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Photo of a pregnant woman in athletic clothes stretching on the floor with a laptop in front of her

4 Exercises for a Pain-Free Second Trimester

Childbirth is a miraculous event. From conception through delivery, the body does remarkable things to provide a safe environment in which the baby can grow and develop.

During that same time, the combination of hormonal and postural changes can wreak havoc on a woman's body if she's not prepared for it. Most of the women we work with start to experience difficulties in their second trimester as the baby starts to grow and their body begins changing.

My wife and I have three boys, and each of my wife's pregnancies got progressively better from a pain standpoint. The reason for improvement was the fact that she was much more diligent with her Egoscue Method menus with each pregnancy. She really struggled with sciatica during her first pregnancy, and she was determined to not let that happen again with the next two.

I'm sure some of you can relate. The key to sciatica pain lies in maintaining balance and neutrality in your pelvis, but that can be extremely tough while pregnant, especially if your body didn't start that way. Your body most likely wasn't in balance when you got pregnant, and the bodily changes (and growing baby) experienced throughout the gestation period only add fuel to the fire.

If you are pregnant and close to one of our clinics, I recommend contacting them today to get an evaluation in-person or via webcam. Your body will thank you for it.

Another great resource is Pain Free for Women. It has an incredible amount of information, and not just for those who are pregnant.

Additionally, try these four simple exercises designed to restore proper function to your hips and balance out your body. Make sure you do them in order, once a day.

Static Extension Position

Photo of a man in a static extension pose

  1. Start on your hands and knees, hands directly below your shoulders and knees under your hips. Your fingers should point straight ahead. Keep your arms straight, elbows locked.
  2. Walk your hands 4 to 6 inches forward, then move your upper body forward so that your shoulders are again above your wrists but now your hips are forward of your knees by 4 to 6 inches.
  3. Relax your low back, allowing it to arch with the movement coming from the tilt of your pelvis.
  4. Collapse your shoulder blades together and drop your head down. Your shoulders should be directly above your wrists. If your low back begins to hurt, back your hips up toward your knees; this will make the exercise a bit easier.
  5. Hold for 2 minutes.

 

Downward Dog

A photo of a woman in Downward Dog pose

  1. Start on your hands and knees, hands directly below your shoulders and knees under your hips.
  2. Tuck your toes under and lift your knees off the floor into a piked position.
  3. Try to place a small arch in your lower back.
  4. Keep your elbows straight; more weight should be on your thumbs and index fingers. Keep your thighs tight and then let your heels drop toward the floor.
  5. Hold for 1 minute.

 

Sitting Abductor Presses

Photo of a man performing sitting abductor presses

  1. Sit in the middle of a chair with your feet pointed straight ahead and 4 to 6 inches apart.
  2. Place a strap around your knees.
  3. Roll your pelvis forward to place a small arch in your low back.
  4. Hold this position as you press outward against the strap and then release.
  5. Do 3 sets of 20 reps.

 

Sitting Knee Pillow Squeezes

Photo of a woman doing sitting knee pillow squeezes

  1. Sit in the middle of a chair with your feet pointed straight ahead and 4 to 6 inches apart.
  2. Place a pillow between your knees.
  3. Roll your hips forward to place an arch in your low back and hold this position throughout the E-cise.
  4. Squeeze and release the pillow with your knees.
  5. Do 3 sets of 20 reps.