A lot of physical changes happen to your body during nine months of pregnancy. You might be wondering if it's possible to get your pre-pregnancy body back. The good news is that as you follow a consistent workout regimen that includes cardio and strength training exercises, you can tone up your butt and legs, without having to leave the comfort of your home. Plan 15 to 20 minute workouts while baby naps in the morning and again in the afternoon.
A critical part of strengthening your glutes is to do some form of cardio exercise, which is exercise that elevates your heart over a period of time and makes you breathe harder. Not only will cardio help shape your butt, but it will strengthen your leg muscles, help you burn calories and improve your heart and lung health. You should do no less than 20 to 30 minutes of cardio exercise at least three to four days a week. Such exercise might include brisk walking, bicycling, kickboxing, jogging and swimming. For example, walk or jog with your baby in her stroller during morning naptime, where she can sleep while you exercise. Or, put on an aerobic or kickboxing video while she sleeps in the afternoon.
A major part of firming up and strengthening your glutes is to do isometric and isotonic exercises. ACE Fitness suggests a circuit-type workout two to three times a week. This routine, which includes squats and lunges, a quadruped leg lift, step-ups and single-leg squats, requires a set of dumbbells and a step or box roughly 15 inches high. After completing all of the exercises, you can repeat the circuit from the beginning and complete another one to two sets, depending how you feel.
Furthermore, babychildhealthcare.com explains that you can include your baby in many of the exercises that you do. For example, if a squat exercise suggests using dumbbells, you can perform the squat holding your baby or putting her in a baby carrier instead of using the dumbbells.
Squats and Lunges
As a warm up, do one set of 15 squats, feet shoulder-width apart. Engage your abs and bend your knees slowly and lower your body, like you are sitting in a chair. When your thighs are parallel to the ground, slowly return to the standing position.
Next, standing straight, perform a forward lunge by holding a dumbbell in each hand and stepping forward with your right foot. Slowly bend both knees and bring your left knee toward the floor — your left heel will come up off the floor, but keep your left toes planted. Make sure your right knee never goes past your right toes and that you maintain strong posture and alignment with your shoulders back. Slowly push off the floor as you come back to the starting position. Alternate legs and repeat this movement, alternating eight to 12 more times.
Quadruped Leg Lift
Move to the floor and rest on your hands and knees. Lift one leg and keep the knee bent at a 90 degree angle. Raise the leg toward the ceiling until your back and your thigh are completely level. Repeat for 12 repetitions and then switch sides. Avoid twisting your torso or hip -- instead, focus on isolating the butt and stabilizing the rest of your body.
Holding a dumbbell in each hand, step up onto the box with your left leg. As your leg pushes you up onto the box, shift your weight to that side, then step back down on your right leg. Keep your right leg passive throughout the exercise, especially during the step-up phase. Repeat the step-up exercise with the left leg for 12 repetitions and then switch legs and repeat for another 12 repetitions.
Perform the single-leg squat on the ground or on a step, depending on your ability. Begin by standing on your right leg, your left leg slightly bent if you are on the ground, or hanging over the side if you are on a step. Bend your right knee and lower yourself as you push your hips back slightly. Push down to the ground through your heel as you come back to a standing position. Do eight to 12 repetitions before switching legs.
Your body experiences a lot of trauma and change over the course of pregnancy, labor and delivery. Because of these changes, it is important you give your body ample time to rest and recuperate before beginning any exercise routines. Some doctors even suggest waiting four to six weeks before getting back into an active lifestyle. Because every woman's body is different, speak with your doctor before beginning an exercise program. And most importantly, be in-tune with what your body is telling you. If something is too painful or difficult, modify the exercise until you are physically able to perform it safely and correctly.