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5 Exercises to Reduce Pain During Pregnancy

August 6, 2019

It can be difficult to sit back and watch your wife go through the different aches and pains of pregnancy and feel like there is no way to help alleviate the pain. As I've watched my wife go through the various stages of pregnancy, we have practiced stretching techniques that not only help her get through her day-to-day activities but also helped get her as much sleep as possible. Although you can not take away all the pain, these low-impact exercises can reduce pain in the lower back, hips, and pelvis. 


Here are 5 exercises that can help!

1. Swimming

Swimming is a great form of exercise during pregnancy. Swimming allows you to stay active without worrying about the added stress to your joints. Whether you decide to swim laps or simply stretch and float in the pool, swimming can give you tons of relief during pregnancy. 


2. Bird Dogs

Bird dogs are a great exercise for everyone pregnant or not. Bird dogs are a great way of strengthening our abdominals and deep spinal muscles. While performing bird dogs, maintain a neutral spine and extend one arm and the opposite leg.

Try holding the exercise for 30-60 seconds in 2-3 sets. 



3. Butterfly Stretch

Most women experience some pain in their pelvis during pregnancy. A butterfly stretch is a great way to stretch the adductor muscles on the inner thigh which connect to the pelvis.

Try holding the exercise for 30-60 seconds in 2-3 sets. 






4. Modified Childs Pose

Childs pose is a great stretch for the low back but can be challenging to perform late in pregnancy. Modifying the position to standing allows you to get a good stretch in the low back without any restrictions. 

Try holding this position for 30-60 seconds in 2-3 sets. 

Tip: Reach both arms to one side to increase the stretch on either side of the spine. Perform one set on each side and one set in the middle. 



5. Squats

Like most of these exercises, squats can be a great exercise for almost everyone. The squat form is a widely debated subject among physical therapy and other exercise professions. When squatting while pregnant it is important to remember a few things. First, use a wide base of support by spreading your feet slightly further than shoulder-width apart. Second, maintain a neutral spine and tight core to avoid increased stress to your low back. It is important to squat in a range where you can feel a stretch/muscle burn in your legs without increased stress to the low back. 

Try performing 3 sets of 12 reps. 





Over the past 9 months of my wife's pregnancy, I truly have a new appreciation for how difficult pregnancy is. Everyone's experience is different and if you are experiencing pain and limitations with your daily life, physical therapists are uniquely qualified to help. 

To make an appointment, request one online or call one of our convenient locations


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Can these be done throughout the pregnancy?

Andrew Grissom, PT, DPT

Hello Jane, Thank you so much for your interest in the blog! I would love talk more with you. Feel free to call the clinic at 828 484 4200. Look forward to hearing from you!

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