Stretch!

I’m a big fan of stretching even though there is a lot of research and evidence and conflicting advice about whether we should or shouldn’t, benefits and how much we should be doing and for how long. If it feels ok, it’s probably ok.

My body ached during pregnancy; the increased weight, the imbalance, the pressure on your joints and all the relaxin which stretches your ligaments are to blame. Daily stretches and yoga were a godsend, plus relaxing. Postnatally, my body still aches. More from the awkward carrying of a baby, spending half your time on the floor, and bending and lifting when your abs are shot.

Here is a great stretching routine for the major muscles of the body that may be affected, perfect for pregnancy and beyond:

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1 – Neck side flexion. repeat both sides. 10s each. Relax and drop your shoulder.
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2 – Neck flexion with slight rounding of your shoulders and upper back. feel the pull right down your spine.
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3 – Hip opening in shorter position – feel the pull on your inner thighs.
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4 – Spinal extension
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5 – Piriformis – a small muscle in your buttock. Gently push your knee away from you.
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6 – Stronger piriformis stretch – I’m using my right arm to help keep my right knee out.
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7 – Glutes and Hamstrings
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8 – More glutes and hamstrings and hip flexor on the opposite side
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9 – Stronger Hamstrings
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10 – Hip flexor stretch on right side. repeat both sides, feel it pull down front of thigh
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11 – Stronger hip flexor stretch
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12 – Calf stretch
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