Gym ball exercises are easy, fun and super effective. They have multiple benefits and work great before, during and even after pregnancy. Read all about these exercises and their benefits in this article.
Gym ball, Stability ball, Swiss ball, Birthing ball, Balance ball, Exercise ball, Yoga ball are just different names but have many uses! Exercise balls are versatile, affordable and a must-have for your home gym. The benefits of gym ball exercises before, during and after pregnancy are plenty.
Used from yoga to Pilates, Physiotherapy to intense workouts, Gym ball exercises works the entire body.
How to use the exercise ball before pregnancy
Exercise ball can be used as a substitute for a chair while you work or watch TV. Use it to support your lower back and help increase the range of movement while you do wall squats. You can also try knee tucks, lunges and exercises for the abs. Here is a video to demonstrate:
When you’re getting ready for pregnancy, it is important to work on strengthening your back muscles, spine alignment, posture and balance. These exercises engage all the muscles, giving you a good all-body workout including core stability and endurance.
Using the exercise ball for early pregnancy exercises
You can start using the exercise ball in your first trimester (Make sure you you start using only after approval from your doctor). Carefully sit on the ball and gently bounce to strengthen your back and hip muscles. Move front to back or side to side slowly to activate your core. You can also try lunges and wall squats to make you stronger.
Regular exercise increases blood flow to the uterus, placenta and the baby. Gym ball exercises relieves back pain, improves balance and strengthens your legs and hips. These exercises can also be very relaxing and soothing for both the mother and the baby.
Using the exercise ball for post pregnancy exercises
Once the doctor has cleared you, start with some simple exercises to help you regain your strength. You can try these exercises in this video:
As you feel stronger and more confident, you can move onto the ‘Wheel Pose’ or Chakrasana to strengthen your arms, legs, abs, glutes, shoulders, quadriceps and spine. Watch this demonstration video:
You can also use it for tummy time for your baby! Watch and learn how:
Even your young toddlers will love using it as a play prop. Under the supervision of adults, try some fun physical activities with the exercise ball to improve posture and balance.
So grab an exercise ball today, test your balance and work up your core strength. You can now tone up, slim down, strengthen your core and have fun with your child! The icing on the cake? It is affordable, easily available and fun!
Criteria to choose the best exercise ball for you
- Make sure it is the right size for your height. Refer to the criteria below:
5’0″ to 5’5″ height can use Ball size: Small: 55cm/22″
5’6″ to 5’11” height can use Ball size Medium: 65cm/26″
6’0″ to 6’3″ height can use Ball size Large: 75cm/30″
- If you use it as a chair, desk height is an important consideration.
- Make sure your exercise ball comes with its own hand or foot pump as an accessory.
Here are some safety checks before using exercise balls
- Don’t forget to check the weight limits of the exercise ball
- Read inflation and safety instructions carefully
- Buy a high quality exercise ball
- Make sure it is anti-burst
- Exercise balls tend to lose air over time, so keep a check on air
- Proper technique and form is required to perform these exercises. Start with simple exercises
- Seek assistance from a trained and certified health professional before starting any exercise program
Disclaimer: Always consult your doctor before you begin any exercise program during pregnancy. This article reflects the author’s personal experience and is intended for your general knowledge. It is in no way a substitute for qualified medical opinion.