Five low intensity exercises to help during pregnancy

Easy to learn, low intensity exercises to help you maintain fitness while pregnant

In collaboration with Dr Carlos Olson from Wellness Osteo Richmond & Carlton.

When you're pregnant you're not expected to be training for a marathon or breaking records on the weights bench. Your primary focus will nurturing and growing the precious, tiny little human inside of you!

So while you won't be pushing yourself to the limits; moderate aerobic and light strengthening work such as brisk walking, swimming or yoga is fantastic way to burn off excess energy, maintain a healthy metabolism and will go a long way to improving your much needed pregnancy sleep!

We've sat down with Osteopath Dr Carlos Olson from Wellness Osteo Richmond & Carlton and asked for five low intensity exercises to help during pregnancy.

Try out a regular routine with these five exercises:

The Cat/Cow:

  1. Start on your hands and knees, with your hands under your shoulders, and knees under your hips.
  2. Start by breathing out and allowing your stomach to slowly drop down, lifting your head up and pushing your tailbone out.
  3. Hold this position for 2 seconds
  4. Next, breathe in and arch your back up by tucking your head and tail bone in, and pulling your belly button in towards your spine.
  5. Hold this position, and then repeat for 10 reps.

    Woman Performing Cat/Cow Stretch

Thread The Needle:

  1. Start on your hands and knees. Your hands should be under your shoulders and your hips over your knees.
  2. Take one hand off the floor and reach in and through between your other hand and leg on that side.
  3. Allow your shoulder and head to follow, moving down towards the floor as your hand reaches through.
  4. Allow your back to twist. You should feel a stretch down your side, your shoulder blade and neck.
  5. Hold and then relax and repeat for 5 reps each side.

Woman Demonstrating How To Perform Thread The Needle Stretch

Seated Piriformis Stretch:

  1. Start in a seated position.
  2. Cross one of your ankles onto the opposite knee.
  3. Apply gentle pressure to the knee as you lean forward, increasing the depth of the stretch.
  4. Hold this position for 10 seconds and relax.
  5. Repeat 3 times each leg.

Woman Performing Seated Piriformis Stretch

The Clam:

  1. Lie on your side with your feet, ankles and knees together. (Bend the legs a little.)
  2. Keeping the feet together, lift the top knee up.
  3. Make sure you don't roll your body back with the movement.
  4. Control the movement as you bring the knee back down to the starting position.
  5. Repeat for 10 reps each leg. (To make it harder add a resistance band around your knees)

Woman Performing Clamshell Exercise

 Wall Squat With Exercise Ball:

  1. Stand with the ball between a wall and your mid-back. Your feet should be placed in front and hip width apart.
  2. Keeping a straight back, tighten your core stability muscles and gently squat down, as far as you can go comfortably, by bending through your hips and pretending to sit in a chair.
  3. Tighten your buttock muscles to drive your movement back up to the start position.
  4. Your back should stay straight throughout this movement and your weight should be on your heels, not your toes.
  5. Repeat for 10 reps

Woman performing Seated Wall Squat With Exercise Ball

A bit about Wellness Osteo Richmond & Carlton

Wellness Osteo is an Osteopathic clinic located in Carlton and Richmond.

Their focus is on achieving optimal health and wellness by creating individualised plans based on the most recent, evidence-informed techniques and management strategies.

At Wellness Osteo they treat all sorts of complaints such as postural strains, sporting injuries, degenerative conditions, low back pain, shoulder pain, headaches, and more!  Further, their practitioners are experienced in and passionate about treating pregnancy related musculoskeletal aches and pains.

Common pregnancy related condition they see include:

  • Pelvic girdle pain
  • Symphysis pubis dysfunction
  • Pudendal neuralgia
  • Pelvic instability
  • Carpal tunnel
  • Back & hip pain

Throughout pregnancy and the postpartum period, the female body undergoes significant hormonal and physical changes that can contribute to increased pressure on joints and surrounding structures. With osteopathic treatment, they aim to improve joint mobility, reduce pain and inflammation, and get their patients back to doing what they love.

You can get in touch with Wellness Osteo via their website where you can make an appointment for a consultation.

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