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4 Pregnancy-Safe Exercises to Add to Your Routine

Add these easy exercises to your regular routine and you’ll ease your aches, boost your mood, and even make labor (a little bit!) easier.

Photo: Thinkstock / The Bump

#1: Shoulder straightener

How to do it

Squeeze your shoulder blades together (while sitting or standing). Hold for 10 seconds. Repeat a few times during the day.

The benefit

Those new curves can make your body hunch forward. This move realigns your posture and stretches chest and back muscles.

#2: Baby hugs

How to do it

Draw in your abs as if to “hug” your baby. Focus on working your obliques too. Hold for three to five seconds while you inhale and exhale -- don’t hold your breath! Repeat this move a few times throughout the day.

The benefit

Helps tighten muscles around your uterus that stretch and weaken as baby grows.

#3: Kegels

How to do it

Contract your pelvic muscles (as if stopping yourself from peeing). Hold for five seconds before releasing. Repeat 10 times a day.

The benefit

This helps strengthen the pelvic floor. Weakness here can lead to discomfort, incontinence, and sexual problems.

#4: Squats

How to do it

Stand with feet hip-width apart and hold a chair. With your weight on your heels, slowly lower as if sitting, pausing at the bottom (never go lower than knee-level). Squeeze glutes and thighs to come up. Do 12 reps, 3 times a day.

The benefit

Squatting is a big part of labor, and this move helps prepare your muscles.

Plus, more from The Bump:

Top 6 Pregnancy Exercises

Pregnancy-Safe Exercises You Can Do Outside

How to Fit Prenatal Exercise Into Your Busy Schedule

-- Lisa Druxman

See More: 1st Trimester , 2nd Trimester , 3rd Trimester , Exercise , Pregnancy Health