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Friday, July 25, 2014

Elizabeth Street

4 EASY LOWER BACK EXERCISES FOR A PAIN-FREE PREGNANCY

Aug 26, 2013

4 Easy Lower Back Exercises For a Pain-Free Pregnancy

Among the many aches and pains that come with pregnancy, lower back pain is one of the most common and most frustrating. But don’t let the fear of a twinging back keep you from staying active during your pregnancy! FitBump fitness expert and prenatal certified trainer Michelle Mason shares four easy lower back exercises to strengthen your core as well as some helpful tips for how to keep your back strong even when you aren’t sweating it out at the gym.

The Deadlift
-Stand with feet shoulder-width apart, knees slightly bent and grab a weight in each hand.
-Hinge forward bringing weights toward your toes while pushing your hips back until you feel a nice stretch in your lower back and hamstrings.
-Return to standing by pushing through your heels while squeezing glutes and pushing hips forward.
-Do 20 reps.

Trainer Tip: You may need to go a little lighter on the weights here than you did pre-pregnancy and be more careful with the range of motion. The relaxing of joints during pregnancy can cause you to over-stretch your hamstrings.

The Plank
-Starting in pushup position. Bend elbows and lower yourself down until your weight is on your forearms.
-Brace abs and keep body in a straight line (make sure not to drop or raise hips).
-Hold for 60 seconds.

Side Plank
-Lie on your right side with legs straight.
-Prop yourself up on your right forearm and lift hips and knees off the ground.
-Hold for 60 seconds and then repeat on left side.

Bird Dogs
-Start on all fours with hands directly below your shoulders and knees directly below your hips.
-Look down at the floor to keep head and neck in a neutral position.
-Lift one leg straight back while also lifting the opposite arm straight forward (don’t raise them any higher than hip and shoulder level).
-Hold for 5 seconds and then switch; do 10 reps on each side.

Trainer Tip: For this exercise focus on keeping torso still while moving your arms and legs.

Additional tips for supporting your lower back during pregnancy:
- Practice pelvic tilts.
- Practice proper posture: Pregnancy tends to pull your lower back inward into lordosis so sitting and standing up straight are important to counteract the extra weight.
- Stretch or practice pre-natal yoga to alleviate lower back pain.
- Maintain a regular fitness routine that includes strength training and cardio to avoid excessive weight gain, which can exacerbate lower back pain.

By Michelle Mason

Michelle Mason is a fitness expert for FitBump, and she also happens to be eight months pregnant. When she's not at FitBump, this expecting mother is the general manager and head personal trainer at Uplift Studios in NYC. She is certified in Zumba, TRX and pre and post natal training. 

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