August 26

Pregnancy Pilates Series: Must Do Pregnancy Stretches

Pregnancy stretches us in every way possible. All of that beautiful growth and change is unfortunately often accompanied by discomforts such as sciatica and round ligament pain.

Fortunately, studies show that exercise like Pilates and stretching, are a tried-and-true way to ease tight muscles and alleviate pregnancy-related aches and pains.

I have chosen the following stretches as they are easy to do at home and they have really worked for both me and my clients over the years. 

So take some time to calm your mind, give yourself a little TLC and soothe those achy muscles with the stretches below.....


Be sure to get your GP’s approval before beginning any exercise routine. Always check in with yourself when doing any type of exercise, even if it’s something you’ve done a million times before. If you feel dizzy or experience pain, stop and rest. It’s important to keep your body moving during pregnancy, but the key is mindful, gentle movements and respecting your body’s ever-changing needs. 

Must Do Pregnancy Stretches

Hip/Glute Stretch

pregnancy stretches hips lower back

I have given this stretch to many of my prenatal clients with reports of fantastic results. It is still one of my favourite stretches due to how effective I find it to be.

Standing next to something around upper thigh height with something to hold on to for balance. Place your left foot up so your left knee is directly in front of your hip. Allow your knee to relax down and enjoy a deep glute stretch.

Side/Lower Back Stretch

pregnancy stretches hips lower back

We often spend time stretching the front and back side of our bodies, but forget to stretch the sides. Stretching our sides maintains your spine’s mobility and creates space for your growing baby and eases any round ligament pain.

Start sitting comfortably with your left knee bent. Extend your left arm up to the sky and bend your torso towards the right, letting your arm curve over your head.  When you feel a stretch on your left side, breathe as deeply as you can, encouraging movement of your ribs.  Repeat on the other side.

Inner Thigh Stretch

pregnancy stretches hips lower back

This one is especially great to help open your hips and prepare your body for labour and delivery.

Start in a seated position on the floor, moving your feet to touch so your legs are open like a butterfly.  As you breathe, gently focus on trying to relax your knees closer to the floor, opening up your hips.

Quadricep Stretch

pregnancy stretches hips lower back

Lay on your left side comfortably. Bend your left knee so that you won't roll when doing this stretch. Make sure your neck is comfortable.

Reach back to take hold of your right foot or ankle, drawing your heel toward your bum. Try to maintain a tuck in the pelvis while holding.

Hip Flexor Stretch

pregnancy stretches hips lower back

One of my favourite stretches. I do have to be very mindful when doing this stretch as I can sometimes feel this at my pubic bone.

Begin kneeling with left leg in front, make sure you are steady. Tuck your tailbone under, then move a little forward until you feel a stretch high up on your right thigh.

You can add a small side bend to the left for a deeper stretch.

Shoulder/Back Stretch

pregnancy stretches hips lower back

This stretch is great for relieving tight back muscles, especially after sitting for an extended period of time.

Start standing in front of a kitchen countertop or kneeling in front of a sturdy coffee table or chair. Place your hands shoulder width on top. Gently relax your chest toward the floor until you feel a stretch.

If the hamstrings feel too much stretch, simply bend your knees for more shoulder movement downward and encourage the back stretch.

Child's Pose

pregnancy stretches hips lower back

Child’s pose is a gentle way to stretch your hips and lower back. It’s also a great way to calm the nervous system and instantly feel more serene.

From all fours, bring your big toes together and your knees open wide. Exhale, release your hips back toward your heels. Walk your hands forward and rest your forehead on your mat. Close your eyes. Stay in the pose for 1-5 minutes. You can support your bump with a cushion underneath if you feel you need it.

Today’s video is designed to help you take a short break in your day to slow down, breath, stretch and relax. It’s just as important as building muscle so enjoy this gentle routine. If you are unable to view the embedded video below please click here.

Pregnancy and giving birth requires strength and stamina, much like a marathon. If you are not sure of what is safe and effective exercise throughout pregnancy, I would be happy to coach you with my complimentary Prenatal Workout Series. You will love the workouts and feel good about doing them.

I wish you so much luck during your pregnancy. THANK YOU so much for all the love and support.
Emma xo

Pregnancy Pilates Series: Must Do Pregnancy Stretches

Meet Emma

Hi, I am Emma McAtasney, a NCEHS Personal Trainer since 2009. I earned my Pilates credentials through BASI Pilates, a highly respected college-level Pilates teacher training programme which aim is to create and maintain professional standards for the teaching of the Pilates Method to the highest calibre.

In addition, I am a prenatal and postnatal exercise specialist, nutritionist and founder of a boutique Pilates studio in Dundalk, Ireland.

I help my clients eat healthier, ditch fad diets and lose weight for good by guiding them to make small manageable changes that long term have a huge impact on their quality of life!

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