Strong Women trainer Janine George demonstrates how to ease period cramps and increase energy with these three core and glute exercises.
It’s an outdated trope that women crumble as soon as their period hits – we all know that we’re perfectly capable of working, training and watching It’s A Sin without becoming an emotional wreck (OK, perhaps not the last one). But we shouldn’t ignore the fact that our bodies are in a state of flux during menstruation. There’s no shame in adapting our plans to accommodate pain, discomfort or tiredness – particularly when it comes to working out.
“Exercise in general increases endorphins, which are natural painkillers,” explains holistic gynaecologist Dr Hind Al-Husain from Chelsea Pharmacy Medical Clinic. “But glute and core exercises are particularly useful as they increase blood flow to the pelvis which helps to ‘flush away’ prostaglandins, the main cause of contractions of the uterine muscles and therefore pain.”
Watch the video to learn three glute-strengthening and core-engaging moves from Strong Women Training Club trainer Janine George that you can do at your own pace – whether you feel ready to take on the world or ready for a lie down.
- Come on to an all fours position with your shoulders directly over wrists.
- Lift your left arm and right knee off the floor and extend them out straight to opposite sides of the room, keeping your belly button pulled in towards your spine.
- Bend your elbow and knee so that they meet under your stomach, then extend them back out.
Do 20 reps
BRIDGE WITH LEG LIFT
- Lie on your back with your feet flat on the floor. Place your arms down by your sides with your palms flat on the floor.
- Keep your tailbone tucked under so that your spine is flat against the floor at all times.
- Lift your hips off of the floor, maintaining your tucked tailbone position.
- Lift your right foot off of the floor and extend your leg out straight.
- Lift your leg up towards the ceiling and then slowly lower it down as close to the floor as possible. If you struggle with the leg raise, you can simply lift the hips up and down off the floor.
Do 10 reps per leg
- Come back to an all fours position.
- Lift your right leg out to the side, keeping the knee bent.
- Hover it as high off the ground as you can, then pulse your leg up and down three times before taking it all the way back down.
Do 10 reps on each leg, 3 pulses per rep
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Chloe Gray is the senior writer for stylist.co.uk's fitness brand Strong Women. When she's not writing or lifting weights, she's most likely found practicing handstands, sipping a gin and tonic or eating peanut butter straight out of the jar (not all at the same time).
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