Pregnancy is a time to take care of your body and ensure that you’re as healthy as possible.
That means regular exercise is even more important than usual. There are lots of options for working out while pregnant, but a lot of them aren’t safe or comfortable. The following ball exercises can offer a safe alternative to help keep you strong and healthy during pregnancy:
Easy Pregnancy Ball Exercises
Here’s a look at six such exercises:
#1 Ball Bridge
To do a ball bridge, lie on your back with the ball beneath your lower back. Proceed as follows:
- Bend your knees, and place your feet flat on the floor.
- Lift your hips up off of the floor as you squeeze your glutes (butt muscles) to hold the position for a few seconds.
- Lower yourself back down to the starting position slowly, and repeat ten times for one set.
For best results do the exercise 5-6 times per week till you’re no longer pregnant.
#2 Ball Crunch
Ball crunches are a great exercise to help build the core and target the pelvic muscles, which are crucial for pregnant women.
To do it, follow these steps:
- Lie on your back with your legs bent in front of you and arms by your sides. Place a ball between your lower back and the floor.
- Raise both shoulders off the floor, keeping them in line with each other, so that only your head touches the floor.
- Hold briefly in this position before returning to the starting position to complete one rep.
- Do ten reps for two sets.
#3 Kneeling Ball Rollout
Follow these steps to do it:
- Lie on your stomach with your arms by your sides and palms on the floor.
- Place the large exercise ball in front of you, with your feet bent and behind you.
- Roll forward, and slowly exhale as you use your core to push yourself out into a plank position, keeping your arms straight and head in line with the spine.
- Bring one knee forward at a time as far as possible without allowing the butt to touch the floor or allowing the heels to raise off the ground.
- Inhale as you slowly roll back down into the starting position.
- Repeat for the desired number of reps (typically 12-15).
- Switch legs, and repeat again.
#4 One-leg Ball Lunge
It’s a great exercise to add to your workout routine. It isn’t too challenging, so you won’t have to worry about stressing out your muscles. You can train your leg muscles with this workout and burn a few extra calories along the way too.
Follow these steps to do it:
- Stand with your rear leg on a stability ball.
- Slowly lift your front leg forward, and bend it 90 degrees so that only the toes are touching the floor.
- Lower into an appropriate squat position, and push up through your heel to return to the standing position. Repeat with the other leg.
- Do not let your back arch or round forward when doing the exercise.
- Keep it straightened out as much as possible to protect yourself against lower back pain while pregnant—and even more so afterward.
- If you’re having knee problems or issues with balance during pregnancy, modify this move by keeping both feet on the floor at all times during each repetition.
#5 Ball Upright Seated Position
In this exercise, you use your abdominals and gluteal muscles. Pregnant women should avoid exercises that put too much pressure on their stomach or lower back, as both areas are already overworked during pregnancy.
However, this exercise is considered safe for most expectant mothers, as it’s more about stretching than lifting weights off the ground. To do it, proceed as follows:
- Begin by sitting on the ball with your feet together and knees apart.
- Place your hands on top of each other in front of you, and slowly lift them up towards the ceiling.
- Slowly straighten back up, but keep your arms raised in front of you at shoulder height while they’re still bent forward at an angle.
- Repeat ten times for three sets per day if possible, resting when needed between sets (1-2 minutes).
#6 Ball Wall Sit
Ball wall sits are a great way to work the core and legs. They’re also an easy way to make sure you’re engaging your core in everything you do — even if it’s just sitting on the sofa.
To do ball wall sits, sit against the ball with your legs stretched out in front of you. Proceed as follows:
- Keep your feet about shoulder-width apart, with the balls of the feet touching the floor.
- Place both hands by your side for support, and slowly lean back till there’s no more weight on your hands.
- Hold the position for as long as possible (you can use one hand at a time, if necessary).
The longer you hold this position, the harder it will be — but by keeping good form and engaging the abs throughout, even beginners can improve their strength and endurance.
It’s important to stay active and healthy during pregnancy. You can do that by doing the aforementioned pregnancy ball exercises.
They’re easy to do at home and can help improve your overall fitness level while strengthening some key areas of the body during pregnancy, such as the back muscles.
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