Stroller Stretches

(No you don't really need a stroller for these).

Do you ever go for long walks and experience hip, leg or lower back pain or strain before you reach home?

Here are my top 6 on the go stretches. Great for every avid walker or the expectant mama feeling a bit more pressure than normal.

#1 Standing Calf Stretch

I get really tight calf muscles from walking up all the hills in our area, while pushing a stroller. I often need to stop and have a sip of water and a quick calf stretch. Pregnancy has added extra tension to these muscles and the feet so this is a great stretch to take a break in. It also targets the hamstrings if you are tight there as well.

You can do this with or without holding onto something. Step one foot in front of the other. Sit your weight back into your back leg and bend your back knee. Sit your hips back. Lift your front toes until you feel a stretch in the back of the leg.

Instead of holding for time I count my breaths. And if my breath is faster from walking I take this break to slow my breath down a bit.

Hold each side for anywhere from 15-30 breaths. Repeat on second side.

#2 Crescent Lunge

If you experience tight hip flexors (psoas muscles) this one is for you. Mine are still tight from my cheerleading days. So when I walk or run I tend to over contract these muscles instead of opening the hips and lengthening these long muscles. The psoas connects from the lower back on each side of the spine, running through the pelvis and then connecting in the front of the thighs. Sometimes while I walking (especially pushing a stroller) I have to remind myself to keep my hips open and my chest up, rather than closer the front body inward. This becomes ever more challenging during pregnancy.

One foot in front of the other again. This time keep your weight in both feet. Try to keep the pelvis neutral (hips slightly open) as you bend both knees. Think about lengthening out of the back leg. Opening the front body from the front of the hip, to the chest, to the crown of the head. You can gentle pulse in and out of this stretch to warm up or take a break on the go and hold each side for 10-20 breaths.