Glutes & legs exercises to do while pregnant. Try this prenatal workout using resistance bands to keep your pelvic floor muscles & glutes strong during your pregnancy.
These low impact glutes exercises will help reduce pain pre and postnatal. The glutes when activated and strengthened using targeted exercises, help take stress away from the lower back, stabilise the body and reduce spinal discomfort. When you are pregnant there is even more reason to perform strength building glutes exercises as there are many changes in your body which can lead to pain or discomfort. These include:
1. Back pain. As the centre of gravity moves towards the abdomen, this can place extra strain on the lower back leading to overuse of the lower back & excessive lumbar extension or lordosis. Proper glutes activation will reduce the lumber extension taking strain away from your spine.
2. Joint instability. The hormone relaxin allows your joints to relax so that your body is adapted for your baby. This creates instability which can be the cause of pain and even injury. The glutes medius and maximus need to be strong to maintain stability in your body when your joints are less supportive.
3. Pelvic pain. The sacroiliac (SI) joints link your pelvis to your spine and will be loosened during pregnancy. This loss of stability again can lead to pain and discomfort. Applying ice packs or pressure can help but the muscles of the glutes should also be strengthened also so that they are actively engaged and stabilise your pelvis and hips.
We asked advanced personal trainer and mother-to-be, Kaisa to share a strength building workout which she has been using, to keep her glutes active during her own pregnancy.
The circuit below can be completed with a L1 or L2 glute band. The aim of each exercise is to activate the glutes without placing strain or impact on other areas of the body. Try to complete all exercises with control.
As all pregnancies are unique, we always recommend to consult with your doctor first before attempting exercises so you are not risking any injury.
Prenatal Glute Band Routine (Complete this routine 2x per week)
Complete all exercises for 2 sets
Band Squats - 12 reps
Clamshell - 15 reps each leg
Standing Abduction - 15 reps each leg
Kickback - 15 reps each leg
Bridge Pulses - 30 seconds
Lower hips up and down using small movements. Do not let hips touch floor.
Bridge Abductions - 30 seconds
Push knees out (abduct) and back together using small movements. Keep hips extended (up) always.
Glute Bridge - 15-20 reps
Lower hips up and down keeping tension on the band. Allow hips to touch floor.
Band Walk - 30 seconds
Keep tension on the band and come into a quarter squat position. Step left leg out and back, then repeat this on the right side.
Why these exercises are effective.
You need to include a variety of movements which allow the hips to extend, abduct and adduct in standing or lying positions. This along with the resistance of the glute band, targets the glutes maximus, medius and minimus effectively to take stress away from the pelvis and back.
The added strength from hip extension and abduction exercises also prepares your body for when your baby is born. Lifting and picking your newborn up will be easier with greater stability and power in the hips.
Try this routine out and let us know how you find it! Tag us on Instagram @LetsTrain
A big thank you to new mother Kaisa for providing us with this fantastic routine! You can find Kaisa on Instagram @kaisalarkus