I'm a chocolate-loving nutritionist, pre & postnatal coach, doula and let's face it- total birth nerd 🤓. I'm here to help you cut through mommy-marketing and pinterest perfection to confidently cultivate a pregnancy and postpartum experience you totally love.
Pregnant and struggling with sore shoulders, neck pain or just feeling tight? The intense physical and hormonal changes of pregnancy have a huge impact on posture. With a growing belly, increased breast tissue, and shifting center of gravity, pregnant posture often looks like forward rounding shoulders, a forward pull to the head, and an increased curve in the lumbar spine. All this puts an immense amount of pressure on the body and can cause discomfort, neck pain, headaches and more. Relieve some of this pressure with these shoulder stretches for pregnancy.
Other things you can do to reduce upper back pain and tension
Get consistent acupuncture, chiropractic, or massage care. I highly recommend working with a practitioner that understands how to support pregnant bodies.
Don’t push through pain during your workouts! Tell your coach you’re struggling with stiff shoulders and neck. Ask them to look for compensation or mobility restrictions that may be causing pain!
5 Great Shoulder Stretches
Hold an exercise band in your right hand. Raise your right arm above your head and bend your elbow to reach behind your head for the center of your back. With your left arm by your side, bend at the elbow to allow your left hand to grasp the exercise band. Bring your hands as close together as comfortable to open your chest. Take several deep breaths here. Switch sides.
Raise your arms out to the side, in line with your shoulders, reaching as if you’re trying to touch opposite walls of the room. Start with one palm facing up and one palm facing down. Rotate your arms, switching which palm is facing up and which is facing down, as if you’re wringing out your shoulders. Be sure to keep your shoulders relaxed down away from your ears.
Downward Facing Dog or Puppy Dog Pose
Begin in table top with knees slightly wider than your hips and shoulders stacked right over wrists. Tuck your toes and lift your hips up to the sky, as you press the ground away through your palms. Keep a generous bend in your knees, as you find length in your spine.
If this inversion is too much, opt for puppy dog pose. Begin in table top. Walk your hands toward the top of your mat, bringing your chest and chin to the mat. Keep your hips stacked tall over your knees.
From table top, walk the knees wider than your hips. Shift your hips back and down while reaching arms forward, bringing forehead, chin, or chest to mat. Bring the stretch into your side body by reaching your arms toward the left side of the mat, then the right.
Thread the Needle
Starting in table top, inhale and reach your right arm towards the ceiling, opening your chest. Exhale to loop your right arm through the space between your left arm and left leg. Lay your right arm completely flat on the ground for an exterior shoulder stretch. Walk your left arm forward toward the top of the mat, keeping your gaze to the left. Carefully press out of this stretch, back to table top and repeat on opposite side.