Note: If you have an injury, disability or chronic pain, please consult a health care professional prior to attempting any of these stretches.

Abdominal stretch

Abdominal stretchStand up straight with your arms at your sides and your feet shoulder-width apart

  1. Bend your trunk sideways to the left while sliding your left hand down your thigh and reaching your right arm over your head
  2. Hold for a count of 10
  3. Return to starting position
  4. Now bend your trunk sideways to the right while sliding your right hand down your thigh and reaching your left arm over your head
  5. Hold for a count of 10
  6. Repeat above 10 more times

Cat-Cow / Cat-Camel (to stretch back & strengthen abdominal muscles & buttocks)

  1. Cat-cow 1Get down on your hands and knees, keeping your knees directly under your hips and your hands under your shoulders.

  2. Slowly press your back upward by tightening your abdominal and buttock muscles. Allow your head to drop slightly. Hold this arched-back position for 5 seconds.

    Cat-cow 2Cat-cow 3

  3. Slowly relax the muscles of your abdomen and buttocks, allowing your back to sag. Be sure to keep weight evenly distributed; do not sit back on hips. Hold this relaxed position for 5 seconds.

    Cat-cow 4Cat-cow 4

Back stretch (pelvic tilt)

If you participated in childbirth education classes you are acquainted with this exercise, which can be done any time you are lying on a flat, hard surface. The first time you do the pelvic tilt you may be surprised to notice how tight your back muscles are and how good it feels to stretch them out. The pelvic tilt also strengthens your lower abdominal muscles.

  1. Start on your back with your knees bent and your feet flat on the floor.
  2. As you exhale, contract your abdominal muscles, pushing your belly button towards the floor and flattening your lower back.
  3. Hold 5 seconds.
  4. Inhale and relax
  5. Repeat 10 times.
Pelvic tilt

Hip lift (strengthens the buttocks)

  1. Lie down on your back with your knees bent.
  2. Without arching your back, slowly raise your hips upward.
  3. Create a straight line from your knees to your shoulders.
  4. Hold for 5 seconds, then slowly lower your hips.
  5. Repeat
Hip lift