Exercises for Hip Pain During Pregnancy

One of the less pleasant effects of being pregnant is pain in the hip or pelvis area as your uterus expands and your body releases relaxin, a hormone that will help you push the baby out during the delivery but can make your hips hurt during pregnancy. A few exercises may help relieve the pain you’re feeling and prepare your body for delivery by strengthening your pelvic and lower back muscles. If you have hip pain, make sure you check with your doctor to rule out any serious conditions.


Cat/Cow

Get onto your hands and knees. Your arms and hands should be just underneath your shoulders. Your knees should be under your hips and spaced about hip-width apart. Keep your back flat to start. As you inhale, curl your spine upward, so that your back arches. Tuck your head and chin in as you arch your back. Your hips should tilt in. Exhale as you straighten out. Repeat five times. As your pregnancy progresses, you may want to perform this exercise standing against a wall instead of on your hands and knees. Start with your spine in a slightly curved, relaxed position. Inhale and push your spine against the wall by tilting your pelvis outward.

Flexor Stretch

Keep pain at bay and your hips limber by stretching the flexor muscles. Stand at the foot of a flight of stairs. Place your right foot on the first or second step up, making sure you can reach the step without straining. Bend the knee. Hold on to the railing for balance. Keep the left leg and your back straight as you lean into the bent leg. Hold for a few seconds, then switch sides. Repeat five times on each side.

Butterfly Stretch

Sit on the floor and place the heels of your feet together, bending your knees so that your legs resemble the wings of a butterfly. If you have a lot of tightness in your hips or thigh muscles, try sitting on a small pillow. Gently press down on your knees with your forearms, holding your feet together with your hands. Hold the position for 10 to 20 seconds.

Swimming

Swimming while pregnant is a ideal way to get aerobic exercise without the strain that walking or running can place on your hips and back and without the balance issues caused by cycling. Try the breaststroke, which doesn’t force you to rotate your torso and strengthens your pelvic muscles, according to BabyCenter. In the water, push your arms in front of you, with the hands together. Separate your hands, pushing your arms back toward your sides, propelling yourself forward. Gently kick with your legs, keeping your back straight. Keep an easy pace as you swim laps in the pool.

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