If you’re looking for safe leg exercises (hips, butt & thighs) with prolapse problems for home or in the gym, this routine is for you.
Physiotherapist Michelle Kenway guides you through a series of pelvic floor friendly leg exercises that will help you strengthen and tone your hips, thighs and buttocks without worsening prolapse symptoms.
These exercises are all performed standing upright or lying down on supportive surface.
Suitability: Women including those with prolapse and previous prolapse surgery seeking exercises that will minimize the risk of prolapse worsening.
Duration: 7 mins 30 secs
Read on below to know how much leg exercise to do, how to choose the correct size weights and Physiotherapy tips and techniques for these exercises.
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International best selling prolapse exercise guide for women with prolapse and after prolapse surgery.
Prolapse Exercises teaches you how to:
- Exercise safely after prolapse surgery
- Reduce your risk or repeat prolapse
- Avoid unsafe exercises
- Choose pelvic floor safe exercises
- Reduce your risk of prolapse worsening
- Improve prolapse support
- Increase your strength and fitness
- Strengthen your core
- Lose weight
Quantity of Leg Exercise for Strengthening & Toning
You may choose to start out with 2-3 repetitions of each exercise as you familiarize yourself with the correct technique.
Aim to complete approximately 8-12 repetitions in a row, for 3 sets of exercises resting in between each set.1
Try to complete your leg strength exercises on alternate days of the week for a total of 2-3 sessions of leg exercise 1.This doesn’t include exercise for cardiovascular fitness such as walking or cycling.
Tips for Choosing the Correct Size Weight to Use for Leg Exercises
If you’re starting out with strength exercises concentrate on using the correct form (technique) and use minimal weight or no weights to reduce the risk of injury.
Progress by using dumbbell weights that feel manageable for your body aiming for light to moderate intensity for strengthening.1
Gradually progress the size of the weights you use to reduce your risk of injury 1. You may feel comfortable increasing your weights at approximately 6-8 weekly intervals. You’ll be likely to reach a point when the amount of weight you lift plateaus after a number of months for some of these standing leg exercises.
Cease any exercise associated with worsening prolapse symptoms either during or after your workout.
Technique Tips for Standing Leg Exercises for Strengthening & Toning
Strengthen and tone your thighs and buttock muscles.
- Start standing hips approximately hip width apart, weights positioned against your groin
- Squat by bending forward from your hips
- Push your butt out behind your body
- Keep your knees behind your toes to reduce your risk of knee pain
- Try to maintain the small inward curve in your lower back throughout
- Drive back into standing pushing your body weight through your heels to activate your buttocks
Strengthen and tone your hips, thighs and buttocks.
- Start standing in a long stride position with chest raised
- Your body weight should be distributed between your front foot and the ball of your back foot
- Bend your back knee and lower your body towards the ground
- Keep your lunge to a comfortable depth and avoid lunging too deeply
- Return back to standing by pushing your weight through your front heel and foot and repeat
Try to keep your gaze directed forwards throughout this exercise to promote balance and good posture throughout
Strengthen and tone your thighs and buttocks.
- Start standing with your feet approximately hip width apart, your back against a wall and your feet forward away from the wall
- Squat and lower your back down the wall by bending your knees keeping your knees behind your toes
- Keep your hips positioned higher than your knees throughout
- Breathe normally throughout this exercise and avoid holding your breath
Strengthen and tone your buttocks, thighs and lower back.
- Start standing with your feet approximately hip width apart
- Hold your dumbbells in your hands with your palms facing backwards
- Lean forwards slowly whilst maintaining the inward curve in your lower back and your knees positioned behind your toes
- Lower the dumbbells to approximately knee height or above
- Breathe in as your lean forwards
- Return to standing position by pushing down through your heels to activate your buttock muscles
- Breathe out as you return your body upright to standing
Lying Down Glute and Hip Exercises for Strengthening & Toning
Strengthens and tones your buttock muscles
- Start lying prone on a firm surface with both legs extended
- Use a pillow under your hips and pelvis if you’re prone to lower back or pelvic pain
- Bend one leg to form a right angle and flex the foot so your sole faces the ceiling
- Gently raise that flexed foot towards the ceiling, lifting the thigh from the ground
- Lower the thigh back to the ground and repeat
Strengthens and tones your hips
- Start lying on one side with both knees bent and your head and neck supported with a cushion or pillow
- Keep the normal inward curve in your lower back throughout this exercise
- Raise the top knee just slightly away from the lower knee before lowering it again
- Keep both feet down and avoid raising the top foot off the lower foot
Position a dumbbell on the outer upper thigh when you have mastered the correct technique for additional resistance
Strengthens and tones your buttocks, back of thighs and lower back muscles.
- Start lying on your back with both knees bent and knees apart
- Maintain the normal inward curve in your lower back as you raise your buttocks off the ground
- Push down through your heels and exhale as you raise your body
- Inhale as you lower your body slowly back to starting position and then repeat
- Rest your weights on your groin to load your hips and buttocks when you’ve mastered the correct technique
These pelvic floor friendly leg exercises help you strengthen and tone your hips, butt and thighs without overloading your pelvic floor and causing prolapse symptoms. They also help you recover strength when you have permission from your specialist to return to general exercise after prolapse surgery.
1. Garber C. et al (2011) Quantity and Quality of Exercise for Developing and Maintaining Cardiorespiratory, Musculoskeletal, and Neuromotor Fitness in Apparently Healthy Adults: Guidance for Prescribing Exercise. Medicine & Science in Sports & Exercise:43, 7, pps 1334-1359.