The best bit of my body was always my stomach and I hated my legs. Today, however, was belly judgement day when my skinny jeans (the high wasted ones) had to be worn with the button undone. Classy. So, I’m coming to terms with the fact that my hideous legs are (fingers seriously crossed) soon to be the smallest bit of me, and might have to be my saving grace. Rather than panicking, it is time to love the lunge!
There’s no doubting that I’m exercising more than I ever had, and I’m now obsessed with working my arms (although my 1.5kg weights makes the exercises feel pointless – I need bigger ones!!), but with a holiday in Turkey looming (29th March, c’mon!) I really need to get a shifty on with pregnancy exercises for my legs or I’ll be donning a wetsuit.
While I’m not expecting to get legs like these, I’m certainly willing to give it a good try!
Rather than me trying and failing to explain how to do the exercises, I’ve rounded together my favourite moves, kindly put together by some magazines and websites.
The general advice with lots of these workouts is to do the routine 3 times a week – I don’t believe that is anywhere near enough if you want some results. I’d do one of these routines 4 or 5 times a week. Also, make sure you warm up – when I’m working out at home I tend to stick on the warm up from an exercise DVD first, just to make sure I’m properly warm and stretched.
As an intro to your legs, this is a nice little article from askthetrainer.com to explain your muscles so then you can target the ones you don’t like (all of them in my case!).
1. Three Best Leg Toning – femalefatlossoverforty.com. The layout is a bit rough on the eyes and the exercise is pretty simple but these are the bad boys that really work, and a good basis to start from. Plus, she says stuff I agree with – generally avoid the machines, you use less muscles (and I’d rather make sure any time I do spend in the gym really counts!) and don’t bother with gadgets (I’d say dumbells are all you need) – save your money for better things (cakes).
2. Lean Legs Workout – Women’s Health Magazine (US). I tend to do the ‘could I do this in the gym’ test and some of the WHM routines are frankly a bit ludicrous, but this one is pretty good. I love combined squats with leg lifts (side and back), and each of these moves also engage the core, which is good since we are now limited to the stomach exercises we can do. You may find that you’re not keen on the pile squat jumps, if this is the case, just do the squat (or sumo squat), without the jump. There are 4 moves and it recommends doing the set 2 or 3 times but once you get the hang of it (and as always listen to your body and don’t put yourself under undue stress particularly in the first trimester!!), I’d say do 4 or 5 sets – it’ll take no time at all really.
3. Top Ten Butt Exercises – about.com. These are bum exercises but they’ll do your legs too. Oh, and they include dumbells for an additional bit of oomph. The first 5 exercises are the set to complete 2 or 3 (or 5!) times and can be done at home or at the gym without fear of embarrassment. The subsequent 5 exercises are cardio exercises – hiking, running, etc. which are obviously good and I do try to do at least 15 mins cardo biking, running/walking whenever I’m at the gym, which is about 2 or 3 times a week.
4. Seven Exercises for Your Best Legs Ever – lifescript.com. This is quite good if you’re new to leg exercises, and covers most of the basics and exactly how to do them, including an easier method to get you used to it.
5. Davina – Body Buff – I know I’ve mentioned this before but the leg section is soooo good! The jumping lunges are a bit too hardcore for me so I do the exercise but without doing jump. The arms are good too, and the benefit of getting a DVD is the inbuilt warm up and cool down, which you HAVE TO DO regardless of the exercise you choose – it will seriously diminish your chances of injury and means you’ll recover quicker too.
There you go, get your soon to be luscious pregnant legs round one of those and then have a big glass of milk – speeds up recovery, you know?!
Final Note: check with your midwife before doing ANY of these exercises and LISTEN to your body, if it hurts stop immediately.