6 Easy Stretches to Relieve Menstrual Cramps

A healthy lifestyle with regular exercise and a proper diet is important for a fulfilling life. For women, being healthy should be a priority. From childbirth to menstrual cramps, every woman goes through them. Biology can’t be changed for the process like childbirth but menstrual cramps can be controlled.

Menstrual Cramps are caused by muscle contractions in the uterus. It causes discomfort around the lower abdomen, back, and thighs when you are on your periods. Prostaglandins are a hormone-like substance that is responsible for severe menstrual cramps.

Women usually avoid exercising during this time of the month because of the pain. But the fact is exercising can reduce menstrual cramps and lighten your mood.

High-intensity workouts are not ideal in this situation as they break the muscles which will increase the pain. Stretching is the best exercise to confide in during this time.

Stretches, in general, are slow and comforting. They open the blood tissues which regulate blood circulation. The oxygen intake also increases by deep and heavy breathing. This in turn directly reduces menstrual cramps. There are certain stretches that you can practice at home to reduce the pain.

Relaxing Stretches to Relieve Menstrual Cramps

1. The Forward Bend

It stretches the hips, hamstrings, and calves which open up the blood tissues. The blood circulation also improves as the body bends forward. This exercise strengthens the thighs and knees and makes your spine strong and flexible. It helps in reducing stress and anxiety which are vital during periods. The lower abdomen will get stretched too relieving the menstrual cramp.

6 Easy Stretches to Relieve Menstrual Cramps
How to do it –
  • Stand with your legs joined together.
  • Keep your arms close to your waist on both sides.
  • Raise your arms towards the ceiling and stand on your toes.
  • Take a deep breath at this step.
  • Exhale and bend down with hands touching your floor/ankle.
  • Hold for 30 – 60 seconds.
  • Beginners can bend their knees to reach the ground.
  • The posture will improve with practice

2. Cobra Pose

This yoga pose is effective in decreasing body inflammation. The nervous system removes the toxins out of our bodies. This pose directly strengthens the system. Menstrual cramps get stressed as 1 +1 deal. This exercise lowers the stress hormones as well.

6 Easy Stretches to Relieve Menstrual Cramps
How to do it –
  • Lie on the floor with stomach resting down.
  • Keep your legs straight and joined together.
  • Put your palms under the shoulders
  • Lift your head and shoulders with the support of your hands.
  • Keep your hips and legs on the floor only.
  • Hold this for 30 – 60 seconds
  • Try doing this on an empty stomach.

3. Butterfly Pose

It helps to calm your mind and relieve stress. It opens up tight hamstrings improving blood circulation. The inner thigh stretch helps to reduce menstrual cramps. And the bending down improves flexibility. It also stimulates abdominal organs, ovaries and prostate gland.

6 Easy Stretches to Relieve Menstrual Cramps
How to do it –
  • Sit on the floor with your legs straight.
  • Slowly bend your knees inwards and bring your feet close, facing each other.
  • Keep your back straight and use your hands to hold the feet.
  • Slowly bend towards your leg.
  • Keep your hips on the floor.
  • Bend your arms to reach your ankle.
  • Hold this position for 20 – 40 seconds.
  • Don’t bend too much if your backbone is hurting.

4. Cow Pose

It is again a restorative pose. It Improves posture and balance as it stretches the spine and neck. It Increases coordination with strengthening of hips and the back. It relieves menstrual cramps as it massages and stimulates organs in the lower abdomen.

6 Easy Stretches to Relieve Menstrual Cramps
How to do it –
  • Sit on your knees with your back straight.
  • Slowly bend forward and rest your palms on the floor.
  • Your wrists must be directly under your shoulders.
  • And your knees directly under your hips.
  • Slowly lift your back up.
  • Your thighs and your hands should become parallel.
  • For Cow Pose, lift your chin and chest and look at the ceiling.
  • Hold this for 20 – 40 second.

5. Supine Twist Stretch

6 Easy Stretches to Relieve Menstrual Cramps

This stretch is a natural massager. It massages your abdominal organs and strengthens their muscles. It is more like a resting exercise to relieve menstrual cramps. It relaxes the spine and realigns it. This eases the back and the neck muscles which improves breathing. It also hydrates the back muscles and bones as well.

How to do it –
  • Lie on your back with your legs straight.
  • Keep your back straight and spread your arms outward on both sides.
  • Bend your right knee and put your foot on the left knee
  • Twist your spine and back on the left side.
  • Throw your right leg on the left side
  • Hold this for 20 – 30 seconds
  • Repeat the same with the left leg.
  • Keep your shoulders on the ground throughout the process.

6. Child pose

This is the easiest pose to reduce stress and anxiety. Since this is done with the support of the head and torso, it stretches the lower back and neck. The stretching of the back, shoulder, neck, and ankles relaxes the muscles. This in turn relieves fatigue. This is the best exercise if you are low on energy. It will refresh your mood and your body.

6 Easy Stretches to Relieve Menstrual Cramps
How to do it –
  • Kneel on the floor and touch your toes together to form a triangle between them.
  • Rest your hips on your feet and sit straight.
  • Bend forward with your arms stretched forward parallel to your knees.
  • Then, Stretch your upper body forward.
  • Rest your head and palms on the floor.
  • Try to hold this position in between 30 – 60 seconds.

These were some of the stretches to relieve menstrual cramps. With all the daily constraints life brings in – work, travel, family responsibility, etc. it is important to focus on health all the time. You can do these stretches  anytime and anywhere as no equipment is needed. They are uncomplicated, inexpensive  and something every woman can do. Health is a primary right or even a basic human right. Don’t let mother nature stop you from this.

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