What are the best stretches to do when pregnant?

Regardless of whether or not you are pregnant, including regular exercise and physical activity in your day-to-day is beneficial to your overall health and wellbeing. 

The ability to stretch while pregnant varies greatly between individuals. Some people, who didn’t stretch regularly before pregnancy, may at first find it difficult. Others, such as those who exercised regularly prior to pregnancy, may find they can still do more complicated stretches and movements with ease. All individuals, including pregnant women, should remember not to overdo any type of stretching and only stretch within comfortable limits. 

Many guidelines, including the Danish Department of Health, state the importance of general physical activity, as it can help to minimise the risk of problems during labour, and can make the body more resilient. 

Stretching can definitely be a part of the activity you partake in during your pregnancy. However, while pregnant, you should not increase your activity levels greatly, nor perform exercises or workouts at higher intensity levels. 

Managing the load of any type of exercise is important while pregnant. This means you need to listen to your body and keep your exercise time and intensity limited to a reasonable amount. Here are some gentle stretches and strengthening exercises that are suitable for pregnant women:

  • Birddog: to strengthen your lower back
  • Cat-camel: an active stretch which aims to keep your spine mobile 
  • Side-lying twist stretch: activates your core while working on the mobility of your spine
Andreas Hessner
andreas@reachactive.co

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