When you’re dealing with painful cramps and irritating bloating, the last thing on your mind is hitting the gym. But staying active is actually one of the best things you can do to relieve menstrual cramps, and you don’t even have to hit the gym.

All of the exercises we’ve outlined in this article can be done at home and don’t require expensive equipment. We know how exhausting menstrual cramps can be. And we’ve put together 6 simple yet effective exercises to make discomfort that much easier.

Glute bridge

This simple exercise places your body in an inverted position, which helps take the weight off your pelvic floor and reduces painful sensations in your lower abdomen. Lie down and bend your knees so that both feet are flat on the floor.

Bring your fingertips toward your heels and lift your pelvis 1 to 2 inches off the mat. Press your pelvis towards the ceiling and repeat this movement 8 to 10 times.


Walking is the easiest way to keep your heart healthy and relieve unpleasant menstrual cramps. This light, low-intensity cardio exercise helps reduce the stress many women feel during their period.

Walking can be especially beneficial towards the end of your period because your lungs work better later in your cycle.

Knee to chest stretch

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This relaxing exercise can help relieve cramps in the lower abdomen. Lie on your back and straighten one leg. Then gently pull your other knee toward your chin. Hold this pose for a few minutes and repeat with the opposite leg.

Yoga and Pilates

In addition to relieving stress and helping you find your inner peace, yoga and Pilates can reduce many unpleasant period symptoms, such as cramps, muscle fatigue, and pain.

These activities can be especially beneficial a few days before your period starts. Remember that your body may function differently during this time and take a break if you feel that the exercise is too intense for you.

Seated leg forward bend

If you suffer from headaches and mood swings during your period, this simple exercise might be just what your doctor ordered. Sit with your legs stretched out in front of you. Then slowly lean forward, contract your belly, and hold this position for up to 3 minutes.

Do you exercise during your period? Do you know other ways to reduce menstrual cramps?