Monday, 26 December 2011

Exercises for Pregnant Women

Exercises for Pregnant Women
Engaging in physical activity while pregnant helps minimize aches and pains, relieve stress and may help you sleep better at night. Strength training exercises offer a variety of benefits during pregnancy, delivery and as you recover. Talk to your obstetrician or midwife about what types of exercises are best for you. Several lower body exercises should be avoided during pregnancy to prevent strain, pressure or possible injury.

Squats during labor help open your pelvis and make room for your baby, according to the Mayo Clinic. Stand with your feet shoulder-width apart. If balancing is difficult, hold on to a chair or place a fitness ball between your back and a wall. Keep your weight in your heels and squat until your thighs are parallel with the ground, then straighten your legs. Try not to bend your knees over your toes, which can cause knee problems. Perform 10 to 15 repetitions.

Leg Lifts

Leg lifts help strengthen your lower back and abdominal muscles, as well as your gluteal muscles. Start with your hands and knees on the floor or a mat. Keep your hands in line with your shoulders and your arms straight, making sure your head and neck stay in neutral alignment. Slowly lift your right knee and extend your leg behind you until it is parallel with the floor. Bring your knee back to the ground and repeat on your left side. Perform 10 repetitions on each side.

Leg Extensions

Leg extensions target the quadriceps using a resistance machine. Sit on the machine with your back touching the back support. Place your lower legs under the padded lever and choose the appropriate weight. Grab the handles at your sides for support and extend your legs until both are straight. Slowly return to start position. Do 10 repetitions.

Pelvic Lift

A pelvic lift is a yoga exercise that helps reduce pressure or strain on your lower back while strengthening the uterus, according to Childbirth Solutions. Start on your hands and knees with your neck in neutral alignment. Take a deep breath in, then exhale and arch your back upward. As you inhale, arch your back downward, curving your spine and lower back. Repeat 5 to 10 times.


Avoid exercises that involve lying in prone position during the second and third trimesters, which reduces the amount of blood flow to your uterus, according to the American Pregnancy Association. Drink plenty of water while exercising and take breaks as often as necessary.


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