Exercises to Strengthen the Back While Pregnant

If you’re pregnant and suffering from back pain, you’re not alone. According to the American Pregnancy Association, 50 to 70 percent of all women have back pain during pregnancy. A weak or aching back is usually caused by the strain on the back muscles due to the extra weight of the baby and your changed center of gravity. Although exercise might be the last thing you want to do while your back is hurting, certain movements can help strengthen your back and make you feel renewed. Consult your doctor before initiating any kind of exercise program while pregnant.


Tighten and Tilt

The pelvic tilt will help strengthen abdominal muscles as well as your back.Get down on your hands and knees, keeping them shoulder-width apart and your back straight. Tighten your abdominal muscles, and then slowly arch your spine, inhaling as you do so. Maintain the position for a few seconds, and then relax into your original position. Repeat the set five to 10 times. This exercise will help strengthen abdominal muscles as well as your back.

Lift Your Limbs

Arm and leg raises will strengthen both your back and buttock muscles, says the website Spine-Health. Kneel on your hands and knees, keeping your head level with your back. When you feel balanced, slowly extend your right arm forward and your left leg backward, forming a straight line with your spine. Hold this position for a few seconds, then slowly assume your original position. Execute the stretch again, this time extending the opposite arm and leg. Repeat the set five to 10 times.

Pressing Matters

The back press exercise will strengthen your back muscles, torso and upper body. It also encourages good posture, says the American Congress of Obstetricians and Gynecologists. Stand with your back against a wall, keeping your feet approximately 12 inches away from the wall’s base. Place your hand on your lower back and note the small space between your back and the wall. Remove your hand and press the lower part of your back flat against the wall. Maintain this position for 10 seconds and then relax. Repeat the set 10 times.

Going Forward

To do a forward bend, sit in a chair with your arms relaxed on your lap. Slowly bend forward and let your arms hang down in front of you. Only bend as far as you feel comfortable. Hold the position for five seconds and then sit up slowly. Repeat the set five times.


Photo Credits:

  • Jupiterimages/Pixland/Getty Images

This article reflects the views of the writer and does not necessarily reflect the views of Jillian Michaels or JillianMichaels.com.