The silhouette of pregnant woman is a symbol of beauty and life, but for many the exaggerated spinal curves, and postural imbalances that occur can mean a lot of pain and discomfort.

Poor posture is the number one culprit for causing prenatal pain.

Working to strengthen the postural muscles of the deep core, rotator cuff muscles and the muscles of the mid and low back is key to countering the effects pregnancy has on the bodies posture.

TYPICAL PRENATAL POSTURE 

Prenatal posturePrenatal posture

1. FORWARD MOVEMENT OF THE HEAD

The cervical spinal curve becomes more exaggerated causing neck and upper back tension.

WHAT MUSCLES ARE AFFECTED?

  1. Muscles of the upper back and back portion of the neck become short and tight – Upper Trap, Levator Scapula muscle and deep muscles of the cervical spine
  2. Muscles of the jaw and the front portion of the neck become long and weak - Sternocleidomastoid, Scalenes

WHAT SHOULD YOU DO?

  • Stretch and release the muscles jaw, neck upper back and shoulders
  • Do exercises that focus on strengthening the deep muscles of the cervical spine to restore the natural curve

BEST EXERCISES


2. ROUNDED SHOULDERS AND UPPER BACK 

Shoulders and upper back begin the round forward as your breasts swell and centre of gravity shifts

WHAT MUSCLES ARE AFFECTED?

  1. Muscles of the chest become short and tight – Pecs, Anterrior/Front Deltoid
  2. Muscles of the shoulder and mid back become long and weak – Rotator Cuff muscles, Rhomboids, Mid and Low traps

WHAT SHOULD YOU DO?

  • Stretch and release the muscles of your chest
  • Do exercises that focus on the rotator cuff muscles, general external rotation of the shoulder and stability of the shoulder blades (scapula).

BEST EXERCISES

3. INCREASED LUMBAR CURVE

The lumbar spine or lower back curve increases as the baby grows - tilting the pelvis forward (anteriorly) resulting in tightness in the front of the hips and compression in the low back.

Prenatal posture anterrior tiltIncreased lumbar curve


WHAT MUSCLES ARE AFFECTED?

  1. Muscles of the low back and hip flexors become short and tight – QL, Hip flexors
  2. Muscles of the abdominals, butt and back portion of the legs become long and weak - Rectus (6 pack), Glute Max, Hamstrings

WHAT SHOULD YOU DO?

  • Stretch and release the muscles of the low back and the front of the hip and thighs
  • Do exercises that focus on strengthening the deep core, glutes and hamstrings to counter the anterior tilt of the pelvis and to support the growing belly

BEST EXERCISES


4. HYPER EXTENSION OF THE KNEES

The knees hyperextend/pushed backwards to counter the tilt of the pelvis.

WHAT MUSCLES ARE AFFECTED?

  1. Muscles of the back portion of the leg become short and tight – Calf muscles, Hamstrings
  2. Muscles of the front portion of the upper leg become weak and long – Quad muscles

WHAT SHOULD YOU DO?

  • Stretch and release the Calves, Hamstrings, IT band
  • Do exercises that focus on strengthening the quad muscles to strengthen and lift the knee cap and support sides of the knee

BEST EXERCISES

Spending time strengthening the postural muscles of the body – which includes the core – will decrease the pain suffered as your pregnancy progresses, and it is proven that good posture can have an extremely positive effect on mood and behavior!

During pregnancy focusing on simply sitting up tall, with good posture, requires focus and strength and absolutely is an exercise.

Do a Prenatal posture workout now.