Pregnancy Pilates side leg exercises

Pregnancy Pilates side leg exercises
June 30, 2017 blackginger

Want to tone and strengthen your legs? These Pregnancy Pilates exercises target legs and bums AND your pelvic floor, perfect for your fit pregnancy!

Standing tall in a natural stance helps to keep your body balanced as your centre of gravity shifts. Practisingsliding against the wallcan help to improve your pregnancy posture and encourage your spine and pelvis into the correct, neutral position, strengthening your glutes whilst providing support from the wall.

Side leg exercises as part of your Pregnancy Pilates routine

These exercises continue to use your Pilates ball whilst sitting on your mat and holding your ball to one side. They help to build up strength in your legs as well as engaging your core. Make sure you keep your pelvic floor engaged too. Alternatively you can do these exercises during pregnancy laying down on your mat. Use your hands on the fitness ball for extra support. If you are suffering from pelvic girdle pain or SPD check first before doing these exercises or only take the leg to hip distance.
Side leg exercise on your pregnancy fitball

Single leg lift:

Pregnancy Pilates exercises tone legs

Kneel on your mat, extend your leg out to the side and lean sideways over your Pilates ball, drawing the ball towards you so your body is centred over your fitness ball
Hug your baby inwards towards your spine and lift your pelvic floor.
Lean on your fit ball as you inhale to raise your leg up

Exhale and lower, working the muscles on the side of your hip. Try not to collapse fully over your fitball, think about trying to keep your muscles engaged.

Single leg circles:

Lift your leg then circle in one direction for 5, then reversed direction for 4.

Pregnancy Pilates exercises tone thighs
Repeat 4-6 times in each direction


This useful Pilates exercise for pregnant women is sometimes called the ‘Oyster’ – it replicates a shell opening and closing! It helps to strengthen your thighs and buttocks, toning your muscles and preparing for birth. This pregnancy exercise movement can be done laying on the floor sideways. Use your hands on your fitness ball for extra support

Pregnancy Pilates exercise strengthen pelvic floors

Bring your knees together so you are kneeling to one side of the fitball with your heels together.
Use your side buttock muscles to lift your top knee away from the bottom one, keeping your heels together.
Repeat 4-6 times
Roll your Pilates ball round to the other side and repeat the side leg and ‘clam’ sequence with the other leg.
These pregnancy Pilates exercises are safe throughout your pregnancy but make sure you consult your midwife or your doctor before embarking on a new pregnancy exercise regime if you have any concerns.
If you are new to pregnancy Pilates we recommend waiting until your second trimester.

Mermaid position

Maintaining the sea-based theme for your Pregnancy Pilates exercise routine with the Mermaid position!

Pregnancy Pilates exercises tone upper body

Sit on the floor next to your Pilates ball with your left hand resting on the ball. Sit in the “hurdler” position with your right leg bent out to the side like a hurdler and your left leg crossed in front of you.
Inhale and raise your right arm.

Pregnancy Pilates exercises strengthen core

Exhale as you bend your spine to the left, rolling the ball away, stretching your right arm over your head. Keep your opposite hip down. Inhale to stay.
Exhale return using your centre to bring the spine back to the start and return your arm.
Swap sides, aiming for 4-6 repetitions on each side.
Pilates places a good deal of emphasis on the links between exercises – try and remember this when you are exercising during pregnancy at home. This linking of the postures builds stamina, endurance and flow as you challenge yourself further.

Transition back to standing

Return to the four point position
Lift your knees to bring your weight back to your squat position.

Press legs away to straighten them as you drape your body back over your bump as in the roll down position from the start.
Exhale as you engage your deep abdominals and pelvic floor. Initiate with your tailbone leading as you curl up from lower back to mid back to upper back and standing straight.
You can either lift your arms above your head as you roll up or keep arms down reaching to the floor.
Follow these exercises with the wall slide Pregnancy Pilates moves
Remember: Always consult your midwife or health professional before embarking on a new pregnancy exercise regime if you have any concerns.We recommend waiting until your second trimester if you are new to pregnancy Pilates.

Pregnancy Pilates: what to wear

Rock your class in specialist maternity exercise clothes designed for pregnancy Pilates 👌