Should You Use the Chirp Wheel+ When Pregnant? Here’s How

By Savanna Stone
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Should You Use the Chirp Wheel+ When Pregnant? Here’s How

When you’re pregnant, sometimes it is hard to find positive things about your pregnancy. You tend to focus on the bad: heartburn, morning sickness, and, one of the worst, back pain. Don’t get me wrong, you are also excited to meet your baby and there are happy moments of pregnancy like a kicking baby, setting up the nursery,  or taking a nap. But despite the good, you still can’t help but wonder why there has to be any bad at all. Fortunately, using the Chirp Wheel+ can actually help one of the bad things disappear: back pain. The best reason to use the Chirp Wheel+ when pregnant is that it can make being pregnant so much easier. Using the Chirp Wheel+ is a form of self myofascial release, which is a therapy used to help get rid of back pain. 


Should you use the Chirp Wheel+ when pregnant? 

Yes. It’s okay. Here’s why:

Many of our customers have wondered: is it okay to use the Chirp Wheel+ when pregnant? And the answer is yes. Of course, you should always ask your doctor before you start a new exercise regimen, especially when you’re pregnant. But not only is it okay to use the Chirp Wheel+ when pregnant, some doctors recommend you should. Rolling on the Chirp Wheel+ can actually help with some of the back pain that comes with pregnancy

When you use the Chirp Wheel+ you are actually practicing a form of self myofascial release or trigger point therapy. This type of therapy allows connective tissue to lengthen and open up so that as your ligaments loosen from pregnancy hormones, your muscles can loosen too and cause you less back pain



Benefits of using the Chirp Wheel+ while pregnant:

  • Allows for easy self myofascial release
  • Allows connective tissue to lengthen and open up
  • Releases muscle tension
  • Produces more blood flow
  • Relieves discomfort
  • Increases range of motion
  • Allows for better sleep
  • Decreases fatigue
  • Provides more energy
  • Decreases muscle pain
  • Increases muscle strength
  • Provides relief from increased physical demands of pregnancy and a growing baby


How to use the Chirp Wheel+ during pregnancy:

Just like with almost everything you do during pregnancy, if you use the Chirp Wheel+, you should ask your doctor if it is okay, and you should use caution while rolling out on the wheel by focusing on keeping your balance. Keep hands and feet on the ground as you roll out on the wheel for safety. For more information on how to balance on the wheel, check out our blog post, “How to Balance on a Chirp Wheel.” 

We recommend using the Deep Tissue Chirp Wheel+ for the following stretches.


Glute and IT Band Stretch


  1. Bring left arm to the outside of the wheel. 
  2. Bend your knees and use your feet for support to lift yourself onto the wheel.
  3. Bring left glute onto the wheel.
  4. Use your outside foot to move back and forth on the wheel.
  5. Roll from your glute down to your thigh.
  6. Do this on both sides as many times as is comfortable for you. 

This stretch will help your  glutes and IT band release tension. It will also bring increased blood flow to muscles that are commonly sore during pregnancy, speeding up the healing process. Loosening up these muscles will also help you prepare for birth and will relieve lower back pain associated with pregnancy.



Calf Stretch

  1. Sit on your glutes with your legs bent and the wheel under your right leg.
  2. Lean back onto your hands for support with your palms facing forward.
  3. Place the wheel under your right calf and use your arms lift yourself off the ground as you gently massage out your right calf muscle. You can also do this without lifting yourself by simply bending your leg so the wheel rolls across your calf muscle.
  4. Do this on both sides.

You will feel a nice release in your calves as you massage them out. This stretch is also good for your lymphatic tissue.


Pigeon Pose Stretch

  1. Start on your hands and knees with the wheel under you. 
  2. Bring your right leg forward and rest it on top of the wheel. You should bend your right leg so it is resting on its side (like in the picture above).
  3. Your left leg should be extended with your toes tucked under, and your palms should be on the ground facing forward for ultimate support.
  4. Rock back and forth as you move the wheel from your glute to your thigh.
  5. Do this on both sides.

This stretch opens up your hips, which is a good thing to do before giving birth. And it is good for increasing mobility in your IT band.


Sacrum Release

  1. Sit on your glutes with your legs bent and the wheel under your right leg.
  2. Lean back onto your hands for support with your palms facing forward.
  3. Lift your glutes off the floor and place the wheel under your right glute.
  4. Roll from your glute to your lower back. 
  5. Do this on both sides.

The sacrum is the end of your spine. This area as well as the lower back can become very tight during pregnancy. This Sacrum Release will help loosen up your muscles and give you the relief you’ve been looking for.


Upper Back Opener

  1. Sit on the ground with your knees bent and feet firmly on the ground. Place the Chirp Wheel+ against your back and while holding onto the wheel, gently lie back. Relax. Stay in this position until you feel ready to move on.
  2. Rest your upper back on top of the wheel with it between your shoulder blades. Still holding onto the wheel for support or resting your hands on the ground for balance, raise your glutes off the floor. Relax. Stay in this position until you feel ready to move on.
  3. Begin to roll back and forth on the wheel by bending and straightening your legs and walking yourself forwards and backwards. It will be a forward-backward motion. If you feel it is hard to keep your balance, keep your hands on the wheel or the ground for more stability and support.
  4. For a deeper stretch, lower the back of your head towards the ground and drop your arms to the floor. Relax. Roll out on the wheel for 5 to 10 minutes.
  5. If it is difficult for you to sit on the ground or if using the wheels on the ground is too much pressure, you can use the wheel against the wall for less pressure and easier maneuvering. 

You can do this with any size Chirp Wheel+. Rolling out on the wheel will open up your chest and make you feel like you can breathe easier again (because your lungs will have more room that the baby has been taking). 


Other ways to avoid back pain during pregnancy:

Back pain during pregnancy comes from an increase of hormones, your center of gravity shifting, and additional weight. These are some of the things that you can’t control, but there are some reasons back pain comes that you can control. Instead of sitting for long periods of time, don’t stay in one place for too long, exercise, and use the Chirp Wheel+. Instead of eating poorly, practice good nutrition. Instead of worrying about all the bad and focusing on stress, make time for yourself and relax. Instead of letting yourself get dehydrated, stay hydrated. Instead of practicing poor posture, practice correct posture. Finding solutions to what you can will help you ease your back pain and your mind. 

For more ideas on how to avoid back pain during pregnancy, read this blog post: “How to Prevent Back Pain in Every Stage of Pregnancy.



References

Birth Boot Camp. (2014, December 1). Foam Rolling For Pregnancy. Retrieved from https://birthbootcamp.com/foam-rolling-pregnancy/

Body by Brent. (2017, July 28). Why You Should Be Foam Rolling During Pregnancy. Retrieved from https://bodybybrent.com/why-you-should-be-foam-rolling-during-pregnancy/

FitBump. (2014, May 29). How to Use a Foam Roller During Pregnancy. Retrieved from https://www.fitbump.com/blogs/fitness/14291021-how-to-use-a-foam-roller-during-pregnancy#

Today's Parent. (2019, April 24). 5 ways to foam-roll away your pregnancy pains. Retrieved from https://www.todaysparent.com/pregnancy/5-ways-to-foam-roll-away-your-pregnancy-pains/

University of Rochester Medical Center. (2020). Back Pain in Pregnancy. Retrieved from https://www.urmc.rochester.edu/encyclopedia/content.aspx?contenttypeid=134&contentid=52