7 of my favorite Pregnancy Pilates side lying leg exercises you can do anywhere, anytime and a couple are directly out of my book The Knocked Up Fitness Guide to Pregnancy. Which I wrote because I want you to know that during pregnancy and after baby your body can feel better through movement, specifically exercises that could help with minimizing or even completely getting rid of back pain, sciatic pain, round ligament discomfort, neck tightness, and more! Doing these side lying exercises can help create more strengthen and stability for your hips thus relating to your body moving easier, and feeling better!

lower lift legs {Julie}

Pregnancy Pilates Legs: Lower Lifts

  1. Lying on your side with your deep core lightly activated and shoulder relaxed away from your ear.
  2. Bottom knee bent slightly top leg reaching away from your body pressing through your heel.
  3. Exhale as you reach your leg up feeling the lift from our outer hip/thigh and glute {avoid these going into your back, that’s why you keep your deep core muscle connected}
  4. Do 10 to 20 reps.

leg circles {Julie}Pregnancy Pilates Legs: Small Leg Circles

  1. Continuing from the Lower Lifts reaching your top leg out long.
  2. Do 10 small circles in one direction, then reverse {using your glutes to do the circles}

lateral rotations legs {Julie}

Pregnancy Pilates Legs: Lateral Rotations

These are a favorite among my clients because they feel the burn while moving effectively!

  1. On your side bend both knees to about 90 degrees.
  2. Laterally rotate your top leg up then back down feeling the rotation deep in your hip {again be sure to use your glutes and deep core to help support}
  3. Do 10 to 20 reps.

lateral bend + press {Julie}

Pregnancy Pilates Legs: Lateral Bend + Press

A good sequence to do right after the lateral rotations.

  1. Staying on your side with both legs bent.
  2. Exhale as you reach your top leg out and up away from your body pressing through your heel and squeezing your glutes!
  3. Do 10 to 20 reps.

{If you are following these in order, I highly recommend switching sides now to even out then continue on with the rest of these Prenatal Pilates Leg Exercises}

pilates leg circles big {Julie}

Pregnancy Pilates Legs: BIG Leg Circles

  1. Make big leg circles with your top leg.
  2. Reach your top leg up towards the ceiling
  3. Pull your top leg straight down to the ground
  4. Start bending your top leg as you drag it low towards your hips
  5. Extend it back straight up towards the ceiling.
  6. Do 5 t0 10 in one direction then reverse. Do not worry if your range of motion is small {smaller range of motion for many mamas can be more effective, be sure you feel these in your deep core, glutes and hips}

inner thigh lifts legs {Julie}Pregnancy Pilates Legs: Inner Thigh Lifts

  1. On your side with your top leg bent and resting on the floor.
  2. Reach your bottom leg our straight.
  3. Exhale as you lift your bottom leg up squeezing your glutes and feeling your inner thighs.
  4. Do 10 to 20 reps.

heels lifts legs {Julie}

Pregnancy Pilates Legs: Heel Lifts

  1. Lying on your side reaching your top leg straight and rotated down towards the ground {you may need to allow your hips to roll slightly forward and use your top arm for support by placing your top hand on the ground in front of your belly}.
  2. Exhale as you reach your top leg up reaching through your heel {very important on this one to have your deep core properly engaged, something I talk a lot in detail about in my Prenatal + Postnatal Membership}

Whether you are currently pregnant, just had a baby or are a busy, busy mama my digital programs are for you! Not only do I include a lot about deep core, posture, workouts, but I also include my nutrition guides, recipes, and planning in my membership!


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  • Posted April 28, 2016
    by Melissa Reynolds

    Hiya! I see all these exercises are similar to what I was doing before pregnancy, are there any lower body exercises you can’t do while pregnant? Thanks 🙂

  • Trackback: Optimal Pregnancy Exercise Guidelines - Knocked-Up Fitness
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