You might be asking yourself, “What are fitness ball exercises for pregnancy?” As you might have guessed, these exercises are very useful for the woman who is pregnant. They can be used to improve your posture, increase your core strength and flexibility, and reduce your risk of back injury. A fitness ball works by stabilizing your center of gravity so that you are not carrying your belly and your entire body into your lower back. This can greatly reduce the tendency to slump, which can lead to lower back pain and difficulty with walking, standing, and even sitting up.
Hip Flexor Stretch
There are many fitness ball exercises for pregnancy, but the one that is most often used is the hip flexor stretch. To do this exercise, first lay down on your side and then raise your legs straight up until they are perpendicular to the floor. Next, bend your knees and hips at the same time, and contract your abdominal muscles as you lift your legs. Hold this position for ten seconds and then relax. Repeat this exercise twenty times.
The oblique stretch is another one that is frequently done during pregnancy. To do this exercise, first lay down on the fitness ball, with your feet hip-width apart. Now, lean forward slightly so that your head and neck are lifted off the ground a bit. Lift your rib cage slightly and then lower yourself back down to the starting position. Repeat this twenty times and make sure that you keep your upper body and chin in a straight line while you are doing it.
The Plank Exercise
Another workout can be performed when using the fitness ball as it has many benefits for pregnant women. The plank exercise is perfect for those who want to strengthen their abdominals and core strength. Begin by holding the ball in one hand, with your opposite hand under the ball. Keep your elbows straight, and slowly lean forward as far as you can, keeping your core muscles active. Hold this position for five seconds and repeat twenty times.
Try Abdominal Crunches
Abdominal crunches are also perfect for those who want to get a good sweat out of their abdominal muscles. Begin by lying on your back with the fitness ball between your feet. Now, sit up so that your upper body is in the same position with your knees bent. Keep your elbows straight and return to the original position. Do twenty repetitions of this movement, making sure that your elbows stay straight throughout.
A fitness ball can also improve your core strength. To do this exercise, stand with one leg in the fitness ball and alternate your weight forward and backward as if you are doing a pushup. Hold this position for two seconds and repeat twenty times. It is important that you work your abdominals and core muscles during this time because being pregnant will weaken these muscles.
The final of the series of fitness ball exercises for pregnancy is called the ab wheel. To do this, lie flat on the fitness ball with your lower back and upper legs touching the floor. Lift your upper body off the floor until it is resting on your forearms. Place your opposite hands under your belly to support your spine. Then, lower yourself down to the starting position and repeat the process. You should be able to do this several times but do not exceed fifteen repetitions.