These prenatal exercises on our lifestyle blog today are all created by Jill of Exhale PT in order to keep moms-to-be strong and flexible! All her moves are designed especially for pregnant women and safe for mom and baby! This foam roller series only requires something to lean on so you can bust out these exercises in your home or on your walk through the park!
What you will need:
A foam roll which can be purchased on Amazon.com. There are many different types of foam rollers. My favorite is the silver or grey roll as it is more sturdy and lasts longer than some of the other options.
Why do this exercise?
It is important to stay strong, yet flexible during pregnancy. These exercises help to keep your inner thighs, hamstrings and hip flexors flexible, which in turn, helps to combat lower back and hip pain. Keeping these muscles flexible will also make your delivery as fast and easy as possible as they help to keep your pelvis in proper alignment.
How often should you do this exercise?
These exercises can be done 1-2 times per day. The “plié squat” can be done with 2 sets of 10 repetitions. The “forward fold” and “kneeling stretch” can be held for at least 30 seconds and repeated 3-5 times as they are a stretch.
What do I do?
“Plie Squat”: start by standing with your feet a little wider than hips distance apart, and your toes turned out like a ballerina. Your hands can rest on the foam roller or bench in front of you. Slowly bend your knees as your lower into a deep squat and then gently press back up. Be mindful of your knees and keep them tracking over your first and second toes as you lower down.
“Forward Fold”: start by standing with your feet a little wider than hips distance apart and your toes facing forward. Your hands can rest on the foam roll or bench in front of you. Slowly begin to fold forward at your hips as you begin to feel a stretch down the backs of your legs. Allow your chest to gently reach towards the floor only going as far as you feel comfortable. Once you feel a comfortable stretch on the back of your legs, hold for at least 30 seconds. Return to your starting position, and repeat the stretch 3-4 more times.
“Kneeling Stretch”: Come down to kneeling on one knee with the opposite foot planted if doing this inside, or use a bench and raise one foot onto the bench with one planted on the grouns. Hands can rest gently in front of you. Pull your abdominals in and tuck your tailbone under as you gently lean into the stretch. The stretch should be felt on the front of the hip and thigh of the leg that you are kneeling on. Once you feel a comfortable stretch, hold for at least 30 seconds. Slowly return to your starting position and repeat the stretch 3-4 more times.