Exercising during pregnancy benefits both you and your baby during pregnancy, labor, delivery and recovery. While pregnancy is not an appropriate time to embark on a weight loss program, it is possible to improve muscular fitness and even slim down a few trouble spots such as your hips and butt. A few simple exercises are safe to perform during pregnancy and can help you achieve your goals. Consult with your health care provider before beginning a new exercise program.
Walking is an effective low-impact exercise that is safe throughout pregnancy. Walking regularly will not only slim your hips and butt but will also improve overall muscular condition as well as increase cardiovascular fitness. If you did not engage in walking prior to your pregnancy, then begin slowly with short five to 10-minute walks. Progressively increase your time until you're walking 30 minutes a day three to five days per week. If you were an avid walker before pregnancy, then it is generally safe to continue your routine throughout your pregnancy.
Squats are one of the most effective exercises for slimming the hips and butt. They also help strengthen the quadriceps, which tend to lengthen and weaken during pregnancy. Stand with your legs shoulder-width apart. With your back straight, bend your knees and lower your hips toward the floor until your thighs become horizontal. Be sure that your knees don't go passed your ankles. If you are further along in your pregnancy, you may need additional support due to the change in your center of gravity. If this is the case, use a body bar or stand facing an open door and grasp the door knobs for support as you squat.
Target your butt and hips and relieve pregnancy-related back pain with leg lifts. Begin on your hands and knees with your hands directly below your shoulders and your knees even with your hips. Allow your back to relax and your belly to sag toward the floor. Pull your belly up, straighten your back then lift and straighten your right leg to the back. Contract your butt to lift your leg as high as possible, squeezing your butt muscles at the top of the movement. Lower your leg then repeat the movement with your left leg.
Lunges are safe to do throughout pregnancy but may become more difficult to perform as your belly grows. Begin by standing with your legs hip-width apart. Take a large step forward with your right leg. Bend your right knee as you slowly lower your hips toward the floor and transfer your weight onto your right leg. Lower until your knee becomes even with your ankle and your thigh becomes parallel with the floor. To avoid injury, be sure that your knee never goes passed your ankle. Press through your right heel to return to the upright position then repeat the exercise with your left leg.
- "American Council on Exercise Pre- and Post-Natal Fitness"; Lenita Anthony; 2002