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Gentle Exercises to Combat Pregnancy Back Pain

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Back pain is a common symptom during pregnancy. Weight gain and a shifted center of gravity will put strain on your back, particularly between the fifth and seventh months. 

Getting up and moving around will make you feel a lot better. Read on for a few great exercises that help alleviate the pain:

Trunk twist. Sit on the floor with your legs crossed. Grasp your right foot with your right hand and put your left hand on the floor to support yourself. Slowly twist your torso to the left so that you are looking over your left shoulder. Switch sides and repeat five times on each.

Cat stretch. Get down on all fours and flatten your back. Slowly arch your back starting with the tailbone and working up to the shoulders. Hold this position for 10-30 seconds. The cat stretch will stretch your entire back.

Forward bend. Sit in a chair with a hard, supportive back. Keeping your arms relaxed, bend forward slowly and dangle your arms in front of you. Hold that position for 5 seconds and then sit back up without arching your back.

Core twist. Grab a handled resistance band for this one. Keep your feet wide apart and stand on one end of the band with your left foot. Hold the band's handle at chest height in front of you and rotate your shoulders to the left. Pull the band all the way across your body to end up on the right. Return to the starting position and repeat. Do 10 reps and then switch sides. This will strengthen your core, taking pressure off of your back.

Swimming. Swimming is a great pregnancy exercise because it strengthens your lower back and abdominal muscles while taking the strain off your joints and ligaments. Prenatal water exercise can be very relaxing and can help alleviate pain – check out your local community center to see if there are classes available.

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