Exercises during pregnancy

Exercise and stretching during pregnancy maintains the strength and mobility that your body needs for a rapidly changing posture and body shape. It can help a lot with the common muscular-skeletal aches and pains as well as preparing your body for birth. After giving birth you will recover more quickly and be able to get your body back into shape.

The exercises shown on this page are designed to be used as gentle strengthening and mobilising exercises suitable in most healthy pregnancies. If you suffer from any illnesses, have a specialist managed pregnancy or previous injuries, you need to seek the advice of your midwife  before undertaking any new exercise.

Use your common sense – if anything feels uncomfortable, painful or makes you feel dizzy stop immediately. ‘No pain, no gain’ is not appropriate in pregnancy!

Set your own pace and number of repetitions depending on your fitness and stage of pregnancy.

The exercises shown are adapted from Pilates & Yoga and are designed to be done in a relaxed fashion with slow, controlled movements.

Breathing is important – try to breath out on the effort as this helps you relax into the movement.

Alkmaar Massage cannot accept responsibility for any injuries sustained whilst exercising.

These exercises are beneficial for both pelvis & lower back.
1. Start by lying on your back, knees bent.
2. Take your feet off the floor keeping your knees a little apart until you reach the middle picture position. Make sure your lower back is flat on the floor, neck & shoulders relaxed.
3. Breathe in & bring one knee up towards your chest. Then, as you breathe out, draw your navel to your spine and stretch up the other leg pointing the toes. Take another full breath and as you breathe out swop legs. Repeat 5-10 times on each side. Always keep your spine on the floor and stop if you feel any lower back discomfort.

pelvis low back


Pelvic Lift (left pic) – strengthens abdominal & pelvic muscles & mobilises the spine.
1. The start position is the same as above, lying flat on the floor with knees bent.
2. Breathe in and as you breathe out draw navel towards spine and, by squeezing your buttock & pelvic floor muscles, gently allow your back/pelvis to curl off the floor.
3. When you have lifted as high as is comfortable, on the next out breath lower your back down trying to feel each vertebra as it touches the floor. Repeat 5-10 times.

Relaxing the lower back and bottom (right pic).
1. Start position as before with a small pillow between your knees.
2. Breathe in contracting your pelvic floor muscles and on the out breath squeeze the pillow between your knees making sure there is no tension in your lower back. Repeat 5-10 times.

pelvi lift


To relieve swollen ankles and painful feet.
1. Sit on the floor with your back supported against a wall and place a thick pillow under your lower legs. If this is uncomfortable do one leg at a time and bend the supporting knee.
2. Straighten the legs and point your toes as far as you can away from you and then up towards the ceiling. Then slowly rotate your ankles clockwise and then anticlockwise a few times.
3. Relax your feet and ankles and repeat 5-10 times.

  swolen ankles

To relieve swollen ankles and aches and pains in the legs.
1. Sit on the floor with your back supported against a wall & place a thick pillow under one of your knees. Bend the supporting knee to protect the lower back.
2. Slowly straighten the leg and point and flex the toes.
3. Relax your legs back down onto the pillow and repeat 5-10 times.

 swolen feet

‘Cat’ stretch –  mobilises and stretches the lower back and takes the weight of the baby off your back for a while.
1. Start in a flat back position on all fours (middle pic).
2. On the next out breath draw your naval towards your spine so the back gently raises and your head and neck drop forwards (left).
3. Breathe out and arch your back the other way (right pic). If you have any back pain leave this bit out.

Repeat 5-10 times.

cat stretch

Mum&baby @home where so kind to let me use their great exercises and pictures.


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