The following 3 exercises and 3 stretches would be a perfect addition to any pregnancy exercise program. It’s very important during any phase of your pregnancy that we aim to keep you mobile and strong. The 2 key common areas of pain during each phase of pregnancy are:

1) Head/Neck + Shoulders

A slight increase in your weight especially your breast can lead to a more “rounded” posture which can lead to head, neck and shoulder pain.  By focusing on stretching out the neck and chest and improving the strength of your back can really alleviate pain and also can reduce that “rounded” posture.

2) Hips and Lower Back

 With each new phase of pregnancy you and your baby will be growing.  This growth can place a large amount of stress on your hips and pelvis.  Stretching out your hips and strengthen your glutes can real help take pressure of your back as well as focusing on your core strength and coordination.

Follow this daily plan to improve your posture, reduce pain and to improve your strength.

Stretches

 1) Neck Stretch

  • Start seated on a chair with perfect posture: Chest up, shoulders back.
  • Gently hold onto the side of the chair with one hand to anchor the shoulder.
  • Look down slightly to the opposite direction to anchored hand, the other hand is gently placed on the top of the head adding very slight pressure.
  • A stretch should be felt on the back of the neck to the shoulder.

*Hold the stretch for 15-30seconds each side + 2 sets each side

2) Door Frame Chest Stretch

  • Stand in the middle of a doorway with one foot in front of the other.
  • Place one forearm on side of the door way, bending your elbow to a ninety degree angle.
  • Exhale and begin shift your weight slightly to your front leg, leaning your body forward, as it’s moving through the doorway. Press into your forearm and hands so you feel the stretch across your chest muscles and front of your shoulder.

*Hold the stretch for 15-30seconds each side + 2 sets each side

3) Kneeling hip flexor

  • Start off in a kneeling position, bring the right foot forward making sure that the right knee is directly over the right ankle and the right hip is bent to about 90 degrees.
  • Make sure you engage your abdominals and pull your shoulders blades down and back without arching your back.
  • Gently Lean forward into your right hip while keeping your left knee pressed into the ground. Do not allow your pelvis to tip forward or your back to arch.

*Hold the stretch for 15-30seconds each side + 2 sets each side

Exercises

1) Glute Wall angels

  • Lie on your side so that you are gently resting against the wall – back of head, spine and bum touching.  Head should be resting on a pillow to stay in correct alignment.
  • Bend your knees in towards your chest so that the sole of your feet are resting against the wall

(PHOTO – GLUTE START)

  • Engage your core and open your upper leg, maintaining the 90 degree flex, and then make full extension hold for 3 sec and then return to the start position.

(PHOTO – GLUTE FINISH)

*Do 12-15 each leg + 2 sets

2) HORSE STANCE

  • Start off on all 4’s with body in correct alignment

(PHOTO – HORSE STANCE START)

  • Engage the core and lift one arm out in front to 45deg and opposite leg straight back and hold for 2sec.

(PHOTO – HORSE STANCE FINISH)

  • Return back to the start position.
  • The back should remain straight at all times and the body still.

*Do 6-8 each side + 2 sets

3) Standing row

*Use a light dumbbell or even a water bottle for weight.

  • Start off standing with feet shoulder width apart in front of a bench or table and hinge from the hips so that the back is straight.

(PHOTO – ROW START PHOTO)

  • One arm should be slightly outstretched for balance and the other holding the weight.
  • Activate the core and slowly row the arm up, elbow  by your side focusing on using your back not your biceps and no shrugging of the neck.

(PHOTO – ROW FINISH PHOTO)

*Do 12-15 each side + 2 sets

The total amount of time for this stretching program is about 6min and 8min for the exercises, if you feel that you need to hold the stretches longer then do so.  Stretching and the exercises can be done at any point of the day as long as it gets done.

Dalton Wong

Twentytwotraining.com

Dalton has a new book on pre order and we can’t wait to get our hands on it:

http://www.amazon.co.uk/Feelgood-Plan-Happier-Healthier-Slimmer/dp/1785031805/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1445617769&sr=8-1&keywords=feelgood+plan+dalton+wong

ALWAYS SEEK THE ADVICE OF YOUR PHYSICIAN OR OTHER QUALIFIED HEALTHCARE PROVIDER REGARDING ANY MEDICAL CONDITION AND BEFORE STARTING ANY NEW DIET OR EXERCISE REGIME.