“Carrying extra weight puts extra strain on our back muscles, especially considering that much of this extra weight is transferred to the front. [of the] “explains Antonietta Vicario, a certified yoga and Pilates instructor and vice president of talent and training at P.volve, a method of functional fitness inspired by physiotherapy for women. “During pregnancy, it is common for there to be more arching in the lower back, called lordosis, which is caused by the shift of the center of gravity. “The extra weight and extra compression of the lord curve is a recipe for lower back pain.”
Fortunately, stretching can be a safe, natural, and effective way to relieve this discomfort. Vicario has guided us through four of the most effective moves that are safe for each trimester of pregnancy.
This stretch helps to release tension in the lower back because it provides the opposite movement of lordosis, the typical back oscillation posture that often occurs during pregnancy (especially as the baby gets older). This arch of the lower spine could put extra pressure and tension on the vertebrae, Vicario notes. He adds that stretching the cat “is also a great move to open between the shoulders, another common area of tension.”
- Get down on your hands and knees in a table position with your back flat and your core tied.
- Exhale and contract through your abs as you round the top of your spine to the ceiling, dropping your head and tail toward the floor.
- Continue for as many repetitions and at a speed that works best to relieve the tightness in your lower back.
Wide child pose
“A wide childish posture lengthens the back chain of the body to stretch the lower back while at the same time being incredibly relaxing,” says Vicario. He suggests closing your eyes and breathing in your lower back to increase the benefit of this stretch. “Slow, deep breathing stimulates your parasympathetic nervous system, the ‘relaxation and digestion response’, which can reduce stress or cortisol in the body,” he explains.
- Kneel with your big toes together, knees wide.
- Sit comfortably on your heels and rest your chest and forehead on the floor or a pillow in front of you. Your arms should be outstretched in front of you as far as they can go. If your growing belly blocks you, spread your knees wider to make room.
- Focus on deep breathing, aiming to exhale more than you inhale, something that stimulates the pneumogastric nerve: Inhale for four to six measurements and exhale for six to eight measurements.
“The lordic curve created by a growing abdomen can also strain and shorten the muscles of the hip flexors,” says Vicario, who notes that opening the front of the hips with this stretch can also relieve pain. in the middle.
- Drop down on a kneeling forward with your knees bent at 90-degree angles, your torso upright, and your core bent.
- Squeeze the glutes on the back leg and move your pelvis forward while reaching above the head. One tip Vicario shares for this stretch is to focus on creating space in the front of your hip and along your lower back to reduce any tension or tightness in these areas.
- Repeat eight to 10 slow repetitions and then switch sides.
Low back pain during pregnancy can also be the result of tightness in the hips and this yoga posture can help stretch the muscles in this area. According to Vicario, “The extra weight of the baby requires our buttocks to do a lot more work for movement, so stretching the buttock muscles can help relieve the tenderness of the lower back.”
- Sit on the floor with one leg folded as close as possible to a 90-degree angle in front of your body (somewhat like a cross-legged posture) and stretch the other leg straight behind you. Make sure your pelvis is both grounded and square, which may mean you have to stack pillows or towels under one hip.
- Fold your body forward until you feel a comfortable stretch on the side of your buttocks. Inhale and exhale slowly for at least 20 to 45 seconds to allow the muscles to release.
- Change legs and repeat.
Remember to breathe
With all these stretches, Vicario says slow, deep breathing is paramount. “One of our biggest experts at P.volve is that when you move throughout your pregnancy, make sure you breathe to create stability,” she explains. We always recommend that you “blow before you leave”, as this exhalation creates muscle support at a time when you may feel more unstable in movement due to shifting to someone’s center of gravity.
Vicario also notes that deep breathing works to calm and restore the body. “Sometimes, our stress is transferred to a tightness in the body, so giving priority to breathing in a lower back stretch, you do two for one,” says Vicario. “While this period of life is incredibly exciting, it can also be busy and sometimes stressful, especially as the due date approaches.”
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