Pregnancy exercise for legs and hips

Prenatal Pilates Routine for Core and Pelvic Floor

Pregnancy Pilates for Legs, Hips, Core, and Floor

Pilates is a strength training exercise utilizing body weight and sometimes other devices such as bands. Pregnancy Pilates is great for strengthening your core and pelvic floor.

This workout is safe for any trimester of pregnancy. Lots of Pilates moves are done on your back but this routine is completed side lying so it’s ok to do even into the third trimester.

This workout is great because it seems so easy that you can complete it anywhere, but your hips will be burning! This workout is also great for strengthening your pelvic floor and gentle enough to do for postpartum recovery as soon as you get doctors’ clearance to do so.

prenatal pilates routine for pelic floor strength

Why You Want To Exercise During Pregnancy

You absolutely want to be exercising throughout your entire pregnancy because the benefits to mom are huge and the benefits to baby are lifelong! Seriously, you are changing your baby’s genetic expression and turning on the good genes by working out throughout your pregnancy.

That’s why I crafted a 40 week step by step workout plan for pregnant mamas created by trimester. Each trimester has between 6 to 8 workouts specifically designed to your physical needs at that stage of pregnancy while enhancing your child’s genetic expression!

The workout plan is everything you need for a more comfortable pregnancy, to prep your body for labor, and to make postpartum recovery easier.

I could go on an on about the revolutionary prenatal program because I am ridiculously passionate about it but instead I’m going to put in a video explaining it and a link you can follow if you want to learn more.


Want to learn more? Check out the program here: PPP Fitness Program


The List of Reasons to Exercise During Pregnancy are Long….

How Prenatal Exercise Benefits the Mom:

  1. Decreased risk of preeclampsia.
  2. Decreased risk of hypertension.
  3. Less instances of gestational diabetes mellitus (GDM).
  4. Decreased rate of spontaneous abortion.
  5. Decreased number of congenital abnormalities.
  6. Less incidence of preterm labor.
  7. Lower risk of pregnancy complications.
  8. Exercise naturally releases endorphins (the happy hormones) leading to better moods.
  9. Exercising can also boost your energy levels. In the first trimester especially you most likely will feel exhausted. Fitting in a 20-minute workout can help give you the energy to get through the rest of your day.
  10. Having an exercise regimen during your pregnancy can help you gain less pregnancy weight.
  11.  Exercise during pregnancy typically causes the baby to gain less excess weight, having closer to an average birth weight. (Varying birth sizes are also due to genetics and mothers diet as well.)
  12. Exercising during pregnancy can make labor and delivery easier as you are more physically fit to deal with the rigorous day ahead.
  13. Pregnancy puts a strain on your shoulders, low back, and hips. Working out can help strengthen these muscles and ease discomfort.
  14. Exercise helps you sleep better.
  15. It even reduces constipation, a common pregnancy symptom.

How Prenatal Exercise Benefits the Baby:

  • The babies of mothers who exercise regularly throughout their pregnancy have more normal growth and development.
  • Children whose mothers exercised while in utero weigh less and have less fat mass from birth up through prepubescence and often even into adulthood.
  • Exercise during pregnancy may reduce your baby’s odds of contracting diabetes and of excessive weight gain throughout their lives.
  • Maternal exercise during pregnancy can increase your child’s cognitive function.
  • A recent study on the effects of exercise during pregnancy demonstrated that maternal exercise during pregnancy has a direct positive impact on your baby’s vascular health as an adult.
  • Exercise during pregnancy can directly affect your child’s metabolism.
  • Children whose mother’s exercised while pregnant are less likely to suffer from Type 2 Diabetes.
  • Pregnancy can benefit your baby’s health throughout their entire lives by positively influencing their genetic programming.


So if you weren’t totally sold on exercising throughout your pregnancy (which you probably already are, you are HERE right?) now you have dozens of reasons to motivate you to keep going on this path!

prenatal nutrition and fitness


Pilates for Pregnant Women Workout Routine


Pregnancy exercise for legs and hips

prenatal pilates for transverse abdominus TA

While lying on your side with a flexed foot lift your leg about half-way up.  Lower slowly and repeat 20 times.  Then hold your leg in the top position for a count of 10 seconds.  Point your foot and do sixteen baby pulses with your leg staying raised in the air before fully lowering your leg.



the clam prenatal pilates for pelvic floorpilates for pregnancy the clam

Keep your feet together on the ground and bend your knees forward. Keep your heels together and bring the top knee up to “open” the clam as far as you can before lowering.  Repeat 20 times and be sure to keep a tight core! This also helps to strengthen your pelvic floor.



prenatal pilates for core and pelvic floor and hips

pilates workout for pregnant women

Switch which leg you are using by bending the top leg and placing your foot flat on the floor behind the leg that has been resting so far.  Open your hips by rotating them slightly toward the ceiling.  Flex your lower foot and lift and lower.  It will seem like a very small bit you are lifting your leg and that’s ok!  Repeat 20 lifts and you will feel the burn on this seemingly tiny exercise.  On the last repetition keep your leg lifted and point your toe.  Complete sixteen baby pulses and then lower.



pregancy pilates for pelvic floor and coreleg workout for pregnant mamas

Keep your body in the same position with hips very slightly opened toward the ceiling, but now let your lower leg rest.  Bring the top leg up to where the upper half of your leg is perpendicular to the floor and the lower half is parallel to the floor and flex your foot. Point your toes as you bring your leg straight up for a full extension.  Flex your foot as you lower to the starting position.  Take this one slow to be sure to get that full top pointed extension and flex your thigh.  Repeat 15 times.



Pregnancy exercise for legs and hips

Rotate your hips back to the fully squared off position you began in.  Point your toes and lift your leg about 1 foot.  Slowly flutter your leg in 10 tiny circles forward.  Make sure you work slowly so you are able to support your weight well.  Then switch the direction of your rotation for 10 more circles.



prenatal pilates for core and pelvic floor and hips

Remain in the same side lying position. Grab a ball and with your free upper arm press downward into the ground while exhaling. Allow this motion to tighten your deep core and hold for ten seconds. Remember to breathe while holding the abdominal bracing. Repeat 10 times.


how to eat and exercise during pregnancy



prenatal pilates for core and pelvic floor strength


While still lying on your side with you hips square, point your toes on your top leg. Exhale and press downward on the ball just as you did in your last exercise. Allow your deep core to tighten and hold that contraction. Now raise your upper pointed leg straight to the sky and back down 15x. Hold the abdominal brace throughout all 15 reps. That does not mean to hold your breath through them though!



prenatal pilates for core and pelvic floor and hips

Now switch to a cross legged position holding the ball in front of you between flat hands. Exhale and press your hands firmly toward each other while tightening your core and pulling your navel in. Hold this contraction for 10 seconds. Repeat 10 times.


Repeat the full workout on the other side. That is 1 set. Repeat the entire workout again.


Wrapping Up Prenatal Core and Floor Pilates

This exercise routine can be done throughout your entire pregnancy to help support your hips, keep your pelvic floor strong, and keep your core strong in a safe way. For more workouts like this (except most are videos… a few are in this format) check out the Perfect Pregnancy [Fitness] Plan.

You should know there is also a prenatal nutrition plan available that works in conjunction with the fitness plan… if you want to learn more about the whole program that has helps so many mamas already learn more about the Perfect Pregnancy Plan here.


More Prenatal Fitness from the Blog


Pilates for Pregnant Women for all Three Trimesters

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