Exercises during pregnancy are designed to improve the muscle tone of specific in this case, those areas involved in childbirth—and to relieve tension. Doing all of the following exercises slowly and in jerky movements can overstretch tendons and ligaments, and possibly even joints. In the beginning, do each exercise only two to three times per session. Increase the number of repetitions (reps) gradually until the recommended amount. For maximum benefit, exercise twice Make sure you continue to breathe normally as you exercise.
Benefits: Relieves tension in the shoulders, strengthens the upper back and helps indigestion.
Directions: Inhale slowly while raising both your arms over your head. Then exhale, slowly lower both of your arms – first straight out in front of you, then down by your sites, and finally behind your back. Repeat five times.
Caution: Do not arch your back while doing this exercise. Raising your arms above your head will not harm the baby, as an old tale suggests. Do this exercise whenever you feel tension in your upper body or have indigestion.
Benefit: Helps relieve upper backache caused by poor posture or breasts.
Directions: Place your fingertips on your shoulders and make backward circles with your elbows. Then reverse the direction and make forward circles.
Frequency: 10 reps per exercise session. Do this exercise if ever you have an upper backache.
Benefits: May help decrease leg cramps and improve circulation.
Directions: Stand facing a wall or your partner with one leg well forward the foot flat on the floor (lunge position). Stretch the other leg behind with the knee straight and the foot flat on the floor. Press your hands against the wall or your partner’s hands. Lunge forward, bending from the knee, stretching the other calf. Stretch gradually for 15 to 20 seconds. Repeat with the other leg forward.
Frequency: 3 to 5 reps per exercise session.
Benefits: Improves posture, Relieves back discomfort and pelvic congestion, and abdominal made tone.
Directions: This exercise can be performed in several positions. Among them are the following:
Kneel on the floor on your hands and knees. Tuck in your bottom, pull up your abdomen, and press your spine up at the lower back; do not hump your back. Hold this position for a few seconds, to the starting position. Repeat the exercise using a constant view and a rocking motion. Stand erect in front of a mirror and check your posture from the side. With your hand on your pubic rotate your pelvis forward, tucking in your bottom the other at the small of your back, rotate your pelvis forward, tucking in your bottom. Relax and repeat, using a constant rhythm and a rocking motion.
Benefits: Stretches the ligaments and muscles on the insides of the thighs and their elasticity.
Directions: Sit on the floor with your legs in front of you and the soles of your feet together and pulled toward your body. Using only the muscles of loss, press your knees downward. You will feel your inner thigh muscles gently.
Caution: Do not bounce your knees. Discontinue the exercise if you feel pain your pubic bone, which may indicate some separation at the joints. Do this exercise after birth until the perineum has healed.
Preparing the ligaments and muscles on the insides of the thighs provides comfort during the birth process. Practicing the exercise also helps you relax and feel at ease in this position while giving birth.
Frequency: 10 reps per exercise session.
Isometric Tailor Press
Benefits: Strengthens the inner thigh muscles and strengthens the pectorales which support the breasts.
Directions: Sit on the floor with your legs in front of you and the soles of feet pressed together and pulled toward your body. Cup your hands around the outsides of your knees and try to pull your knees up with your hands by pushing them down with your leg muscles. Hold for a count of 5. Now put your hands on top of your knees and try to press your knees down with hands while pulling them up with your leg muscles. Hold for another 5 seconds. There should be no movement in either of these positions, just static counter pressure.
Cautions: Do not bounce your knees. Discontinue the exercise if you feel around your pubic bone, which may indicate some separation at the joints not do this exercise after birth until the perineum has healed.
Frequency: 5 reps per exercise session.
Benefits: Stretches the ligaments and muscles on insides of the thighs, increases their elastic, and stretches the lower back and calf muscles.
Directions: Sit on the floor with your legs stretched in front of you and angled apart. Lean forward and reach each hand to its corresponding ankle, right hand to right ankle and left hand to left ankle, or slide both hands down the same leg until you reach the toes, then repeat with the other leg.
Cautions: Discontinue the exercise if you feel pain around your pubic bone, which may indicate some ration at the joints. Do not do this exercise until the perineum has healed.
Frequency: 10 reps per exercise session.