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A 20-Minute Gentle Workout For Your Menstrual Phase

Maeve McEwen, CPT
Certified Personal Trainer
By Maeve McEwen, CPT
Certified Personal Trainer
Maeve McEwen is a certified personal trainer and Lead Trainer and Director of Programming at P.volve, located in NYC. Her passion for anatomy led her to pursue a degree in Dance and Movement Science at the University of Michigan and certifications including NASM Personal Training, Corrective Exercise Specialist, Gray Institute 3D Maps CFS, Pilates Mat, and Integrative Health Coaching.
February 8, 2022

Have you heard of working out in tune with your menstrual cycle? Basically, it's the concept of optimizing your fitness routine to coincide with how you're feeling based on your hormones, energy levels, and more (you can read more about that here). As a lead trainer at P.volve I'm here to share some insights into exercising for your cycle, based on P.volve's Phase & Function program, created along with our Clinical Advisory Board of doctors, nutritionists, and more. 

First up: Your menstrual phase, aka your period. During this time, energy levels are at their lowest, so you may notice you feel a bit more tired than usual. That's why it's important to be mindful of how much rest you need, and take things slow.

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I recommend doing some gentle stretching toward the beginning of your menstrual phase, then easing into some low-impact workouts toward the end. I also advise against any kind of intense exercise during this time.

In this workout, we'll be moving in a way that allows you to contract and release through your abdominals to reduce inflammation, bloating, boost circulation, and in a way that supports what is happening hormonally in the menstrual phase

Please join me on the mat and let's move through this active stretch for your menstrual phase!

Workout Summary

  • Time: 20 minutes
  • Equipment: Yoga mat
  • Instructions: Follow along with the video, and move from one exercise to the next as indicated. For the movement demonstrations below, complete for 60 seconds, repeating on both sides where necessary.

Cat-Cow

Image by mbg creative
  1. Come to all fours. Ground down through your palms.
  2. As you inhale, drop your belly, and bring your gaze up to the sky.
  3. As you exhale, curl and round your spine, and bring your gaze toward your belly button.
  4. Continue for 60 seconds.

Diagonal Lunge + Reach

Image by mbg creative
  1. From a kneeling position, take one leg forward, and place your foot on the mat in front of you at a slight diagonal.
  2. Bring your hands to the mat in front of you, leaning into your front foot, keeping your front knee tracking in line with your second and third toe.
  3. Very gently start to find a circular motion throughout your body, moving from your hip.
  4. Continue on one side for 60 seconds, then repeat on the opposite side.

Bird Dog

Image by mbg creative
  1. From a tabletop position, extend your right hand in front of you and your left leg behind you.
  2. Bend your back, curl your body inward, and bring your knee to touch your elbow.
  3. Reach and extend. Continue for 60 seconds, then repeat on the opposite side.

Spinal Roll Down

Image by mbg creative
  1. Start in a seated position on your mat, with your knees bent, and feet flat on the ground in front of you. Place your hands behind your thighs.
  2. Roll off your tailbone and curl your spine, allowing your head to come forward.
  3. Then roll up and forward, allowing your chest to come forward, creating a backbend in your spine.
  4. Continue for 60 seconds.

Seated Spinal Rotation

Image by mbg creative
  1. Come down to sit on your mat, with your right leg crossed over the left. Be sure to keep your spine tall, and plug your sitz bones into the mat.
  2. Bring your top knee toward your chest. Take your left hand, place it on the mat behind you, and press your right arm against your right knee. Take a deep breath in.
  3. As you exhale, twist the body, gazing over your left shoulder.
  4. Hold for a couple of breaths, then come back to center. Repeat on the opposite side.
  5. Continue for 60 seconds, then switch legs and repeat.

Star Pose

Image by mbg creative
  1. Lie on your mat, and bring your body into an "X" shape, reaching your legs and arms spread out wide.
  2. Take an inhale, and on the exhale, hug your body inward, squeezing everything together.
  3. On the inhale, release your body back into that "X" shape.
  4. Repeat three times.
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Maeve McEwen, CPT
Maeve McEwen, CPT
Certified Personal Trainer

Maeve McEwen is a certified personal trainer and Lead Trainer and Director of Programming at P.volve, located in NYC. Her passion for anatomy led her to pursue a degree in Dance and Movement Science at the University of Michigan and certifications including NASM Personal Training, Corrective Exercise Specialist, Gray Institute 3D Maps CFS, Pilates Mat, and Integrative Health Coaching. Maeve helps her clients find optimal function and balance within their own bio individual bodies through a focus on breathwork, mindset tools, and mobility, stability and strength training. After her own experience using the P.volve Method to recover from an ongoing hip injury, Maeve moves pain free, without restrictions and makes it her mission every day to help others find the same.