Hip pain can strike every expectant mother and can be quite persistent. If you’re looking into exercises to ease hip pain and prevent future issues, this article is a must. Here, you’ll find a list of exercises that will relieve your pregnancy hip pain and improve your flexibility at the same time.
One of the most jarring things about being pregnant is the way your body starts to change. Unfortunately, sometimes this can lead to aches including pregnancy hip pain all while your belly grows and stretches. While you can’t do much about your new belly, there’s something you can do about the aches and pains in your hips: stretching!
Women typically experience pregnancy hip pain due to extra weight on one side of their body (the baby). When that weight gets heavy enough, it can begin to pull on the muscles in your hips—this is called pelvic girdle pain. It’s a common issue for pregnant women, and it can worsen as time goes by if nothing else is done.
This doesn’t have to be a permanent issue—if you are proactive and exercise correctly, you can alleviate some of the pressure on the muscles before they get too weak. Here are a few exercises that will help relieve hip pain while pregnant.
1. Pelvic Tilts
Throughout your pregnancy, your growing baby will be putting pressure on your pelvic muscles and joints. This can lead to some uncomfortable hip pain as the baby grows. You may also experience back pain due to the weight of the baby pressing down on your spine.
A few doctors recommend doing pelvic tilt exercises to relieve hip and back pain during pregnancy. To do this exercise, lie on the floor or a mat in a comfortable position with your knees bent, feet flat on the floor, and arms out to either side. Then, gently lift your hips off the floor until they’re in line with your shoulders. The position should feel like a gentle back bend. Hold this for several seconds, then slowly lower yourself back down until your back is flat against the ground again. Perform five repetitions of this exercise at least three times each day for best results.
This exercise will improve muscle tone in your spine and hips, which will give you more support for carrying around that extra weight throughout your pregnancy. It’ll also help stretch out those tight muscles so you have less pain when standing up or walking around.
2. Side-lying Leg Lift
Side-lying leg lifts are a great exercise for those who are experiencing pregnancy hip pain. Though this exercise is not specifically for your hips, you will feel the benefits in your hips as well as the rest of your body.
- Lie on one side with knees bent and feet together. Make sure you have plenty of room behind you so that when you lift your legs, they won’t come into contact with anything behind you. You may have to scoot back a little bit to find a comfortable place.
- Place a pillow or folded towel under the top leg. This will help prop up your upper body and keep it from shifting during the exercise, which will make the exercise more effective.
- Place hands on top of the bump that’s forming on the lower part of your abdomen This will help hold your abdomen still.
- Lift your top knee and lower it again, almost like mimicking the wings of a butterfly. Do 4 sets of 8 once a day.
3. Pelvic Rocks
Pelvic rocks are a great way to work on your balance and gently strengthen your hips, which can become very tight during pregnancy. Start out lying on your back with your knees bent and feet flat on the floor. Gently rock your hips from side to side, letting them roll as far over as possible without lifting them off the ground. Move slowly and carefully—you don’t want to pull anything or overextend yourself. Stay in this position for a few minutes, rocking as long as you like. Then sit up and try rocking while balancing on one leg at a time. Repeat with each leg, then switch to the other side of your body and repeat the whole process. If there’s any specific area of hip pain you’re struggling with, spend extra time focusing on that area when doing pelvic rocks. You’ll notice a difference in how limber your hips feel after just one session!
4. Kegel Exercises
Kegels are a set of pelvic floor muscle exercises that strengthen your muscles in the same way that lifting weights strengthens other muscles. These exercises are often recommended by doctors to women who want to relieve hip pain while pregnant. Many prenatal classes will teach Kegels as a way to cope with back pain later in pregnancy as well. The muscles targeted by these exercises are located at the bottom of your pelvis; when you practice them correctly, you’ll be able to feel them contract when you tighten them up and relax them again.
To do good kegel exercises: start by squeezing those muscles for 10 seconds before relaxing them for 10 seconds. Do this 3 times a day.
Pregnancy hip pain isn’t fun but it doesn’t have to be overwhelming. Try to do these exercises every day during pregnancy for some relief.