4 stretching exercises to do during pregnancy

What the body can do in nine short months is nothing short of miraculous. In 39 weeks, a new human is created in full! As this beautiful process progresses, the body undergoes major changes that sometimes cause discomfort, especially in the hips, pelvis, back, piriformis and sciatic nerve. Fortunately, several techniques exist to relieve undue stress around these sensitive areas while waiting for the baby to come.

Today we share some well-known exercises that can be practiced throughout the pregnancy. That being said, you must never forget the golden rule: Listen to the limits of your body. Every woman’s pregnancy is unique, so there is no universal prescription possible. The important part is to find the routine that suits you best.

Stretch the sciatic nerve, the piriformis and the lower back

Yoga is a common practice during pregnancy. In addition to the spiritual and physical benefits that you will experience from this type of exercise, some positions are very beneficial to pregnant women. For instance, the « cat-cow » position will help you gently stretch your spine and relieve sciatic tension. To do it, you need to put your hands and knees on the ground and arc your spine inwards and outwards while inhaling deeply and exhaling slowly.

Another way to relieve this area of the body is by lying on your back with your knees bent while your feet are on the floor. Bring your right ankle to your left thigh, wrap your hands around your left leg and pull it gently. You will feel a stretch from the side of your thigh all the way up to your glutes and lower back. Repeat on the other side. This might not be ideal for the last months of your pregnancy. Again, listen to your body!

Stretch the posterior chain

This posture allows you to stretch the posterior chain that extends from the back of your legs to your lower back. Along a wall, lie on a yoga mat or surface that is neither too soft nor too hard. Don’t forget to put a pillow behind your head for more comfort. Stretch your legs straight up on the wall by unfolding your knees without hyperextending. Then, using a yoga belt or elastic, gently pull your feet toward you. Hold the stretch for 30 to 45 seconds while taking deep breaths.

Stretch your back

For this one, an exercise ball is necessary. Place it along the wall and lean on it. Once you have found your balance, roll the ball up and down with your back very slowly. You can go from an upright position to a squat position if you feel comfortable. Be careful not to make sudden movements that could make you lose your balance.

If the squat position is not for you, it is also possible to stretch your legs and lower back while lying on your back and placing your calves on the ball to create a 90 degrees angle. Then, move the ball forward and backward using your abs and calves.

Useful accessories that will make you feel great

If you regularly practice a series of floor stretches or pre-natal yoga postures, a yoga mat can be an investment that will make your life a lot easier. The same goes for exercise balls, rollers and massage balls that gently stretch and relieve sensitive areas. Since they are available in different sizes and shapes, don’t hesitate to consult our in-store experts. No doubt they will help you find the accessories that best suit your needs. Plus, all of these purchases will be useful post-birth and will encourage you to keep stretching all year long, pregnant or not!