Pregnancy is a beautiful phase in any woman’s life as you will be bringing a baby into the world. With this beauty are the many physical and hormonal changes taking place in the body throughout the 9 months of pregnancy, primarily your growing tummy. You thus need to work on strengthening your glutes and hamstrings to provide your lower back support.
As you progress with your pregnancy, your tummy starts growing bigger and bigger to give an arch through your back. An arch in your back compresses the disc and spinal vertebrate which can create nerve pain in severe cases.
However, if you strengthen your glutes and hamstrings, it helps get your posture back into alignment so that you don’t end up with a prominent arch through your back. Here are some exercises you can perform to strengthen your hamstrings when pregnant.
Start early in pregnancy
In this first exercise, you need to come to the 4 point kneeling position with your knees under your hips and elbows under your shoulders. Now bring one leg up behind you while trying not to arch your lower back.
Concentrate and try to keep your back as flat as you can. Aim at doing 30 slow and then 30 pulses while breathing in, while lowering, and then breathing out. This exercise also works on your upper back a bit and helps stabilize your shoulders as you need to keep your shoulders away from your ears without lifting them.
You shouldn’t have any problems doing this exercise if you start early in your pregnancy. However, if you are already in the 30th week, or third trimester of your pregnancy and are just starting the exercise, make sure you feel no pain in your pubic bone while exercising. The exercise may be a bit straining for people who haven’t been strengthening hamstrings through the 1st and 2nd trimesters.
Practice makes perfect
For the second exercise, you need to start while sitting on the floor with your legs comfortably separated and extended, and hands stretched forward while arms are at shoulder level. Now slowly flex forward from the hips with your arms parallel to the floor and stretched forward, but not towards your toes.
While this may feel uncomfortable at first, the discomfort eases with practice. Make sure you don’t make any bouncy or jerky movements. Just gently stretch forward, hold to the count of four, and slow release to the starting position.
Exercise makes carrying the excess weight so much easier
These easy exercises help a lot during pregnancy as stretching helps align and strengthen your muscles, which in turn eases the strains and stress on joints during pregnancy. It also helps release any tension built up in the back, while alleviating pain in hamstring muscles so that you have minimal lower back issues during your pregnancy.
According to Susan Warchaizer, M.D. and an obstetrician/gynecologist at Boston Medical Center, Massachusetts “Pregnant women are not aligned the same way they were before pregnancy. Limbering up and loosening muscles is thus useful as it makes carrying the excess burden you don’t usually carry so much easier.”
Moreover, she adds that your muscles can handle the excess weight much more comfortably and safely when muscles are relaxed and flexible. This gives all the more reason and proof to maintain a healthy exercise regimen to strengthen your hamstrings during pregnancy!
For a quick peek, here are some great exercises to help you tone up that stomach after you give birth. You’re still going to need to have a strong core to carry and show off your new one, so start easy and work your way into these!