Archive for Post Pregnancy Lower Body Strengthening Exercise Transitions

Post Pregnancy Pelvic Floor & Hip Muscle Intro

When a woman becomes pregnant, her body automatically starts to make the changes and preparing for a baby. As the baby grows, the stomach is not the only thing that begins to adjust to allow space. The pelvis and hip muscles widen and stretch in preparation for when its time for the baby to be delivered. With that being said, these changes that take place are very critical because now the woman’s body has shifted for the baby.
Once the child is born, a woman’s body, because of the adjustments made during pregnancy, can feel the change the body has made when walking, running, sitting up, lateral movements, normal activities feel different. Read More →

Kegel Exercise

Before going into any of the videos directed for strengthening the hip region, doing the Kegel exercises should be focused on first and foremost, as it will help along with the video exercises. Kegel exercise is meant to help prevent or control urinary incontinence and other pelvic floor problems.

Learning how to control your pelvic floor muscles such as how to contract and relax them can be a bit challenging because it literally takes some concentration. How do you pinpoint those muscles? Here are a few tips to get you started in the right direction.

1) Finding and identifying the right muscles for the pelvic floor. If you are able to stop urination in midstream you have identified your pelvic floor muscles.
2) Make sure your bladder is fully empty before doing the Kegel exercise. Start by lying on your back. Tighten your pelvic floor muscles, hold the contraction for three to five seconds, and then relax for five seconds, counts as 1 rep. Repeat for a total of 5 reps. The stronger and more controlled you feel in your pelvic muscles, the longer you can hold , increasing the count to ultimately 10 seconds.
3) As mentioned earlier, it takes concentration with this exercise, so maintain your focus. For the best results for this particular exercise, focus on tightening ONLY your pelvic floor muscles. That means exclude tightening the muscles in your abdomen, thighs or glutes. Avoid holding your breathe during the exercise. Another way to help avoid holding the breath, I tell clients to softly count out their reps. “One, one thousand, Two one thousand”…etc”

**The only time a new exercise should be introduced/transitioned into is when the current exercise is mastered. You know when you have mastered that exercise when YOU can control that exercise and the intended muscle(s).

Lying Hip Raises

Hip Raises are one of the safest and recommended exercises to start out with when starting to strengthen back your pelvic floor and hip muscles.

In the lying position, the key object is to be able to raise your buttocks/hips from the floor, extending your hips in an upward motion. They way I describe it to my clients;
Pretend you have a piece of string connected to each side of the hip. The string is pulling your hips up towards the ceiling.
As you raise your hips, press your heels down to the floor and squeeze your glutes (buttocks). Pause for a moment at the top then slowly lower yourself back to the floor.

2 sets of 10 reps. Increase the reps once you feel stronger and confident in the movement.

**The only time a new exercise should be introduced/transitioned into is when the current exercise is mastered. You know when you have mastered that exercise when YOU can control that exercise and the intended muscle(s).

Dog Hydrant

The dog hydrant name is exactly how it looks. This exercise is intended to work not only your hip muscles/joints, but your core, and glutes (buttocks).

Make sure to keep your arms directly underneath your shoulders for stabilization during this exercise. The goal is, as you lift your knee from the floor, you want to try and get your inner thigh to be parallel with the floor. The higher you can get it, the more your intended muscles are worked.

2 sets of 10 each leg.

**The only time a new exercise should be introduced/transitioned into is when the current exercise is mastered. You know when you have mastered that exercise when YOU can control that exercise and the intended muscle(s).

Dog Hydrant Leg Extension

This exercise, like the Dog Hydrant, is made to work the core, hip muscles/joints and glutes (buttocks). Again, make sure your arms stay directly underneath your shoulders for stability.

Make sure to keep your arms directly underneath your shoulders for stabilization during this exercise. Extend your leg back, once in extension pull your knee (leg) toward you, then lower your knee to the floor. The motion mimics a cycling motion. The goal is, as you lift your knee from the floor, you want to try and get your inner thigh to be parallel with the floor. The higher you can get it, the more your intended muscles are worked.

2 sets of 10 reps on each leg.

**The only time a new exercise should be introduced/transitioned into is when the current exercise is mastered. You know when you have mastered that exercise when YOU can control that exercise and the intended muscle(s).

Standing Knee Flexion

As easy as this exercise may look, you would be surprised on how challenging it can be post pregnancy to lift your knee/or leg. You will find just how much weak your hip muscles are. The goal as you feel your muscles get stronger, is to be able to lift your knee higher without jeopardizing your form. Keeping your posture upright, and core tighten through the raise. Keep your foot flexed, not pointed.

2 sets of 5 reps on each leg. Once you feel more controlled with hip stability and balance, you can increase the reps.

**The only time a new exercise should be introduced/transitioned into is when the current exercise is mastered. You know when you have mastered that exercise when YOU can control that exercise and the intended muscle(s).

Standing front to back leg swings

Transitioning into leg swings. Leg swings are intended to help increase mobility & strength to the hip muscles.

Making sure that the movements are controlled are important as you swing the leg. The more force in swing of the leg, the more stabilization in the hip muscles and balance are required.
Make sure to keep a good posture, hold your core in tight (draw belly button in towards back) while you go through the swinging motion.

2 sets of 10 reps on each leg. Once you feel more controlled with hip stability and balance, you can increase the reps.

**The only time a new exercise should be introduced/transitioned into is when the current exercise is mastered. You know when you have mastered that exercise when YOU can control that exercise and the intended muscle(s).

Standing Cross Over Leg Swings

In conjunction with the front to back leg swings, any Lateral movements, especially after pregnancy, can feel impossible. Being able to work on stabilizing the hip joints in forward, side and backward movements are imperative.

Making sure that the movements are controlled are important as you swing the leg. The more force in swing of the leg, the more stabilization in the hip muscles and balance are required.
Make sure to keep a good posture, hold your core in tight (draw belly button in towards back) while you go through the swinging motion.

2 sets of 10 reps on each leg. Once you feel more controlled with hip stability and balance, you can increase the reps.

**The only time a new exercise should be introduced/transitioned into is when the current exercise is mastered. You know when you have mastered that exercise when YOU can control that exercise and the intended muscle(s).

Lying Hip Mobility


This exercise would be the most challenging of all the exercises for the pelvic floor/Hip Muscles, due to the demand of strength on the muscles it takes to keep the leg slightly elevated from the floor during the movement for each exercise.

For me, since I’ve hit this transition for a while, I normally do 2 sets of 10-15 reps of the leg raises, leg crossovers, & leg abduction, then repeat on the other side. Keep your foot flexed and not pointed during the exercises.

**If you are transitioning into this exercise start slow. 2 sets of 5-8 reps for each leg movement, repeat on other side

Remember, Slow and controlled movements.

**The only time a new exercise should be introduced/transitioned into is when the current exercise is mastered. You know when you have mastered that exercise when YOU can control that exercise and the intended muscle(s).