Do These Stretching Exercises to Ease Leg Cramps & Chest Tightness During Pregnancy

by Elisa Chia
FITNESS  |  August 28, 2017
  • Stretch your aches away
    1 / 6 Stretch your aches away

    Who says you should put your feet up when you’re expecting a baby? That only makes you more tired, says senior physiotherapist Caroline Chua with the rehabilitation department at KK Women’s and Children’s Hospital.

    According to guidelines from the American College of Obstetrics and Gynaecology, being active for at least 30 minutes daily can help you have a smoother pregnancy. It may improve your ability to cope with labour and get back in shape faster, too.

    If you have no health complications, you can work out from the fourth month of your pregnancy until delivery, Caroline shares. Of course, it’s best to get the green light from your doctor first.

    Here, she shows how to ease leg cramps and chest tightness, as well as improve your posture, with these easy stretches you can do at home.

    Photo: 123rf.com

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  • NECK AND SHOULDERS
    2 / 6 NECK AND SHOULDERS

    Step 1 Sit upright on a chair or fitball, keeping your feet flat on the floor.

    Step 2 Keep one arm down by your side. Bring your other arm over your head and gently pull it down until your ear touches your shoulder, or as close as you can. Hold the position for 10 seconds, then relax and repeat in the opposite direction. Do 10 repetitions.

    Workout photos: Young Parents

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  • CHEST
    3 / 6 CHEST

    Step 1 Sit on the chair or fitball, with your legs spread comfortably to stabilise yourself.

    Step 2 Extend your arms behind you, with fingers interlocked and elbows straight. Keep your body straight. Hold the stretch for 10 seconds. Relax and repeat 10 times.

    (Also read: Where to Go For Stretch Classes in Singapore)

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  • TRICEPS
    4 / 6 TRICEPS

    Step 1 Sit on the chair or fitball, with legs spread comfortably to stabilise yourself.

    Step 2 Fold your right arm behind your head. Use your left hand to push the elbow of your left arm down gently. Hold the stretch for 10 seconds, then relax and repeat with your left arm. Do 10 repetitions for each arm.

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  • QUADRICEPS (FRONT THIGH MUSCLES)
    5 / 6 QUADRICEPS (FRONT THIGH MUSCLES)

    Step 1 Stand behind a chair.

    Step 2 With your right hand resting on the back of the chair for support, hold on to your left ankle and gently pull back until your kneecap points towards the ground. Keep your foot relaxed. Hold the position for 10 seconds, then repeat the sequence with your other leg. Do 10 repetitions.

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  • CALVES
    6 / 6 CALVES

    Step 1 Stand behind a chair. Keep your feet hip-width apart with your right foot forward.

    Step 2 With both hands resting on the back of the chair for support, bend your right knee slightly and stretch out your left leg behind. Both legs should be flat on the floor. If you don’t feel a gentle stretch over the calves, bring your left leg farther back. Hold this position for 10 seconds. Do 10 repetitions and switch legs.

    This article first appeared on www.youngparents.com.sg.

    (Also read: 3 Easy Stretching Exercises to Do After Pregnancy)

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