These pregnancy exercises will have the best effect if you do five to ten repetitions, three to four times a week, either on their own, or alongside gentle exercise such as swimming, walking or yoga.
1. Leg lifts
- Lie on your side with your arm nearest the floor extended lengthways and your elbow bent to support your head.
- Put your top hand on the floor in front of you for balance. Bend your bottom knee out in front of you at a 45-degree angle and keep your top leg straight and in line with your body.
- Gently lift your top leg up and down, keeping it as straight as you can. Repeat on the other side.
2. The Plié
- Start in a standing position, or hold on to a chair or table, if needed. Place your feet wider than your hips and turn your feet slightly outwards.
- Keeping your back straight, tuck in your tailbone and pull your shoulder blades together. Bend your knees without letting them go further forward than your toes.
- If your balance is OK, extend your arms out to make a T-position, then turn them in to face each other, and curve them, as if you are hugging a ball, as you bend your knees. Return to standing position and repeat.
3. Toning your arms
- Start by standing up straight, keeping your knees soft and your tailbone tucked under. Tighten your tummy muscles, and lift your arms out to the side, so your body makes a T-position (try not to hunch your shoulders).
- Raise your arms, so that they are stretching straight up. Then bring your arms back down to the T-position.
- Bring your arms round so they are in front of you with your palms facing upwards, then take them back to the first position.
4. The Clam
- Lie on your side with your arm nearest the floor extended lengthways and your elbow bent to support your head. Place your other arm so your hand is on your waist and your elbow is in line with your torso.
- Bend your knees in front of your body at a 45-degree angle.
- Keeping your feet together, open your knees as far as you can without your top hip rolling back. Repeat on the other side.