The best stretches in pregnancy. By Octavia Hamilton, Founder and Physio.

Two girls stretching on running track

Six of the best stretches you won’t be able to live without in pregnancy

It always blows my mind how much one’s posture changes during pregnancy. And with that comes aches and pains. The longer you are in a position the muscles will start to adapt by lengthening, shortening, weakening or compensating.

We have 2 short videos on XENA aimed to help you open up the muscle groups commonly affected, to then enable you to access the body's best range when you are working out, building strength in the best possible way.


link to videos:

Dynamic stretches could be done together as part of a warm-up and the static stretches target the same areas but at the end of a workout or for when you are not feeling up to much but keen to keep on top of things.

Remember, work gently into the end of the range. As your body changes it can be harder to control movement and we are aiming to maintain not to improve posture.

The muscle groups we are targeting are:

1: Front of the shoulder and upper back

As the pelvis tilts forward the upper back curves more to compensate and keep you upright. This in turn leads to what we call kyphosis. As the shoulders move forwards you may commonly find you get a stiff upper back and can get some shoulder pain. This is also reinforced with out daily routines, sat infant of a computer or staring at our phones. Maintaining range here should stop the aches and pains.


2: Hip flexors

Good hip range is so important, and you will find your hips start to tighten up during your pregnancy as strength is lost and posture changes. As the pelvic tilts forwards due to the bump growing the hip flexors become tighter and the glutes become weaker and less efficient. Having good range at the hips is going to enable the muscles to be better targeted so this is an important one before you start your work outs.

3 : Glutes

As the glutes become lengthened due t postural changes, they often become weak too. This leads to that waddling gait commonly seen in pregnancy. Other muscles start to compensate, especially the piriformis. This is a muscle that has the sciatic nerve running through it so can cause some problems with nerve pain and be generally uncomfortable.

I love a foam roller as it gets to the spot. Find the painful part and give it a roll. This can be an instant pain reliever.


4: Lower back

The lower back is so commonly an area of aches and pains in pregnancy. A good knee hug or deep squat or child’s pose can make all the difference to release these tight tense muscles. Also, dynamic movements like pelvic tilts will not only help get some movement and circulation to the area but will be a gentle warm-up of the little muscles around the spine and the abdominals