Back pain is something that a lot of us experience, me included, and it can be the worst. But don’t worry! There are some things we can do (besides go to see an osteopath), to help strengthen the back and reduce the likelihood of pain.
- Wall Squats *Pregnancy Safe*
Stand against a wall and squat down so your back is flat against it, but your legs are bent into a squat. Look at your knees and ankles, make sure your knees are either directly above or slightly behind your ankles to reduce the likelihood of strain on your knees. Try to hold for 30 seconds.
If you would like to challenge yourself further, you can extend and lift one leg to hold in front of you during the wall squat.
- Arm and Leg Raises *Pregnancy Safe*
These will work your back and bum. Make sure your spine is kept straight, slowly lift one arm and the opposite leg to extend them both. If you can, try to get your knee to touch your elbow by doing a little crunch in the middle (shown below). Keep alternating sides to ensure both sides are worked equally. If you don’t trust your balance, you can do just one arm or one leg at a time. Aim for 10 reps each side.
- Glute bridges/ Hip raises *Pregnancy Safe*
Lie on your back, bring your feet close to your bum, keep your hands by your sides. Focus on your core, lift up your hips, and squeeze your glutes with your at the top and come back down. Try for 10 reps.
- Reverse Curl ups *Pregnancy Safe*
Lie on your back, bend your knees and bring them in towards your chest. Focus on your core, bring your knees to your chest and out again as many times as you can, but try and aim for 12 reps to begin with.
- Oblique rotations *Pregnancy Safe*
Lie on your back, bend your knees and raise them up to be close to your chest. Tighten your core and move your legs to one side, then to the middle, then to the other side. Hold these for 2 seconds on each side per rep. Try for 10 reps, take it as slow as you need to.
- *Bonus* Cat/ Cow stretches *Pregnancy Safe*
Go on your hands and knees, exhale as you round your back and pull your belly in for cat pose (top picture). Inhale as you lower your back, raise your head and stick your butt out for cow pose (bottom picture). These stretches will work on your back, torso, neck and abs. If you need to modify because of wrist pain, go on to your forearms or pop a pillow/ blanket under your wrists. If your knees hurt, again, pop a pillow or blanket under them to make these poses more comfortable.
For each of these exercises, only do as many reps as you are comfortable with. If you feel those muscles ache the next day, that’s good! It means they are working your muscles! Each time you do these exercises try and increase your reps to get stronger and challenge yourself.
I hope you enjoy these exercises and stretches, stick with them to keep getting stronger!
Thanks for reading,