Feeling frenzied all the time can take a toll on your fertility. Here’s how you can chillax and boost your odds of baby-making success.
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1) All-Over Back Stretch Stand facing your partner. Holding her hands or forearms, separate your feet approximately hip-width apart [A]. Bend your knees and sit back onto your heels, rounding your spine. Pull away from each other until you feel a stretch in your back muscles [B]. Hold for 30 seconds without bouncing; continue to breathe fully, deepening into the stretch as you relax. Repeat. Stretches back, buttocks, rear shoulders
2) Squats Stand facing your partner with your feet hip-width apart, holding each other’s forearms. Contract your abdominal muscles so your torso is erect and your tailbone points toward the floor [A]. Keep body weight toward your heels as you both bend your knees, lowering torsos into a squat position, hips no lower than knee level [B]. Take 2 counts to lower into the squat and 2 counts to straighten legs to starting position. Do 6–l0 reps. Strengthens quadriceps, hamstrings and buttocks.
3) Tug of War Stand facing your partner as in exercise 1, holding hands. Bend your knees, with your back straight, shoulder blades squeezed down and together, sitting back on your heels. At the same time, your partner bends her knees and rounds her back as if to pull away from you. As she straightens her spine to sit back in a squat, you round your back and pull away from her. Continue to alternate this tug of war so you do each move 6–10 times. Strengthens legs, abdominals and lower back.
4) Seated Angle Stretch Sit on the floor facing your partner. Place your feet on the inside of her ankles with your knees slightly bent. Holding hands or forearms, your partner sits erect. Use your feet to press her legs open, gently stretching your groin muscles. To increase stretch on rear of your thighs, your partner gently pulls you toward her so you’re leaning forward from your hips. Hold for 30 seconds, deepening into the stretch with each breath. Switch leg positions so she now gets to stretch. Relax and repeat. Stretches inner thighs and hamstrings.
5) Chest Press Stand facing your partner with legs separated hip-width apart, knees slightly bent. Your partner contracts her abdominal muscles, bending her elbows and touching palms with you, so her elbows point backward, fingers up. Push against her so she’s giving you resistance while you push her away from you. Your partner uses her abdominals to help stabilize her position [A]. When your arms are almost straight, reverse the pushing action so she’s pushing against you [B]. Continue to alternate the chest press 6–l0 times each. Strengthens chest, front shoulders and triceps.
6) Chest Stretch Your partner sits on the ground cross-legged and you place one knee gently against her back. She extends her arms above her head, and you place one hand on the inside of each of her wrists. She sits erect, supported by your knee as you gently pull her arms back until she feels a stretch across her chest. Hold for 30 seconds without bouncing; switch positions. Relax and repeat. Stretches chest and front shoulders.