I was recently asked about exercises that target the love handles that are safe for pregnant women. Love handles is a popular term for the excess fat that accumulates around the waist and hips. Performing exercises that target the obliques can help strengthen and tighten your midsection. Even during pregnancy, core exercises can help strengthen your midsection and improve your posture. Along with a comprehensive, total body prenatal workout program and good nutrition, the following pregnancy love handles workout can help improve and reduce the appearance of love handles. Plus, all of these exercises can be done at home with no extra equipment!
These 5 exercises can be done as a workout following the sets and reps I have listed. Or, you can take any one of the exercises and add it to your usual workout routine or in place of other ab exercises that aren’t appropriate for during pregnancy. Also, keep in mind that all of these exercises can be done by anyone, pregnant or not! So try incorporating them into your workout routine and let me know what you think!
Standing Lateral Bends
Stand with your feet hip width apart and place your hands behind your head. Tighten your glutes and think about pulling your belly button towards your spine. Bending from the waist, reach your upper torso from side to side, pausing in the middle each rep. Do 20 reps (10 per side) rest 30 seconds and repeat 2 more times.
Standing Oblique Crunch
Stand on your left leg only with right leg extended out to the side and right arm outstretched overhead. Your right bicep should be by your right ear. Bend your right knee and right elbow and try to touch them together while bending your body to the right. Return to the starting position and repeat for each rep. FInish 10 total reps on the right side, rest 30 seconds and then do the same on the left. Rest 1 minute and repeat for 3 total sets.
Modified Lateral Plank
Lie down on your left side and position your left elbow directly under your left shoulder pressing up through your forearm. Bend your left knee so that your left foot is pointing behind you and right leg extended to the right. Extend your right arm to the ceiling. Lift your left hip off the ground. Your body should form one straight line from you head to the end of your right foot. Hold this position for 20-30 seconds. Rest 30 seconds and repeat. Then do another 2 sets on the other side.
Lateral Plank Hip Lift
You can do these in place of or in addition to the modified lateral plank above. This is a more advanced option than just holding the plank position. Set-up is same as above. Once you are in position, drop your left hip down towards the ground and then activate your obliques to continue to lift your hips up and down. Each lift and lower of the hips counts as one rep. Perform 10 hip lifts on the right rest 30 seconds and repeat. Then do another 2 sets of 10 reps on the left side.
Lateral Plank With Oblique Crunch
This exercise is a combination of the standing oblique crunch and the modified lateral plank. Get into the starting position for the modified lateral plank. However, for this movement you will reach your right arm over your head with your bicep by your ear. When you are ready, try to touch your right elbow and your right knee together by crunching your right side and bending both your elbow and knee. Then, return to the starting position by fully extending your right arm ans right leg. That is one rep. Do 10 reps resting 30 seconds after and repeat. Then do 2 sets on the left side.
See below for a video of these exercises in action!!
Pregnancy Love Handles Workout Video