Ease the Pain
Back pain is a common pregnancy symptom. That's because ligament-loosening hormones, weight gain and a shifting center of gravity all conspire to cause 2 million pregnant women to cry out from back pain every year, especially between the fifth and seventh months.
Here's some news to make you sit up (straight!) and take notice: You can start building a better back now. Our pain-busting moves are safe to do while pregnant and may help you avoid medication.
Stand with your left foot on one end of a handled resistance tube, feet wide. Hold the other handle with both hands at chest height in front of you and rotate shoulders to the left [1A].
Pull the band across your body to the right, ending with hands at shoulder height in front of you and torso facing to the right [1B]. Return to starting position and repeat.
Do 10 reps, then repeat with right foot on the tube. (If you don't have a resistance band, hold a 3- to 5-pound dumbbell instead.)
Strengthens: Core (which includes your lower back)
Deadlift to Curl
Stand with feet a stride's length apart, right foot in front of left. Hold a 5- to 10-pound dumbbell in each hand, arms extended at sides. Bend forward from hips, stopping when your back begins to round [2A].
Rise up to starting position and bend elbows, curling weights toward shoulders [2B]. Extend arms to starting position and repeat. Do 5 reps, then repeat with left foot in front of right.
Strengthens: Core, hamstrings and biceps
Stand with feet wide, right foot turned out and right heel aligned with arch of left foot; raise arms to shoulder height and out to sides, palms facing floor.
Bend forward from the hips over right leg, placing your right hand on your shin or ankle, as you extend your left arm toward the ceiling, palm facing forward; turn head to look up at ceiling.
Hold for 10 to 30 seconds. Repeat on opposite side.
Strengthens: Legs; stretches back and legs.