Pilates Moves to Do During Your Period

Woman doing the Wall roll down

Verywell / Ben Goldstein

Working out during that time of the month can seem like a bad idea for some. Staying on your exercise routine can get disrupted when cramps, back pain, and other cyclic symptoms come out to play each month. Not all exercise will make you worse. Some moves can genuinely help alleviate symptoms in a variety of ways.

This month, test drive a few moves and see if you don't feel a bit better. Whether it's pre-menstrual or menstrual symptoms, both can be relieved by increased endorphins, a boost of oxygen and these 3 moves.

Pilates Lunges

Use this as your warm up to heat the body and prepare it for the follow-up workout.

Stand tall with your feet together in a "Y" shape placing the heel of the front foot in the arch of the back foot. Hold 1-3 pound weights in each hand. Lunge the front leg out stepping onto it and leaning forward as you stretch the back leg straight. The arms lift up overhead as you lunge. In one brisk move step back to your starting position. Inhale to lunge out and exhale to return.

Repeat 8-10 times and then switch sides.

Why It Works

Pilates Lunges get the blood flowing to the larger muscle groups and draw your senses to the periphery of the body rather than the center of the body which is the source of monthly cramps. Additionally, by targeting the larger muscle groups you'll increase your metabolism and rev up your energy combatting the fatigue associated with those particular times of the month.

Side Bends

Sit on one hip with one arm under you for support and legs long out to the side. Lift up on the feet and supporting hand into a side plank. If you can stack your legs together one atop the other, do so. If not simply step one foot in front of the other. Look towards your top shoulder and rest your upper arm along your body. Lower your hip down towards the mat under you and lift back up. Go lower and deeper with each repetition.

Repeat 5-8 times and switch sides. 

Why It Works

Side Bends are a great upper body strengthener and waist whittler for those times when you aren't comfortable lying on your stomach or chest-down. During that time of the month, abdominal moves that target the Rectus (or six pack) can be uncomfortable so instead focus on your obliques with the Side Bend. You'll get a great waist workout without the groaning.

Rolling Down the Wall

Stand leaning against the wall with both feet one step ahead of you. Hold the feet in a small "V" with heels together and toes apart. Hang the arms long by your side and draw your abdominals inward and upward to open your lower back by pressing it towards the wall. You may bend your knees slightly to stretch the low back. Drop your head, then shoulders and arms and begin slowly peeling off the wall one vertebra at a time. Go about halfway down your spine and let the arms just hang loose. Roll back up smoothly pressing each part of your back firmly into the wall as you rise back up. Breathe naturally as you go.

Repeat 3 times total.

Why It Works

Rolling down the wall will ease the low back pain that accompanies PMS or your period by relaxing tight back muscles and restoring symmetry. When back pain happens, muscles tighten up. Use this wall exercise any time of the day to offset any monthly back soreness.

Pick one or all 3 moves to boost your mood and your energy during your period. Odds are you'll feel good enough to tackle a​ full mat workout or just a few extra exercises by the time you are done with these three.

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