As weight increases during pregnancy, so does pain in the lower back, hips, knees and feet. Foam rolling can alleviate pressure in the joints but with a growing belly, it might be hard to find a comfortable position while you roll. Here are some tips for making the most out of foam rolling.
First, remember to breathe deeply while rolling and stretch after you exercise.
Drink plenty of water- muscles need oxygen and water to release effectively.
To reduce the stress on your lower back from your new body changes you need to loosen up your glute and piriformis muscles. Sit in the center of a foam roller with feet flat in front of you and hands planted behind you. Now gently tilt your hips until one glute is positioned on the the middle of the roller. Place the outside of the foot of the glute that’s on the roller onto the top of the opposite knee. Roll forward and back slowly 6 to 8 times paying close attention to what your feeling. When you find a knot, roll it out slowly and take deep breaths as you allow the muscle to release.
Sit on the floor with a foam roller in front of you. Extend legs over the roller so the calves are resting on the roller. In the early stages of pregnancy, push into your hands to lift your hips off the ground and roll your calves for 30 seconds to a minute, tipping feet from left to right to find knots in the muscles. When you find a knot, roll it out slowly and take deep breaths as you allow the muscle to release.
Upper/ outer thighs:
Your iliotibial band (IT band) is located on your upper outer thigh by your hip and runs down towards your knee. This tissue sometimes tightens up causing discomfort or even pain. To roll the IT band, lie on your side supporting yourself with your same side elbow directly underneath your shoulder and your opposite hand placed on the ground in front of you. Line your bottom leg up in the center of the roller just below your hip bone on the outside of your leg. Your top leg will be bent and foot placed flat on the floor. Move your body away from the roller so it moves down towards your knee and back up.
Towards the end of pregnancy, you may feel that rolling might put extra pressure on your spine or your belly might get in the way of rolling on the ground. You may want to swap out a foam roller for a self-massage stick to use it on the upper and outer thighs while seated in a chair.
If you are interested in learning how to foam roll and would like a demonstration, contact us to schedule a free demo.