Fitness Ball Exercise during Pregnancy

There are many specialised forms of exercise that pregnant women can do during pregnancy. One popular form of exercise is to use a fitness ball; this can be used before, during and after pregnancy. Many women use a fitness ball to sit on and rock during the labour while having contractions. This helps to keep the legs open and aids in pushing the baby.

What is a fitness ball?

A fitness ball is an exercise apparatus that is used to help keep the body fit and healthy. For pregnant women, it is a means to help throughout the process of having a baby. Many hospitals stock fitness balls or you can buy one from one of many leading retail outlets for a home birth. It is best to purchase a fitness ball that suits your height to be able to effectively utilise the fitness ball.

What are the advantages of using a fitness ball?

There are many advantages to using a fitness ball before, during and after pregnancy:

  • It helps to support muscles and strengthens the abdominals and back.
  • It is fun and easy to use. All you need to do is sit on the ball and hold on.
  • The fitness ball allows you to support your growing uterus.
  • You can improve your balance during pregnancy.
  • It promotes a healthy and fit body.
  • It is easy and accessible to use.
  • There may be fitness balls provided at your hospital (depending on where you live).
  • It can help you while in labour to push the baby down.

Are there any disadvantages to using a fitness ball?

You need to be cautious when doing any exercise during pregnancy. In terms of fitness balls you should be wary of the following factors:

  • If you’re not careful when using the ball you could fall down.
  • It can at times be difficult to balance. Practice makes perfect.
  • You may need to do other exercises along with the fitness ball to see a significant improvement in terms of fitness.

Fitness ball exercises during pregnancy

There are several types of fitness ball exercises that you can do during pregnancy to help you prepare for a better experience, as described below:

Belly breathing exercise

You could try belly breathing exercises. This involves sitting on the fitness ball while you inhale and exhale. You have to take deep breath as you inhale to allow the abdomen to expand properly, after which you exhale slowly. It is best if you try this exercise around twenty times, rest and then do more.

If you want a workout for your quadriceps then you can try placing the fitness ball against a stable wall. You then perch on the edge of the fitness ball, leaning your lower back against it with your knees bent and hips width apart. You can then perform inhaling and exhaling exercises, for around twenty times to see a significant improvement to your health.

Kegal exercises

Kegal exercises on a fitness ball help to strengthen the important pelvic muscles. This will improve your comfort levels during the later stages of labour. Kegal exercises are beneficial in preparing you for labour. To perform kegal exercises you need to breathe slowly. While exhaling, count to five to help tighten your lower pelvic muscles. It is best to relax your shoulders, neck and jaw when inhaling. You can perform twenty kegal exercises to significantly improve your pelvic area.

Fitness ball advice

Your midwife will be able to offer more information about using a fitness ball during pregnancy. Most women find that a fitness ball helps to relieve tension and also works wonders to help ease the pain of contractions during labour. You may not be able to perform all the exercises described above, dependent on your individual circumstances. Ask your doctor or midwife if unsure.

Exercise during Pregnancy:

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