Pregnancy and postnatal fitness expert Claire Mockridge has kind allowed the Network to publish her article about easing backache strategies for new mums…
With all that over-use of the same muscles due to lifting, moving, twisting, feeding/caring for your baby if you’re a new mum, it’s no wonder your posture gets affected by it.
Here’s my top 5 tips on things you can do to improve your posture right NOW and to help you with those niggling aches and pains in your neck, shoulders and back.
GET UP AND MOVE
The number one reason clients (that’s EVERYONE, by the way) suffer with back pain is because our current lifestyle requires us to sit down. A LOT. At work we’re sitting. At rest we’re sitting. Our spine isn’t really designed for this positioning, not continuously, anyway.
So, point number one is: if you’ve been seated for more than 30 minutes (regardless of whether you’ve shifted position or not), get up and move. NOW!
STRETCH YOUR CHEST, NECK AND SHOULDERS
Regular stretching of your chest, neck and shoulders is paramount to getting blood flow into those aching muscles, relieving tension and easing the symptoms.
BE AWARE OF YOUR SHOULDERS
In my Pilates classes I say constantly: “Slide your shoulders back and down”, “Drop your shoulders away from your ears”, or even “For the love of God, stop wearing your shoulders as earrings!”. Tee hee. But, on a serious note, for optimum shoulder placement (and to stop that niggling neck/shoulder ache), sit or stand tall, and slide your shoulders back and down your rib cage behind you. Feels much better, doesn’t it? Now, make a concerted effort, throughout the rest of the day to become more aware of your shoulder positioning.
STRETCH YOUR BACK
Stretching your back in a safe and effective manner, is a really nice way of releasing tension on those over-used back extensors. Your lumbar spine only has 5 vertebrae but, let me tell you, those 5 bones can cause some individuals a lot of discomfort. Take a look at the picture above of a Cat Curl stretch. It’s much safer to stretch your back in this position than it is by bending backwards in standing or
Pilates works your deep abdominal muscles or “core”, which in turn help support your back. The more you strengthen your “core”, the stronger your back will become from the support of your abdominals at the front.
And there you have it! My top 5 tips for improving your posture right NOW! I bet you feel better already.
Claire Mockridge is an Ante/Postnatal Fitness Expert, Pilates Teacher and Train-the-Trainer from Nottingham. She has worked with over 950 pregnant and postnatal women and enjoys empowering and educating her clients on safe and effective exercise.