Mombod: Strong, sexy back
Moms do heavy lifting and leaning every day. Here’s how to keep your posture on point to prevent imbalances and pain.
HAVING KIDS MEANS lots of repetitive moves (toting, lifting, pushing) that can tweak your alignment. But shoring up your postural muscles—the ones that get the most taxed doing all of the above—is actually pretty simple. You’ll want to do moves and stretches that counteract the imbalances you’ve created. Alycea Ungaro, owner of Real Pilates studios in New York City, suggests using a 2-to-1 ratio: “If you’re weak on your left side— maybe it’s the arm or hip you don’t use to carry your kid—do a side plank on your left arm, one on your right, and then left again to even things out.” (The same ratio goes for stretching, only the extra TLC is for your tight, overtaxed side.)
And when you’ve got 10 minutes, do the drills at right from Shannon Crumpton, a postnatal fitness specialist in Montgomery, Alabama. She uses these posture- strengtheners with her mom clients because, she says, “the best defense is a good offense.”
As you push, resist leaning your head forward—keep that neck in neutral.