Leg toning exercises for pregnancy keep your legs lean and slim to look great whilst helping strengthen your legs. Having strength in your leg muscles during your pregnancy and life is essential for a healthy fit body that moves well and can do daily activities with minimal pain.

Pregnancy is an amazing and life-changing time in a woman’s life, whether it’s a woman’s first pregnancy or whether they have been through pregnancy before. The journey of pregnancy and growing a baby brings unexpected, new changes to the body as the effects and endurance of carrying a human being inside the body place extra strain on the muscles and joints.

Whilst strengthening the lower half of your body with functional exercises, making exercise modifications for each stage of your pregnancy and the various demands on your body is a good idea. It keeps the exercises safe and comfortable for you and your baby.

Make Adaptations When Doing Toning and Strengthening Exercises During Pregnancy

Some women, at a more advanced level, such as regular exercisers, athletes or sports women, may want exercises that are challenging enough for their level whilst still being safe and comfort for their bodies, particularly as pregnancy progresses and the baby bump grows. By choosing variations of functional lower body exercises; squats, lunges, deadlifts, and calf raises that suit your level of strength and fitness, stage of pregnancy or size of your baby bump, you won’t compromise the benefits of the exercise or comfort and minimise any risk of injury to keep your body safe.

Caution for Symphysis Pubis Dysfunction, Pelvic Girdle Pain or Sciatica

As your pregnancy progresses you may experience any symptoms of symphysis pubis dysfunction (SPD) or pelvic girdle pain where you have discomfort or pain when the pubis symphysis joint, between your left and right pelvic bones, moves a lot more loosely or unevenly. This happens due to more of the reproductive hormone, relaxin, being secreted by the body to loosen and relax your muscles, joints and ligaments during pregnancy to allow your body to move and stretch. Relaxin goes to the ligaments holding this joint in place so that the pubis symphysis joint becomes more flexible enough for the pelvic bones to open out for delivery of your baby. This can make your body more prone to injury, although many women may not notice it’s affects.

If you start to feel pain, focus on adjusting your body to find neutral alignment in all exercises. When you try a squat, avoid having your feet in a wider position, keep your feet closer together or try the bridge exercise, where you are on your back and lift your hips up and down. Avoid standing on one leg and modify an exercise for a side lying position or with both feet on the floor.

How Can You Tone Your Bottom (Butt) and Thighs When Pregnant?

Incorporating exercises to strengthen the bottom (or butt) muscles into your pregnancy workouts is a good idea too. Most leg exercises target both the bottom or butt muscles and legs. For example, a squat, squat variations and lunges strengthen your thighs, hamstrings whilst being great exercises to strengthen glutes in pregnancy too.

Leg and Bottom (Butt) Strengthening Exercises For Pregnant Women help stabilise your pelvis, strengthen the pelvic floor muscles and reduce your risk of back ache. The glutes, the ones you may be sat on at the moment whist reading this blog post, are the largest muscle group of the body, and they are closely followed by the quadriceps, lats. hamstrings and chest muscles.

One of the roles of the glutes is to provide support to the ligaments and smaller muscles around your spine to provide stability and help when doing daily activities such as picking things up off the floor or carrying a shopping bag, that if they are strong and functional. Back pain from weak hamstrings and glutes combined with the hip flexors becoming tighter and shorter in pregnancy due to being less active and the additional weight of carrying a baby bump out in front of your body can be relieved by a consistent program of leg exercises.

Toning and strengthening your legs during pregnancy will help counteract the release of relaxin, a hormone that relaxes the ligaments to make space in the pelvis for the baby to move down but can affect the stability of your other joints; especially the knees and hips. Squats, lunges and the bridge help promote stability to the knee joint, good posture and balance to the body.

Which Are The Best Exercises To Tone The Legs When Pregnant?

Squats, deadlifts, lunges will improve your range of motion. Pay attention to making sure your form is correct and be consistent with the exercises, adapting them as your pregnancy progresses. Picking up boxes, carrying groceries or shopping, moving a chair is easier when your lower body is used to squatting down and hinging at the hips. Plus when you come to lift your baby, after they are born, your body will be healthier and stronger to squat down by engaging your glutes instead of straining your back.

All your pregnancy strength exercises need the right balance between using enough

weight or resistance with the exercise so you can complete 10 to 12 repetitions of an exercise with good technique and form. Always warm up before your workout and stretch the muscles you’ve trained after the main exercises. When stretching if you feel you can go much further with a stretch in pregnancy than before pregnancy, this is due to the laxity of the joints.

Here are six of the best leg toning exercises during pregnancy which are suitable for all trimesters. They are pregnancy-friendly due to the comfort of the positions, the use of equipment to provide a safe challenge.

Six Best Leg Toning Exercises for Pregnancy

  1. Squat
    Whether you are pregnant or not, squats and the variations of a squat help build strength in the lower body and core. They are a great prenatal exercise to help strengthen the pelvic floor. When you squat, the pelvic floor muscle stretches and lengthens as you bend down, and you engage and lift your pelvic floor as you return to standing.
  2. Lateral Step Squat
    This is a variation of the squat whilst moving to the right and left rather than just stationary. They are an excellent exercise for building strength and endurance in the lower body. They help improve hip stability and balance but target more of the muscles in the side of the glutes (butt).
  3. Lunge
    As your pregnancy progresses, your body is bearing all of your baby’s weight, so strengthening your lower body by practising lunges is very beneficial. Lunges will help maintain the balance and stability of your body as the centre of gravity shifts with the increased weight.
  4. Reverse Lunge to Step
    A variation of a lunge, the reverse lunge to step helps balance, strengthen hips and strengthens and tones legs, hips and core whilst encouraging your baby into an optimal birthing position.
  5. Single Leg Deadlift
    Deadlifts are a fantastic way to strengthen your whole body in pregnancy to prepare you for lifting and carrying your baby. The single-leg deadlift with band pull in this video helps strengthen your upper body too. Using the band is an adaptation of the usual deadlift with a barbell where there is more likelihood of the barbell getting in the way of the lift. You can adapt the single-leg version of the deadlift exercise if you are suffering from pain in the pelvic joint or symphysis pubis dysfunction by standing on the band with both feet hip-width apart.
  6. Inner Thigh Squeeze with Stability Ball
    This exercise with a stability ball helps tone the inner thighs without taking your legs too wide as you would in the lateral lunge. Therefore, it may be more comfortable for women with pelvic girdle pain or symphysis pubis dysfunction. As the inner thigh adductor muscles are close to the pelvis, the inner thigh squeeze with the stability ball helps strengthen and release the pelvic floor muscles too, plus help improve overall body stability.

Tone And Strengthen Your Body At A Time When You Need It Most.

A time when you want to look and feel good, a time when your body needs to be strong to endure growing a baby inside of you.

A full prenatal full-body strength and tone program guiding you through each week of your pregnancy with fully instructed video pregnancy workouts for your legs, arms and core. Plus healthy eating tips to show you how to stay healthy and energised despite nausea and cravings.

Powerful Pregnancy Fitness Program

Powerful Pregnancy: Shape Your Strength. Embrace Your Journey. Full Body Toning and Strength Pregnancy Exercise Program

How to Have a Fit Pregnancy, Heal and Tone After Pregnancy! Get the latest on abdominal separation, diastasis recti, pregnancy exercise, c section recovery tips and more.

Consult your doctor or health professional and follow all safety instructions before beginning any exercise program. Results may vary. Exercise and the correct nutrition are necessary to achieve and maintain muscle tone and weight loss. Bump and Beyond by Vicky Warr is a registered trademark of Bump and Beyond by Vicky Warr Ltd., ©2024 Bump and Beyond by Vicky Warr. All rights reserved.

Log in with your credentials

Forgot your details?