6 Exercises To Improve Posture After Pregnancy

The typical ‘mum’ posture consists of rounded shoulders and anterior pelvic tilt. After carrying the baby in the womb, they then carry, nurse/feed, pick up after, and change the baby, etc. – mostly in a hunched position. After giving birth, muscles are weak, tired, stretched or shortened, and need to be rehabbed back to normal. This doesn’t mean that all of you will have these postural issues but as the body is put through a lot of strain and redevelopment, there are some very common issues that do occur during the pregnancy and after.

Imagine the strain your back, spine, and abdominal areas take on as your belly grows. The muscles surrounding these areas take a lot of strain and sometimes pain is inevitable. 50% of low back pain in pregnant women is due to lumbar lordosis, otherwise known as swayback. As you move(d) into the 2nd and 3rd trimesters, the abdominal muscles stretch and lose their ability to effectively maintain neutral posture. Although back pain is common during pregnancy and postpartum, some muscle imbalances happen chronically over time, over years. Did you know that more than 60% of women have back pain? And, more often than not, back pain (as well as other pain) is due to a weak core. Your core is more than just your abs; it comprises all the muscles of your including the glutes.

Common Postural Issues

Lumbar Lordosis

Lordosis as previously mentioned, refers to your natural lordotic curve, which is normal. But if your curve arches too far inward, it’s called lordosis, or swayback. Lordosis can affect your lower back and neck. This can lead to excess pressure on the spine, causing pain and discomfort. It can affect your ability to move if it’s severe and left untreated. The changes to your hormones during pregnancy cause your ligaments to relax, which can aggravate your lower spine and pelvis. Its important to maintain core strength and pelvic stability after pregnancy, and can be great in the near future to prevent other postural problems occuring!


Shoulder Rounding

This shoulder rounding can often develop along side lordosis as the baby grows and the weight distribution in our body changes we start to lean forward with the shoulder to counter balance the weight. With the excessive carrying, breast feeding and lifting post pregnancy, we care so much for out new born child and forget to look after ourselves sometimes, and our posture is one of the most important things to keep strong and healthy.

Don’t worry! There are lots of exercises which you can do at home to strengthen the core, pelvis, back and improve mobility in the shoulders and chest. On the other hand if you have the chance to attend a Pilates class, this is a great way to practice all of the mentioned above, and learn some exercises in which you can take away and use at home.

Core Strengthening Exercises

  1. Deadbug


How to: Lie faceup on floor with your arms and legs in the air, knees bent 90 degrees. Maintaining contact between low back and floor, brace your core, then slowly and simultaneously lower your right leg until your heel nearly touches floor and your left arm until your hand nearly touches floor overhead. Pause, then return to start and repeat on the opposite side. That’s one rep.

Sets/reps for results: 2 to 3 sets of 10 to 20 reps (depending on fitness level)

2. Birddog


How to: Begin on all fours with your hands directly under your shoulders and your knees directly under your hips.Pull your abs in to your spine. Keeping your back and pelvis still and stable, reach your right arm forward and left leg back. Don't allow the pelvis to rock side to side as you move your leg behind you. Focus on not letting the rib cage sag toward the floor. Reach through your left heel to engage the muscles in the back of the leg and your bum.Return to the starting position, placing your hand and knee on the floor. Repeat on the other side to complete one rep.

Sets/reps for results: 2 to 3 sets of 10 to 20 reps (depending on fitness level)

Exercises To Correct Anterior Tilt

Glute Bridge


How To: Lie on back with bent knees hip distance apart, and feet flat on mat stacked under the knees.Engage the core and squeeze your glutes as you lift your hips to a bridge. Hold, squeezing tight and return to mat with control. Repeat for desired number of reps.

Sets/reps for results: 2 to 3 sets of 10 to 20 reps (depending on fitness level)

Hip Flexor Stretch


How To:
Stand straight on a mat and put your right leg forward. Lunge down till your left knee fully touches the mat. Keep your hands on your waist.Push your hips forward and stretch your left leg behind. Make sure to keep your spine straight.Keep shifting your weight to the front until you feel a stretch in your hips and thighs. Hold it for 10 seconds before releasing and doing the same with the other leg.

Sets And Reps – 2 sets of 7 reps

Increase Shoulder Mobility

Wall Slides


How To: Stand with your back to a wall, trying to keep your upper back and butt in contact with the wall. Walk your feet about 12-18 inches away from the wall. Lift your hands over your head and try to press your forearms into the wall. Slide your arms up and down the wall, by squeezing your shoulder blades. Focus on your scapular movement, and don’t fret if you can’t touch your arms to the wall. Think about starting with your hands in an “I” shape and dropping them to a “W.”

Sets and Reps: Start out with 1 set of 10 reps. Work your way up to 2-3 sets.

Door Frame Chest Stretch


How To: Line your elbows and hands up with the door frame and step through, going only until there’s a stretch. Don’t force your way through farther if there’s pain. This will help loosen your chest muscles which may be pulling your shoulders forward. Hold for 20-30 seconds.

With frequent practice of these exercises along side daily stretching and mobility you will soon find and see improvements in your posture and general strength and mobility.

For any further help or questions with fitness, nutrition and health then do not hesitate to contact us here at the studio.

Rachel Nichols