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Gymnastics in pregnancy and exercises for cellulite! (part 2)

The exercises we propose in this article can be done safely by pregnant women and women who have recently given birth. They favor physical fitness in general, but are more directed towards localized cellulite. They can be done by anyone with the same intention: to fight cellulite. These exercises were taken from the website https://postpartumtrainer.com/ . In any case, consult your doctor before starting to do these exercises.

And don't forget that exercise should be accompanied with a healthy diet and plenty of waterExercises alone are not enough.

The article is divided into three parts:

  • How to exercise the inner thighs during pregnancy
  • 9 leg exercises you can do during pregnancy
  • How to exercise the outer thighs during pregnancy

 

The best exercises for the inner thighs during pregnancy (and postpartum)
 

inner-thigh-exercises-pregnancy-and-postpartum

 

1. Squat of juice bowl

This movement will train the adductors (inner thighs), quadriceps (front of the thighs) and the glutes.

To get the most out of this exercise, hold a weight in the cup position, as shown below. You can use an elastic band above your knees to make the exercise more difficult.

goblet-squat-pregnancy-exercises

 

  • Take a dumbbell or weight and hold it against your chest with your palms up and your elbows bent at your sides.
  • Then, set the posture reasonably wide, with your toes pointing outward at 45 degrees.
  • Squat as low as you can comfortably. Slowly, taking 3 seconds to reach the bottom.
  • In the lower position, take a break for 1 second and go back up slowly and controlled.

 

10-12 repetitions per set .

 

Can I do squats during pregnancy?

Yea! The squat is one of the best exercises to do during pregnancy. Helps strengthen your lower body and open your hips. Both will be really useful for childbirth and postpartum recovery.

 

2.Side Lunges

This is probably the most effective exercise for the adductor muscles. 

This exercise requires balance. The back of a chair works very well.

lateral-lunge-leg-workout-pregnancy

  • Standing with your feet together and your hands at your chest (or in the chair to keep your balance).
  • Then, step out with a sideways walk, keeping your toes pointing forward.
  • Squat to one side.
  • Make sure to keep your other leg straight with your foot flat on the floor.
  • When descending, you will feel a good stretch along the inner thigh of the extended leg.
  • Stand with your feet together and repeat.
  • If balance is not an issue, feel free to hold a dumbbell.

 

10-12 repetitions for each side.

 

3. Curtsy Lunges

Instead of going sideways, take a step back. It will strengthen your quadriceps and hips. 

If your pregnancy is advanced, use a chair to balance yourself.

curtsy-lunge-with-dumbbell

  • Standing with your feet together and your hands at your chest (or in the chair to keep your balance).
  • One step back and behind the other foot.
  • Keep your toes pointing forward.
  • From here, bend with both knees to a comfortable depth.
  • Hold the lower position for 1 second and then return to the starting position.
  • Repeat the desired number of repetitions

 

10-12 repetitions per side.

 

4. Side addition elevators

 

postpartum-leg-exercise-adductor

  • Lie on your side, resting on your elbow and forearm.
  • Extend the leg closest to the floor and bend the knee of the top leg and place your foot on the floor.
  • Lift your lower leg off the floor while keeping your knee straight.
  • Hold the upper position for 2-3 seconds and lower it back.
  • Repeat.

 

12-15 repetitions per side.

 

5. Squeeze a ball lying on its side (between the feet)

Requires a ball or a folded cushion / pillow to place between your feet.

ball-squeezes-pregnancy-exercise

  • Lie on your side, with your head resting on your elbow.
  • Place the ball between your feet and keep your legs extended.
  • Then, squeeze the ball with your feet. 
  • You should feel the inside of your thighs activated.
  • Hold this contraction for 3-5 seconds and release.
  • Repeat the desired number of repetitions.

 

15-20 repetitions, changing the lower leg.


The five previous exercises are the best for the inner thigh you can do during pregnancy and in the postpartum period.

Feel free to do 1-2 circuits of these 5 exercises twice a week.
 

leg-exercise-postpartum-women

 

Can I exercise my legs during pregnancy?

It is safe to work your legs during pregnancy, as long as you have no contraindications for exercise. In fact, it is recommended that you exercise regularly during pregnancy.
 

Which leg exercises should be avoided during pregnancy?

The most common exercises to avoid are exercises in which you lie on your back for prolonged periods in the second and third trimesters, because the uterus can begin to compress the main blood vessels located in the pelvis. This compression will compromise blood flow for you and your baby. 

A common movement to be careful is the gluteal bridge, which is represented hereinafter.
 

glute-bridge

Exercises that require a lot of balance These exercises increase the risk of falling or hitting your belly. Avoid this! Common examples are exercises for one leg. You can do these exercises with some changes as they will be presented below.

Exercises that include jumping Obvious! You should not exercise if you jump, up and down, like box jumps or burpees. They cause a lot of stress in the uterus and the placenta and can lead to unwanted complications.

 

So, which exercises work best with your legs?


The following are the main 9.

To increase the difficulty of any of the leg exercises, elastic bands that create resistance can be used.

Let's start.

1. The squat

The number one leg exercises for pregnant women are squats. This movement trains many leg muscles, the abdominal muscles and the pelvic floor muscles.

squat

  • Do your best to keep your heels flat on the floor and your back straight.
  • The squat will exercise the muscles of the front of the legs (quadriceps), the inner part of the thighs (the adductors) and the tail (the glutes).
  • Use the back of a chair as a support.
  • This will help to go as low as possible in comfort. 

 

10-12 repetitions per set.

 

Is it okay to do squats during pregnancy?

The squat is a great way to help maintain strength and tone in your leg muscles, as well as improving the mobility of your hips and ankles. If you can't squat to the end, go as far as you can. Squat down as comfortably as possible and use a support chair if necessary.

squat-in-pregnancy



 

2. Modified Step Ups

The modified step is the first single leg exercise that we will examine.

You should avoid exercises that require a lot of balance, but a simple way to modify the step-up is to use a shorter platform.

step-up

  • Keep your hips level and your knees pointing forward throughout the exercise. (Do not let your knees bend inwards).
  • Try not to push too hard with your right foot when making this move.
  • At the beginning, feel free to use the back of a chair to balance yourself.
  • The step-up will exercise the muscles in front of the thighs, the inner thighs and the buttocks.

 

12 repetitions on each leg.

 

3. Reverse squats

They are another great leg exercise that you can safely do during pregnancy.

reverse-lunge

  • If you keep your hands on your hips or down at your sides, to help keep your pelvis neutral while taking a step back.
  • It is not necessary for the right knee to touch the ground.
  • Feel free to use a chair at the beginning, to help maintain balance.
  • The reverse squat will exercise the muscles in the front of the thighs, the inner thighs and the buttocks.

 

12 repetitions on each leg.
 

4. Modified Side Squats

The side squat is the last exercise with one leg. Help yourself to a chair to help you keep your balance.
 

lateral-lunge-leg-workout-pregnancy

  • Keep your heels flat on the floor and your non-flexing leg straight.
  • Go as low as you can comfortably.
  • This exercise will work the muscles in the front of the thighs, the inner thighs and the hamstrings in the back of the thighs.

 

10-12 repetitions on each leg.
 

5. Lifting the abductor on its side

The abductor lying on its side is a simple leg exercise that you can do at any time.

leg-lifts-leg-workout-pregnancy

  • This exercise will train the abductors of the legs, which are on the outside of the thighs and buttocks.
  • Train your left and right legs evenly.

 

12-15 repetitions per leg.

 

6. Tweezers lying on its side
 

Right after lifting the leg lying on its side, you can move to the forceps lying on its side.

clam-shell

  • This exercise will work on the external rotators of the hips, such as the medial glutes.
  • Keep your heels together and rotate one knee up.

 

12-15 repetitions per side.
 

7. Juice squats
 

The juice squat is another variation of the squat that emphasizes the muscles of the hips and the inner thighs.

pregnancy-sumo-squat-leg-workout

  • Start comfortably with your feet as far apart as possible.
  • Turn your toes to the side.
  • Squat using a support chair until you feel a stretch in your groin.
  • Go back, tightening the tail muscles.
  • Always keep your heels flat on the floor.
  • This exercise will work the quadriceps, the adductors, which are the muscles of the inner thigh, and the hip flexors.

 
12 repetitions per set.
 

8. Hip Hinges
 

The hip hinge is a great exercise to do during pregnancy to work the hamstrings (the back of the thighs) and the buttocks (the tail).

pregnancy-hip-hinge

  • Begin the exercise by pushing your tail back, keeping your spine straight.
  • In the final extension, you should feel the hamstring stretch.
  • You can do a slight knee flexion.
  • If you need to, use the back of a chair as a support.
  • If this exercise puts a lot of pressure on your belly, don't do it.
  • This exercise will work your hamstrings and glutes.

 

12 repetitions per set.
 

9. Donkey Kick

Donkey kicking is a common exercise for the hamstrings and hamstrings, safe during pregnancy.

donkey-kick-exercise

  • Kneel down and get on all fours. Keep your back straight and kick one leg up towards the sky.
  • Keep your back straight. Do not arch your lower back, as this can make lower back pain worse.
  • Another variation is to simply kick your leg back while pressing on the gluteal muscle.
  • This exercise will also work the hamstrings and the buttocks.

 

12 repetitions per leg.
 

Bonus exercise # 1: lifting the twins

Twin lifting is a bonus exercise that can be safely performed during pregnancy.

calf-raise

  • The elevation of the twins is simple.
  • Use the back of a chair to help maintain balance.
  • Exercise is even better if you do it on a platform where your heels can be lower than the front of your toes.
  • Hold the upper position for at least 1 second before going back down.
  • Go down as slowly as possible.
  • This exercise will work your leg muscles - gastrocnemius, posterior tibialis and soleus.

 

20 repetitions per set.
 

Bonus exercise 2: lifting the adductor lying on its side

The next bonus exercise is the increase of the adductor lying on its side.

It is similar to lifting the leg you did earlier, but instead of lifting the top leg, it will lift the bottom leg. Place the top leg in front of the bottom leg with the knee bent.

postpartum-leg-exercise-adductor

 

 How to exercise the outer thighs during pregnancy
 

get-rid-of-saddlebags-postpartum

 

1. The squat

The squat is the king of all exercises. He trains the quadriceps (front of the thighs), adductors (inner thighs), glutes (tail) and the inside.

You can do the squat with elastic bands , dumbbells , kettlebells or with a barbell. 

goblet-squat-pregnancy-exercises

 

  • Standing with feet slightly wider than shoulder width and toes pointing outward, about 30 degrees.
  • Take your weight (Theraband tape, kettlebell, dumbbells or barbell) and position it on your chest (kettlebell), shoulders (dumbbells) or on your upper back (barbell).
  • Keep the spine straight, inhale.
  • Crouch down, simultaneously bending your hips and knees.
  • Squat slowly until your thighs are parallel to the floor.
  • Your knees should go in the same direction as your toes, and don't let them fall inward.
  • Pause in the lower position.
  • Return to the starting position and squeeze the buttocks at the top of the exercise while exhaling.
  • The heels should not come off the floor and the back should be very straight / straight and the chest up.
  • This exercise should be done twice a week.

 

8-12 repetitions per set at about 7/10 intensity.

 

2. The Deadlift

The second best exercise for developing lower body strength is deadlifts.

The deadlift strengthens the muscles that stretch the hips. This includes the hamstrings (back of the thigh), the glutes (tail), and the muscles of the lower back and abs.

You can do deadlifts with dumbbells , kettlebells or a barbell. 

suitcase-deadlift

  • Standing with feet shoulder-width apart and facing forward
  • Hold your chosen weight with your arms extended ( dumbbells , kettlebell or barbell).
  • Breathe in and strengthen the abdominal area. Right column.
  • Bend the waist (NOT the spine).
  • Focus on pushing your tail back, as if you want to press a button with your buttocks
  • Keep your knees relatively straight (a slight bend is fine).
  • Push your hips back until you feel a good stretch along your hamstrings
  • DO NOT lose column alignment! Go as low as possible to maintain this position.
  • Pause for 1 second, then reverse the movement by extending your hips while exhaling
  • Contract your glutes at the beginning of the exercise.
  • You must practice Deadlift at least once a week.

 

 

3. Curtsy Lunge

Curtsy lowering is a variation that trains the glutes and the outer thighs.

curtsy-lunge

  • Standing with your feet together and your spine straight and elevated.
  • Take a step back and cross with one foot while lowering.
  • Do the movement slowly and create a mind-muscle connection (that is, focus on the other thigh) while performing the exercise.
  • Keep your chest lifted throughout the movement.
  • If you find exercise too easy, hold a dumbbell against your chest.

 

12-15 repetitions on each side.

 

4. X-Band walks

The X-band walk is an easy exercise to really reach the outside of the thighs and the muscles of the buttocks. You will need a long resistance band.

banded-x-walks

  • Step inside one of the handles of the band with both feet.
  • Take the other loop and cross it to create an "X".
  • Keeping a slight knee flexion.
  • Walk 10 steps sideways on each side.

 

10 steps in one direction, then 10 steps in the other direction.

 

5. Heavy standing hip abductions


This exercise seems easier than it is. To do it well, you will need something heavy to land against your thighs, such as a weight plate, a heavy dumbbell , or something else to improvise.

weighted-hip-abductions

  • Position yourself close to a wall to balance yourself.
  • Hold the weight against the thigh on the side furthest from the wall.
  • Let the foot of the active leg hang out.
  • You will abduct (raise your leg laterally) against the weight / lifting the weight.
  • Align your leg lift with your torso in a straight line.

 

20 repetitions per leg.

 

6. Hydrant circles

Fire hydrant circles are a great exercise for the glutes, the outer thighs, as well as improving hip mobility.

fire-hydrant-circles

  • Place yourself in the quadrupedal position, (with your back as flat as possible).
  • Protect your abs and try to maintain a neutral spine position throughout the movement.
  • Lift one knee off the floor and rotate your hips to the side.
  • From here, draw a large circle with your knee. Repeat 10 times.
  • Switch sides.

 

10 repetitions clockwise and then 10 repetitions counterclockwise on each side.

 

7. Modified side plank abductions

The modified abduction of the lateral plank strengthens the central / oblique muscles and the outer part of the thighs.

modified-side-plank-abductions

  • In a modified side plank position, support your forearm and lower leg on the floor.
  • Abduct your top leg as high as you can, comfortably and slowly return to the starting position.
  • To make this exercise more challenging, you can do it with your hand (with your elbow extended).
  • To make it even more difficult, you can do this from a full side plank position.

 

12-15 repetitions on each side.

 

8. Quadruped abduction pump

This exercise some lactic acid accumulates on the outside of the thighs and the buttocks.

 

quadruped-leg-abductions

 

  • In the quadrupedal position, keep your back as flat as possible.
  • Then, protect your abs and keep your spine straight throughout the movement
  • Lift one leg extended to the side with the knee completely straight.
  • Lift your leg towards the ceiling, as high as you can, while maintaining a good spine position.
  • Return to the starting position and continue to throw your leg up and down, without touching your foot on the floor.
  • Change sides.

 

25 repetitions on each side.

 

9. Seated hip abductions with elastic bands

banded-seat-abductions

 

  • Sit on the edge of a chair or bench with the band around your knees
  • Place your feet on the floor, with your heels together.
  • Place your hands behind your back or on your hips for support and balance.
  • Abduct your legs while keeping your feet in contact with each other.
  • Do the repetitions slowly.
  • After finishing, do a final exercise: fast repetitions only in the last few inches of the range of motion.

 

20 repetitions per set, finishing with at least 10-15 pumps.

Catarina Viela - Nurse