Ice Skater: Perfect Postnatal Exercise

Ice skaters are a great way to tone your whole body. While they can be done in pregnancy, they're even better as a workout to get your body back after baby.

Sculpt Your Legs with the Ice Skater

woman in exercise clothes doing ice skaters Jacob Lund/Shutterstock

Who doesn't want to look like an ice skater? This move should be your go-to if you're after that strong, sculpted shape the athletes boast.

"Ice skaters are great for increasing your core and balance ability as well as strengthening your legs," fitness expert and mother Ashley Horner tells Fit Pregnancy.   

Horner knows the move can be tricky, especially for beginners. She offers some tips to mastering the complicated—yet totally effective—workout. "Start by standing on one leg and jump as far as you can to the side, landing on the opposite foot and bend down to touch the ground. Make sure your core is engaged and you're keeping good balance. If you're not ready to take a big leap and round the ground simply start with horizontal movement and you'll get the hang of it in no time," she says.

"[Ice skaters are one of] my favorite bodyweight exercises because they are a full body exercise, which means you are using your full body to execute. No equipment is needed so these can be done anywhere, in a park, at the gym or even at home. They benefit muscular and cardiovascular systems increasing strength, flexibility and more," Horner says.

Related: Tighten Your Postpartum Body: 5 Genius Strength-Training Exercises

"The ice skater works the body laterally, tones the lower body, increases balance, and blasts calories," Christine Bullock, a pre- and postnatal expert and the creator of Christine Bullock's Body Re-Born Post-Natal Series, says. "During pregnancy the rotation and flexion is limited but the ice skater requires the body reach down to the ground and twist," she says. "This will feel great on your low back and work the obliques providing the corseting effect of waistline. Most of this exercise is lower body, toning the legs—quadriceps, hamstrings, calves, hip adductors, hip abductors—and working the glutes from multiple directions as you squat low and push off the side glute. There is a bonus calorie blast with this exercise since it requires a plyometric jump [exerting a surge of force in a short interval], which increases heart rate and metabolism."

Bullock shares a tip for pregnant women who wish to attempt this move. "Take ice skaters smaller and slower than you have pre-pregnancy during pregnancy and during the entire time breastfeeding," she says. "The ice skater jumps side to side, requiring stability and balance. Work on balancing on a single leg first, such as tree pose, and then build up to stepping side-to-side."