your body tells you. If you feel dizzy, short of breath, increased heart rate or perhaps pain anywhere around or under your tummy and back, stop immediately. Don’t worry about calling a life guard if need be, since you’re inside water, the life guard will be able to shoulder your weight but be careful when you’re out because that could lead to a life guard (less) swimming pool for a couple of days! Take your weight gain in the most friendly way possible because whether you like it or not, it will happen but the wonderful part is that it is all for your beautiful baby 🙂
Exercises To Avoid
Right, now I know I told you that exercising is important and all but that doesn’t mean you can do all the exercises! No ladies, now that you’re pregnant and have backpain issues, there are some exercises that you should definitely avoid.
Now let’s face it, when you become pregnant your body starts gaining weight and this in turn plays around with your gravity. Now keeping this on your mind, you certainly don’t want to treadmill because it is too easy to get off balance and fall of a treadmill.
The same reason as above ladies, if you fall of a bike you can literally harm your pregnancy and yourself. Moreover, you’d look rather funny riding a bike with a tummy that nearly crushes the handlebars!
No matter how tempting and how soothing it may sound, heated pools and hot tubs can cause your body temperature to rise which can directly cause harm to your unborn child. Careful ladies, this is something you must avoid. Other exercises which make you pant and sweat and make you jealous of other women’s figures and weight are dangerous! Trust me, your weight can play tricky games with your brain and your hormones will certainly be acting rather weird! So do not do anything that makes you feel negative, sweat excessively, pant or short of breath, dizzy and anything else that takes a toll on you.