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Exercises in Pregnancy: Buttocks, Hips, Thigh

Side Leg Raise

This exercise strengthens the muscles at the sides of hips and thighs. Use ankle weights, if you wish.

  • Stand up straight, directly behind a table or chair, feet slightly apart.Hold onto the chair to help keep your balance.
  • Take three seconds to lift your left leg six to 12 inches out to the side. Keep your back and both legs straight. Don't point your toes outward; keep them facing forward. Hold the position for one second.
  • Take three seconds to lower your leg back to the starting position.
  • Repeat with left leg.
  • Alternate legs, until you have repeated the exercise eight to 15 times with each leg.
  • Rest, then do another set of eight to 15 alternating repetitions.

Hip Flexion (Flexing)

This exercise strengthens the thigh and hip muscles. Use ankle weights, if you wish.

  • Stand to the side or behind a chair or table, holding it with one hand for balance.
  • Take three seconds to bend your left knee and bring it as far toward your chest as possible. Stand straight without bending at the waist or hips.
  • Hold position for one second, then take three seconds to lower your left leg all the way down.
  • Repeat with right leg.
  • Alternate legs until you have done eight to 15 repetitions on each side.
  • Rest, then do another set of eight to 15 alternating repetitions.

Hip Extension

This exercise strengthens the buttocks and lower-back muscles. Use ankle weights, if you wish.

  • Stand 12 to 18 inches away from a table or chair, feet slightly apart.
  • Bend forward from the hips, at about a 45 degree angle, holding onto the table or chair for balance.
  • In this position, take three seconds to lift your left leg straight behind you without bending your knee, pointing your toes, or bending your upper body any farther forward. Hold the position for one second.
  • Take three seconds to lower your left leg back to the starting position.
  • Repeat with the right leg. Alternate legs, until you have repeated the exercise eight to 15 times with each leg.
  • Rest, then do another set of eight to 15 alternating repetitions with each leg.

Knee Flexion (Flexing)

This exercise strengthens the muscles in the back of the thigh. Use ankle weights, if you wish.

  • Stand straight, very close to a table or chair, holding it for balance.
  • Take three seconds to bend your left knee, raising your foot toward your buttocks, so that your calf comes as far up toward the back of your thigh as possible. Don't move your upper leg at all; bend your knee and move only your lower leg.
  • Take three seconds to lower your left leg all the way back down.
  • Repeat with right leg.
  • Alternate legs until you have done eight to 15 repetitions with each leg.
  • Rest, then do another set of eight to 15 alternating repetitions.

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