Tired of doing the same old sciatic nerve stretches in your living room or local gym? Consider your local pool for a new exercising environment! Not only are leg lifts easy enough for pregnant women to perform and effective in decreasing your sciatica pain, but they can be jazzed up by doing them in water: the local pool or the swimming pool outside. Taking this nontraditional approach to exercising during your pregnancy will
- help motivate you to exercise
- actually make exercising seem easier (water’s buoyancy makes movement easier while you still get the same amount of workout on your muscles)
- give you more sciatica relief, as working out in water has benefits all its own
Sciatic Nerve Stretches: Lift Those Legs!
What They Stretch: (1) legs, and (2) stomach muscles. Since your abdominal muscles support your back, the stronger they are, the better off your spine will be, which bears a lot of your pregnant weight! And no spine damage = less chance of sciatica.
Step One: Stand with your back against the side of the pool.
Step Two: Arms out! Extend your arms so they can rest on the sides of the pool.
Step Three: While tightening your stomach muscles, lift both legs simultaneously. Hold them straight out in front of you.
Step Four: Release the position by slowly and gently lowering your legs back down to the pool floor.
Step Five: Again tighten your stomach muscles, but this time lift your legs by bending both of your knees to your chest. If you belly interferes with this maneuver, you can substitute the knee-bending movement with swinging your legs to the right and to the left.
Ideally, try to fit 10 of each kind of leg lift into your daily exercise routine (10 standard, straight leg lifts, 10 knee bends). As always, listen to your bodies limits. If it tells you to stop early, do not continue. Once you figure out what works best for you and your body, your legs lifts may lift away your sciatica pain! Who doesn’t want to go swimming now?