Three simple and safe exercises for pregnant ladies and postnatal women

Antenatal Education: Three simple and safe exercises for pregnant ladies  

In this blog, I wanted to share some simple exercises you can easily incorporate into your daily routine at home. There are many benefits you can gain from moving and exercising regularly during your pregnancy, which you can read about in my previous blog ‘The benefits of exercise during pregnancy’.

These three exercises help to build strength in your core, legs and back. They are designed to help keep your spine mobile, your pelvic floor strong and build muscles in your legs which your body will use postnatally to repair.

So take a little ‘me-time’ and follow these simple movements. You can also view these three exercises on my YouTube channel – Watch here.

Feet Stretches and Strengthening: Balances

By stretching and strengthening the feet we are strengthening the ankles, legs, hips and pelvis. Your feet are your base, carrying your whole body so it’s important that we strengthen and look after them.

For this exercise, try taking your weight into your heals and spreading all of your toes. Then place down only your little toes, followed by your big toes, while keeping the middle toes up. This helps to strengthen the arches in your feet. 

Before you balance, draw your abdominal muscles in slightly, look at something that isn’t moving, then take your body weight to the left, then slowly lift your right knee. If you have pelvic girdle pain please keep both feet on the floor. Then try on the other leg too. Repeat three to five times

Building strength: Squats

Squats are a great exercise help to build muscles in your legs. Our legs not only carry our growing baby for nine months but support us during labour to keep active and up right, helping to shorten labour time.

The muscles also help to repair your body after birth. Muscles store protein and then use this to repair where it’s needed in the body, such as bruising.

Before starting, make sure you are comfortable with your feet and knees both facing forwards. Have a chair close by for support, either in front of you or to your side.

If you have any pelvis pain, keep your toes facing the chair and the feet and knees only hip-width apart. If you have varicose veins in your legs, a prolapse or knee problems only dip a small amount.

Slowly start to lower your bottom backwards, shifting your weight to your heels as you bend at the knee. Only go as low as you feel comfortable and keep your knees behind your toes.

Relax the pelvic floor as you move downwards and as you come uplift and squeeze the pelvic floor. Making sure you relax it in full on the way back down. Repeat as many times as you feel comfortable then rest.

Core strength: Superwomen

A strong and stable core is essential for everyday life – from getting out of bed, picking up your bag or putting on your shoes. They literally help you to stay upright.

Having a strong, stable core helps us to prevent injuries and protect our spine from excessive load.

For this exercise, have a comfortable mat or floor surface. Position yourself on your hands and knees, making sure your hands are under the shoulders or slightly wider. Bring your knees so they are under your hips or slightly wider if it’s more comfortable.

Throughout the exercise, keep your spine from head to bottom in a straight line, facing the floor with your shoulders relaxed. Draw in your abdominal muscle’s breath steady, then move your left-hand forwards keeping your finger tips on the floor. Then extend the right leg back keeping the toes on the floor. When you are ready, while keeping your hips and shoulders level lift the opposite arm and leg off the floor. If pregnant only lift an inch or so.

Keep breathing, draw in core, hold position for a few breathes then lower and change sides. If you have pelvic pain work with raising the arm while keeping the knee on the floor.

With any exercise, it is important to always listen to your body – if something doesn’t feel right or you have any pain then please stop. What you eat also has an impact on your body strength and energy. Try to eat at least 5 fruits or vegetables each day, keeping treats and sugary foods to a minimum.

Watch my video to find out how to do these 3 exercises to keep you strong in pregnancy and postnatal. FREE VIDEO.

Do you want to learn more? Look out for the blog The benefits of exercise during pregnancy.