How to Stretch a Sore back?
Even minor parenting tasks like carrying your diaper bag and running after your toddler can make your body stiff and achy. Our stretching plan targets the spots that bug moms most.
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Manual labor is a huge part of a mom's job description. As if lifting and carrying your child 24/7 weren't enough of a challenge, you also have to lug a jam-packed diaper bag and tons of gear every time you and your little one leave the house. Minor muscle aches are practically inevitable - but you may pay a major price if you don't treat your body with the same TLC as you would your baby's, says Fabio Comana, an exercise physiologist with the American Council on Exercise in San Diego. He told us which of the everyday moves moms make are potentially harmful, and how you can easily stretch away those painful sore spots.
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Tension Trigger: Lifting Your Child Out of His Crib2 of 10
You save a second by reaching for your baby without lowering the crib's side rail, but you're not doing your back any favors. Bending and reaching compresses your spinal disks unevenly, causing achiness and even long-term back problems. (In the future, lower the railing and slide your baby to you before lifting him.) Try these moves to ease the pain.
Get down on all fours with your hands beneath your shoulders and your knees beneath your hips, neck in line with your spine. Slowly round your back by tightening your abs and tucking in your pelvis (above); hold for five seconds. Then allow your back to sag toward the floor as you lift your chest and head; hold for five seconds. Repeat the combination 10 times.
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Lifting Your Child Out of His Crib: Alternate Stretch3 of 10
Come into the same starting position as you did for the cat-camel stretch. Keeping your abs tight, raise your left arm palm-down in front of you as you extend your right leg behind you. (Your body should create a straight line from fingers to heel.) Hold for five seconds; repeat on the opposite side to complete the set. Do two to four reps.