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How to Use a Birthing Ball – Exercising During Pregnancy

by Ida Harris
How to Use an Exercise Ball During Pregnancy

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A birthing ball, or "exercise ball" as it's most commonly known, is a pretty useful piece of equipment that provides many benefits to expecting mothers.

These balls can help expectant moms reduce pain before and after labor, strengthen their core, back and legs muscles.

exercising during pregnancy

This article is going to provide you with a list of exercise ball movements, which are particularly designed for pregnant women, to strengthen and extend the whole body to the fullest.

Before starting the workout, remember to check whether the exercise ball has a proper size by sitting on the ball with your back straight. If your hips and knees form a right angle, then this ball is for you.

1. Hip circles

This move is good for moving your baby to the right position, alleviating lower back pain.

Steps:

  • Sit up on the birthing ball
  • Move your hips in a round big circle to the right and then reverse the direction.
exercising during pregnancy

2. Figure 8

This move has the same benefits as the hip circles

Steps:

  • Continue to sit up on the birthing ball
  • Move your hips so that you can create a number 8 shape with them, and then reverse the direction.

3. Side to side hips

This move can reduce the tension along your body sides.

With this move, you just need to move your hips side to side while sitting on the irthing ball.

4. Side stretch

This move is good for relieving your back pains and strengthening your belly muscles.

Reach your right arm overhead to your left side while sitting on the exercise ball and then do the same with the other side.

exercise ball pregnancy

5. Shoulder blade squeeze

This move helps correct your posture, relieve upper back pain which is caused by increasing breast and tummy size.

Steps:

  • Sit up on the exercise ball.
  • Relax your arms down along your sides or at a 90-degree angle with palms facing up or forwards.
  • Gradually squeeze your shoulder blades together.
  • Maintain for 5 – 10 seconds.
  • Do this movement 10 times.

6. Shoulder press

This movement simultaneously helps enhance core balance and upper body strength.

Steps:

  • Holding a set of dumbbells, sit on the exercise ball.
  • Bend and lift your arms so that they are at the height of the shoulders. At that time, the dumbbells are next to your face.
  • Spin your arms so that your palms are facing out.
  • Extend your arms to the fullest so that the dumbbells are at the highest position as possible.
  • Maintain in this position for a moment.
  • Finish one rep here. Try to do 10-15 reps.
How to Use an Exercise Ball During Pregnancy

7. Wall squats

This movement is good for thigh strengthening.

Steps :

  • Stand several feet from the wall with the back facing the wall and the birthing ball positioned between you and the wall.
  • Gradually sandwich the ball between the wall and your back.
  • Move your feet out several inches.
  • Gently lower your body, ensuring that your knees are not stretched out further than your toes.
  • Hold this position for a few seconds before returning to the normal posture.
  • Try to do 10 reps.

8. Transversus abdominis move

This move is wonderful for preventing diastasis recti, a condition in which your abdominal muscles are separated. This condition usually occurs during pregnancy.

Steps :

  • Sit up on the exercise ball.
  • Squeeze your abs, lift one foot a few inches from the floor.
  • Maintain for a few seconds and then return to the starting position.
  • Do the same with the other foot to finish one rep.
  • Try to do 10 reps.

Above is a list of movements you can do with a birthing ball while being pregnant.

Remember that you do not need to do all of them. You should know what muscles or body pars hurt and need to be targeted and then choose the suitable movements for yourself. 

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