Mother & Baby (Stephanie Anthony)
Andrea Marcellus Fitness Expert & Creator of the AND/life app shares five exercises to strengthen your core and reduce lower back pain to help you make pregnancy, delivery, and recovery as comfortable as possible.
Watch the video to see Andrea demonstrate the moves, plus a description below.
1 - Chair Pose Step Outs
Standing with your feet slightly wider than hip width apart, raise your arms straight overhead while dropping the hips back and down.
Keep your abdominals deep and shoulders dropped as you step out to the right keeping your legs bent and hips low in your “chair.”
Hold for a second before putting your foot back and then repeating on the other side.
Do 10 sets.
2 - Squat to Side Leg Lift
Holding your hands in namaste (prayer position) in front of your chest, feet hip width apart, deepen your lowest abdominals (they might be all you can feel!) as you drop your hips back and down into a squat.
As you stand back up tall, lift one leg to the side, being sure to keep your knee facing forward.
Hold for a second the return to your squat and repeat with the other leg.
Do 10 sets.
3 - “Self-Love” Iso-Hold Lunge
Standing with your feet shoulder width apart, give yourself a hug to stretch the muscles of your upper back.
Step back with one foot, dropping straight down into a lunge with your knee at a 90 degree angle.
Open your arms by engaging the muscles between your shoulder blades to lift and stretch your chest.
Hold 10 seconds to build strength in the legs, core and upper back, while stretching the chest and hip flexor.
Return to standing and stretch your back with another hug. Repeat on the other side.
Do 5-10 sets.
4 - Rainbow Leg Lifts
Kneeling on all fours, shoulders open and abdominals engaged, extend one leg behind you and then move it to the outside of the mat.
Pull the leg longer as you lift up and over to touch your toe to the floor on the other side of the mat.
Return making sure to get the foot to hip height.
Do 10 repetitions and then repeat on the other side.
5 - Modified Camel Pose Stretch
Siting with your legs in cross cross, place your hands on the floor behind you, fingertips facing forward. On an inhale, push the floor away while stretching the chest, and lifting your heart toward the sun.
Hold your breath in stillness a moment, being sure to stay calm in the mind while you keep your chin down and back of the neck long.
Exhale to release.
Repeat 3-5 times, extending the moment of stillness to increase the mental calming practice.