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Health & Fitness

Chelsea at Crunch Gym

Forty Weeks of Fitness!

Chelsea, our pregnancy fitness expert, is a certified personal trainer at Crunch gym in San Francisco, California. She gave birth to her daughter, Madeira Re, in July 2006. Read more






Stretches for Lower Back

A stretching routine is very good for toning the perineal area, stretching ligaments, strengthening the inner thigh and abdominal muscles and promoting proper body alignment, all of which will help keep lower back pain and sciatica at bay. If you are already suffering, these stretches will offer some relief for this type of pain. A good stretching routine should include the following stretches or something similar.

Squatting Stretch

This is just what it sounds like. Balance your body; steady yourself with a counter, table, or piece of furniture and squat for one minute at a time, 10 times a day. This is a great stretch and toner for legs and perineal muscles.

Tailor Sitting

Sit on the floor with knees bent and feet crossed (kind of a relaxed cross-legged position). Spend 10 minutes a day at least two or three times a day sitting in this position. It gives the inner thighs a good stretch and takes the pressure off the lower back.

Tailor Stretching

Similar to tailor sitting but a little more intense. Sit on the floor with your back against the couch or wall. Bend knees and put your feet together sole to sole. Slowly, see how close to the floor you can get your knees. When done over a period of time this stretch will increase flexibility dramatically.

The Pelvic Tilt

This stretch gives expectant mothers a double reward: relief from lower back pain and it helps prepare the body for birth. Lying on your back with knees bent and feet flat on the floor, exhale while pressing the small of your back against the floor then inhale and relax the spine. Repeat this several times. This stretch can be done in a standing position against the wall. In the standing pelvic tilt position press the small of the back against the wall and then relax. The standing position should always be used after the fourth month of pregnancy.

Dromedary Droop

This stretch relieves the pressure of the enlarged uterus on the spine. Get down on hand and knees on the floor. Keeping the head straight and neck relaxed and aligned with the spine. Roll the back to make a hump while tightening the abdomen and buttocks. Allow the head to drop down. Slowly relax the back and bring the head back to the original position. Repeat several times a day for excellent lower back pain relief and relaxation.

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