Pregnancy Stretches for Lower Back Pain and Leg Cramping Relief

By Michelle Ishio (Resident Post Pregnancy Rehab Specialist and Fitness Expert)


Pregnancy becomes more harsh on joints and ligaments because of hormones loosening those areas, and add to that, the added weight and balance shifts that your body goes through through-out the pregnancy. All of the just mentioned creates back pain and leg pains for Moms, during pregnancy, and even after pregnancy.

Although physical symptoms and triggers varies from mother to mother and pregnancy by pregnancy, your back is usually one of the major areas where you’ll notice aches eventually.

Regular stretching and exercise help offset the effects of pregnancy back and leg pain, and postpartum back and leg pains. Stretching and exercise helps by improving flexibility and range of motion, and strengthening the muscles that will help maintain a strong structure for you bones, ligaments, etc.

Try these fan favorites before going to bed to promote relaxation and re-setting your body after a full day, as well, do them for a few minutes in the morning soon after waking up to get any kinks out of your body from a night's sleep.

Lower Back and Leg Stretch # 1


* Find a low base to lift your heel up to, (it can be a chair seat, sofa arm, bed, and if you are pretty flexible, it can be the backing of a chair). If you are at all worried about your flexibility, then you can have a chair next to you for you to hold onto as you lift your heel up into your chosen base.

* Stand with your feet hip-distance apart, keep your knees relaxed, and both feet facing the stretching base.
Tip: The distance that you stand from the stretching base would be determined by the length of you leg. You want to be far enough away that you can have a relaxed, fully extended leg, and with you heel comfortably placed on the stretching base. Be sure that your heel is what is placed on the stretching base, not any higher on your leg, (i.e. tendon behind your ankle, your calf, etc).

* Lift one heel up onto your stretching base.
Tip: If you feel that you must rotate the foot that is on the ground to stay comfortable, that means that the stretching base that you have chosen is too high and find something lower to put your heel up on.


* Now take the foot that is on the ground and rotate it outwards so that your foot is parallel with the stretching base.

* Take your pelvis and push it slightly forward.

* Next, take the hand that is on the same side as the foot that is on the ground and stretch it towards the ceiling and over towards your foot.
Tip: Remember, only push your pelvis slightly forward within your comfort level, as well, only lift your arm up and over within your comfort level as well.


* Hold for approximately 30 - 40 sec, (more is okay if your feel you need it). Repeat on other side.

Lower Back and Leg Stretch # 2

The next stretch starts out exactly as the one we just did.

* Use the same stretching base that you choose for stretch you just did.

* Stand with your feet hip-distance apart, keep your knees relaxed, and both feet facing the stretching base.
Tip: Remember, the distance that you stand from the stretching base would be determined by the length of you leg. You want to be far enough away that you can have a relaxed, fully extended leg, and with you heel comfortably placed on the stretching base. Be sure that your heel is what is placed on the stretching base, not any higher on your leg, (i.e. tendon behind your ankle, your calf, etc).

* As with the last stretch, lift one heel up onto the stretching base and take the foot that is on the ground and rotate it outwards so that you foot is parallel with the stretching base.

* This time, take your pelvis/butt and push it back as far as you can comfortably go, (it will feel like you are sticking your pelvis/butt in the air behind you). As your pelvis/butt starts sticking out backwards, you should be compensating for that movement by leaning you upper body forward so that there is space below where the belly is leaning towards.

* This time, take both hands and gently place it on your thigh that is on the stretching base, and gently extend your body as you gently lean forward.
Tip: With your pelvis/butt sticking out backwards, your body should be tilted so that your belly will have open space below it to move towards.
Tip: Remember, only push your pelvis/butt backwards within your comfort level, as well, only lean forward with you upper body within your comfort level as well.

* Hold for approximately 30 - 40 sec, (more is okay if your feel you need it). Repeat on other side.

On a final note: This stretch is not only great during pregnancy, but they should also be a part of your general stretching routine; helping improve/maintain relaxation, circulation, flexibility, and keeping general aches and pains away.


 

www.PostPregnancyRehab.com

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