Best Stretches During Pregnancy - For hip, back, and joint pain

Best Stretches During Pregnancy - For hip, back, and joint pain

As you progress in your pregnancy, you may end up feeling a little sore and stiff. The best way to avoid this, as well as other pregnancy pain, is to do some stretching. However, not all stretches are safe or beneficial. In this article, we discuss why stretching is important, safety measures, stretches to avoid, and the best stretches during pregnancy.

Why stretching is important

Your growing belly is one of the many things you have to contend with during pregnancy. Sleepless nights, back pain, and swollen feet are just a few other symptoms that you will have to deal with during your pregnancy. Thankfully, joint pain and back pain don’t have to become overwhelming. Stretching throughout your pregnancy can help your muscles stay loose and allow you to have a more comfortable pregnancy.

Daily stretching during your pregnancy can help to ease common pregnancy pains, backaches and hip pain, and it can help tone your muscles and relax them. Not only can this make delivery smoother and help you experience less pain, but it also helps you recover faster.

During pregnancy, your body produces a hormone called relaxin. This hormone allows your body to relax and for your ligaments to loosen during the delivery process. This hormone also makes it easier to overstretch. That is why it is important that you take safety measures while you are stretching.

Safety Measures

Before you take part in any exercise it is always a good idea to check with your physician first. They will have access to your medical history and will be able to more accurately tell you what is ok and what is not ok. In general, there are a few safety measures that you should take while you are stretching during pregnancy.

  • Warm-Up: Stretching before your body has had a chance to warm up is never a good idea. Don’t push your body too hard, but a good brisk walk around the neighborhood should be sufficient.
  • Don’t Bounce: Many people like to bounce while they stretch, however this can cause more harm to your muscles. Instead, remain in the stretched position for 20-30 seconds.
  • Move slowly: Slow and steady wins the race. You are at a higher risk of injury if you move quickly and roughly. The best way to decrease your chance of injury is by moving slowly and gently. That way, you will be able to determine if your body can handle certain positions or not. Similarly, it will prevent you from overextending your muscles and ligaments.
  • Don’t overdo it: Sometimes you really want to get in a good stretch, but this can cause injury without you even realizing it. Take it nice and slow and stop as soon as you feel pain. You should be able to feel your muscles stretch, but if it feels painful at any point, stop.
  • Use proper form: Make sure you are completing the stretches properly. If you are not using the correct form you can end up hurting yourself.

Stretches to Avoid

Stretching during pregnancy is a great way to strengthen your muscles, however not all stretches are equal. Because of your changing body, there are some stretches that you will want to avoid while you are pregnant.

  • Stretches that involve balance: While this may not be a problem early on in your pregnancy, your balance is going to be off later on. With a growing belly, your center of gravity is going to shift. This means that anything involving balance includes an increased risk of injury. Avoid any stretches that require you to balance on one leg or use your balance.
  • Stretches on your back: There is a vein that runs along the base of your back. This vein supplies blood to your uterus. If there is too much pressure for an extended amount of time on this vein, it can cut off your baby’s circulation. Therefore, any stretches that require you to lie on your back for an extended amount of time (more than 2 minutes) should be avoided.
  • Stretches on your stomach: It may seem like a no-brainer, but try not to lie on your stomach while pregnant. The main reason for this is because it is uncomfortable. Imagine lying down on a basketball, it would hurt. You don’t want to injure yourself, so avoid lying on your stomach to stretch.
  • Twisting Stretches: Any stretches that include a lot of twisting (at the hips or the waist) can also cut off circulation to your baby. Avoid any exercises that require you to twist.
  • Intense Abdominal Exercises: While you will want to do a few abdominal exercises, you don’t want to do any that require a lot of you. You need to strengthen your abdominal muscles during your pregnancy so you can avoid diastasis recti; but, you also need to be careful to not damage them as well. Any sort of crunch, sit up, or boat stretches are not the best while you are pregnant.

Best Stretches During Pregnancy

Now that you know the safety measures and the types of stretches to avoid, let’s talk about the best stretches during pregnancy.


The cat-cow pose is one of the best stretches during pregnancy because it stretches the spine, arms, abdomen, and back. The stretch helps to decrease lower back pain and hip pain. In order to complete this stretch, you will need a yoga mat.

  • On the yoga mat get onto your hands and knees. Ensure that your knees are in line with your hips and that your wrists are in line with your shoulders
  • As you inhale, drop your belly toward the floor arching your back into a ‘U’. Bring your face so that you are looking upward.
  • As you exhale, bring your belly back up and arch your back. Bring your face towards your chest, looking down at the floor.

Child’s Pose

The child’s pose stretches the hips, thighs, and butt. It is also a good stretch to ease lower back pain. For this stretch, you will need a yoga mat.

  • On the yoga mat get onto your hands and knees. Ensure that your knees are in line with your hips and that your wrists are in line with your shoulders.
  • Next, rock your hips back until your butt is resting on the heels of your feet.
  • Ensure that your chin is tucked in toward your chest and that your arms remain outstretched.


The bridge pose is one of the best stretches during pregnancy because it helps strengthen your hips, lower back, and abdominal muscles. For this pose, you will need a yoga mat.

  • Lie flat on your back with your knees bent and your feet flat against the floor.
  • Bring your hips upward by pressing your weight into your feet.
  • Hold this for a few seconds before bringing your hips back down and resting.


This stretch is best for the hips and the butt.

  • Rest on your knees
  • Bring one leg up so that one knee bent into a 90-degree angle with your foot resting on the floor.
  • Lean forward and so that your weight is pressed onto your foot.
  • Hold the pose for 30 seconds (use a wall if extra balance is needed)
  • Switch feet and repeat.

Key Takeaways

Stretching can help minimize the pain associated with pregnancy. Daily stretches during pregnancy are a good idea to strengthen your core muscles and prepare for childbirth. Not only can stretching help prepare your body for childbirth, but it can also help you recover faster. Stretching can help prevent diastasis recti, but if that still doesn’t work you can always invest in a Bellefit postpartum girdle. Postpartum girdles provide medical-grade compression to your abdomen and help your muscles come back together as the relaxin in your body decreases. Heal faster and better, with a Bellefit postpartum girdle.

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Cynthia Suarez

  • Jan 21, 2021
  • Category: News
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