In previous posts about Pilates during pregnancy we have covered other important areas to focus on such as arm exercises, tummy exercises and pelvic floor exercises. In this post, we will continue the series and discuss lower body exercises during pregnancy, focusing specifically on the glutes and the calves.
The glutes play an important part in maintaining correct posture during pregnancy. Doing glute exercises can ease discomfort in your back and hips. They also help you maintain your balance. Working the deep calf pump is important to help the circulation in the legs which helps to prevent swelling and prevent those painful calf cramps that wake you up at night!
These are two exercises that are great whether you are pregnant or not but are safe and effective either way.
Lower body exercise 1: kneeling side legs over the ball
Start up on your knees. Place the ball on your right side, extend your left leg out and lower you body onto the ball making sure there is no pressure on your bottom knee. Place your right hand under your head to support your neck.
Inhale to prepare, exhale lift the leg till it is as close to parallel to the floor as you can get it. Inhale lower it back down. Repeat this 10 times. On the 10th one, leave the leg up and do 5 circles forward and 5 circles backwards trying to stay stable on the ball, hold the leg up for 10 counts, rest.
Repeat on the other side. Make sure to keep breathing throughout the exercise!
Lower body exercise 2: The calf stepper
- Step 1: Start standing up against a wall for support. Stand with feet hip width apart.
- Step 2: Bend the knees and lift the heels off the floor. Make sure to keep the body upright and the knees aligned over the toes.
- Step 3: Straighten the knees going up to a rise keeping the heels lifted right off the ground.
- Step 4: Lower the heels down with straight legs going back to the beginning position.
- Repeat these steps 20 times.
These are 2 great exercises to get the lower body moving and working. Combine them with your arm exercises and tummy exercises and you’ll be well on you way to a great workout for your whole body during pregnancy!