3 Pregnancy Exercises That Improve Balance

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You know that pregnancy affects your balance. Here's how to condition your body to stay upright, according to yoga teacher Natasha Hennessy.

Goddess

Goddess Pose

How it helps   Strong thighs, hips and core create a foundation for your growing body.

Stand in plié position, feet wide, toes pointing out, and bend knees so thighs are parallel to ground, scooping pelvis under. With feet pressed firmly into the floor, slowly pulse torso up and down—raise arms up as you inhale and lift, exhale as you lower and bring elbows to your sides. "You'll notice your belly and your low back working in harmony with each other," Hennessy says. Repeat for a total of 8 to 10 gentle lifts.

Tree Pose

Tree Pose

How it helps   One-legged poses target gluteal muscles for pelvis and spine stability.Stand with wall slightly less than arm's length away, hands by your sides. Shift weight onto right leg. Lift left knee, open it towards the left side, and place the left foot at the inner right thigh, calf or ankle (never on knee). Lengthen spine and hold hands in prayer or raise arms up overhead as you focus on a spot low and in front of you. Hold for 10 full breaths on each side, touching the wall for support as needed.

Balancing Table

Balancing Exercise

How it helps   Extending opposing limbs homes in on your torso, aka your center of gravity.Place hands under shoulders and knees under hips, keeping neck straight (not hunching). Engage abs as you extend left leg back and reach right arm forward, stretching your body in opposite directions. Hold for 3 breaths, then come back to all fours and repeat on the other side. Continue alternating for 5 to 10 cycles.

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