It is an undeniable fact that manual labor is one huge part of a mom’s job description. You will be running after your toddler all the time and whenever you go out with your little angel, you will have to lug a jam-packed diaper bag along with so much more. Even minor parenting tasks can take a toll on your body and leave you stiff and achy. Fortunately, you can try some pain-relieving stretches that target the spots that bother moms most.
Stretches for Back Pain
A stiff back is more like a part and parcel of parenting. Every time you bend to lift your baby out of their crib, you are not doing your back any favors. Your back becomes stiff and achy due to constant bending and reaching that actually compresses your spinal disks in an uneven way. Not correcting the issue may result in long-term back problems. The best thing is to lower the railing first and then slid your baby to your side before you them.
At the same time, try the cat-camel stretch to maintain flexibility in your back. Here is how to do it:
- Get down on all fours and ensure that your hands are right underneath your shoulders. Keep your knees beneath your hips.
- Start with your neck in line with your spine and then tighten your abs to round your back. Tuck in your pelvis. Maintain the position for five seconds.
- Slowly return to the starting position but do not starting position but do not stop when your back is in line with the spine. Instead, let your back sag toward the floor while lifting your head and chest. Hold the position for another five seconds.
- Repeat the same 10 times.
Stretches for Overly Active Moms
Do you always have to chase after your toddler? Even though you may not be moving very fast, you still require a lot of balance and strength to keep up with your little angel. It can be taxing for your lower back as well as your hips. Tight hip flexors are common mainly because you would be standing on one leg at least 60% of the time. You may notice some improvement by trying hip flexor lunges.
- Get your left leg forward and maintain a lunge position. Ensure your knee is over your ankle all the time.
- With your right knee on the floor, press your hips forward until you feel a light stretch right in front of your right thigh.
- Hold this position for at least 30 seconds and repeat the same thrice.
- Switch legs and repeat the same movements.
When you are constantly chasing after your toddler, you are likely to develop lower back pain with tight hip flexors. This is when you may benefit a lot from trying another stretch called the “Shoulder Bridge”.
- Get on to the floor, be on your back and ensure your knees are bend and your feet no wider than your hips.
- With your heels in front of the knees and arms resting at your sides, inhale slowly and try to pull your belly button in as much as possible.
- Now, slowly curl your back and lift it off the floor while pressing right into the floor with the help of your feet. Be sure to engage your glutes.
- Exhale when your reach at the top – press your pelvis toward the ceiling and maintain the position for five seconds.
- Return to the starting position and repeat twice.
Relieving Tension Caused by Constantly Hunching Over
Moms need to be in a hunched over position most of the time throughout the day. Whether you are changing your baby’s diaper, giving them a bath, or just picking up toys, you are always in a slouched position. Overtime, this position is going to cause problems – your shoulders may round in, leading to a muscular imbalance, which can cause all sorts of muscle injuries.
You can try elbow curls to help stretch your tight upper back muscles. Here is what to do:
- Sit in a comfortable chair and place your hands behind your head. Ensure that your elbows are flared out and pointing to your sides.
- Slowly press your elbows forward until they come in front of your face. Now, squeeze your shoulder blades together.
- Keep squeezing and then slowly pull your elbows back and return to the starting position.
- Repeat 10 times.
Relieving Stiff Shoulders
Being in a hunched over position can weaken your shoulders, but you can make matters worse when you constantly need to wear your diaper bag on the same shoulder. Going out with your little ones often means toting their snacks, toys, and much more, and most moms unknowingly make one shoulder do all the work. Overtime, it will cause problems; in fact, you may notice that shoulder becoming higher as compared to the other because you have to keep it shrugged all the time. This imbalance causes shoulder pain, which can always affect your back and neck as well.
A movement that stretches your shoulders and neck will really work wonders to relieve pain and prevent imbalances. Here is what to do:
- Get a backless chair for the exercise. Sit in it and keep your feet flat on the floor.
- With your left arm behind your waist, use your right hand to grasp your left wrist.
- Pull your left hand toward the right side as gently as possible. Look over your left shoulder while pulling the hand.
- Squeeze your shoulder blades together while making sure they are in line with each other.
- Stop when you feel a light stretch and hold the position for 30 seconds.
- Release and repeat the same with your other arm.
Yoga Poses to Help Stretch Your Body
When it comes to finding the best pain-relieving stretches for moms, you just cannot overlook the importance of including some yoga poses in your routine. Yoga can work wonders to treat join pain and other body aches. It helps you relax and keeps your body flexible. Many people opt for yoga to treat chronic pain, including carpal tunnel syndrome, osteoarthritis, and fibromyalgia.
Moms who already have these problems or simply want to improve their range of motion, flexibility, and muscle strength should benefit a lot from the following yoga poses or stretches.
This is an amazing stretch to help keep your back in a perfect shape, strengthen it and prevent back pain.
- Get on to the floor and lie with your forehead resting on the floor.
- Keep your hands on your side at about the height of the middle of your ribcage.
- Draw your legs together while pressing tops of your feet into the floor.
- Lengthen your legs while reaching back through your toes and very gently, draw your elbows closer to your ribcage.
- Lift your chest and head with the help of your back while keeping your shoulder bladders down and back.
- Maintain the position for 5 seconds – continue with deep breathing while in the position.
- Slowly return to the starting position
You may consider trying this yoga pose to treat your knee pain. It also strengthens and stretches your leg muscles.
- Stand close to a wall and place your hands against it – ensure your hands are at shoulder height.
- Step your right foot forward enough to touch the wall with your toes. Bend your elbows a little.
- Now take your left foot1-3 feet behind your body and bend your knee a bit toward the floor. Hold this position for 10-15 seconds.
- Slowly bring your left leg back up and bend your right knee at the same time. Never let your knee extend past your ankle. Hold this position for a few seconds again before switching positions again.
Running after your toddler can always make you have a stiff back and painful hips. The following stretch will definitely help bring some flexibility back to your joints.
- Sit on the floor and bring soles of your feet together with knees wide enough that your legs form a diamond.
- With your shoulders relaxed and back straight, drop weight of legs and lower your knees toward the floor. Place pillows beneath your outer knees for added support.
- Repeat a few times for better effects.
Rear Arm Lift
This stretch does wonders to alleviate shoulder pain and improves flexibility as well.
- Stand with your feet hip-width apart. Hold a strap in one of your hands.
- Sweep both of your arms behind your back and then grab the band in your other hand as well. Ensure that your shoulders are pulled in.
- Move your hands towards each other and open up your chest a bit while making sure your shoulder blades also move toward one another.
- Do several reps for good results.
While most stretches focus on relieving back pain, this pose helps relieve shoulder and elbow pain. It also improves mobility in the shoulder and strengthens the joint over time.
- Stand with your face towards the wall and feet no wider than your hips.
- With your arms extended, place your palms against the wall and slowly move forward. Let your body weight be on your hands.
- While leaning forward, ensure that your body moves in a straight line. Bend your elbows slowly.
- Push back to the starting position when your nose touches the wall.
Pain-Relieving Stretches During Pregnancy
It is true that moms are going to experience body aches while looking after their little ones, but pains and aches are equally common in mums-to-be. You are going to experience back pain and tightness in the shoulders or neck during pregnancy. Here are some stretches (or you can call them exercises because they also strengthen your muscles) that are extremely beneficial for women who will soon embrace motherhood.
- Stand with your right foot placed on the end of a handheld resistance tube. Be sure to keep your feet wide all the time.
- Grab the other handle with your both hands and stretch the tube up towards your chest.
- Rotate your shoulders to the right when the handle is at chest height
- Now, pull the band to the left until your hands are at shoulder height right in front of your body. Ensure that your torso is facing to the left. Hold it for a while and return to the starting position.
- Do 10 reps with each foot.
Deadlift to Curl
- Get in a standing position with your feet a stride’s length apart, left foot in front of your right foot.
- Grab a 5 pounds dumbbell in each hand.
- With your arms extended at your sides, slowly bend forward from hips until your back begins to round.
- Return to the starting position and curl dumbbells toward your shoulders.
- Do 5 reps and repeat the same with your other foot forward.
- Get a chair and stand with your face towards it.
- Place your foot up on it while making sure your feet and hips are facing forward.
- Lean forward while keeping your back straight until you feel a light stretch in the back of your thigh. Hold the position for a few seconds.
In addition, you can try several other simple exercises that not just open up your back but also strengthen other muscles in your body. For instance, you can try eccentric straight leg raise that works your hip flexors as well as abs and improves your posture as well. Similarly, bent knee raise improves your postures, reduces pressure from your back, and improves your hip mobility. Moreover, you can try back extension, cat and camel, leg extensions, sit backs, pelvic tilts, and arm raises on back or knees to strengthen your back and reduce overall pain and body aches.
Here it is important to mention that you should talk to your doctor before performing any of these exercises if you are pregnant or have a history of back pain. You should always start with a low-impact workout and ensure that you stop doing a pain-relieving stretch if it increases pain. Stretches do help but it is better to be on the safer side and never aggravate your problem by trying something too taxing for your muscles.