Improve your posture and strength with the pregnancy ball. The exercises in this book help you to target your abs, back and glutes, as well as your legs, neck and shoulders. By the third trimester your body is ready for more intense exercise routines. Our pregnancy ball exercises are designed to make sure you continue getting a full workout from head to toe, no matter how large you have grown over the previous months. We’ll guide you through moves that strengthen your core, tone your arms and legs for strength with flexibility.
The Pregnancy Premium Ball is an exercise ball that ensures you can strengthen your core, especially in the third trimester. Whether you’re pregnant or not, this ball will help to improve your stability and confidence in movement. A great way to stay fit and active during pregnancy. Stomach toning exercises can be hard to do once baby starts to grow in size. However, this workout ball is designed to provide the support you need to do abdominal crunches while simultaneously supporting your baby bump. The handy toolkit also comes with exercises that you can do at any point during your pregnancy including first aid in case of a fall or fainting spell
Using an exercise ball may help to alleviate pressure on the lower back and pelvis while you work out.
Ready to give it a try? If your doctor has given you the green light to work out during your pregnancy, here are 9 exercises to start with.
1. Wall Squat
Place an exercise ball between your lower back and a solid wall or steady surface, Smith says.
Stand feet slightly wider than hip-width apart and bend your knees to slowly lower yourself into a squatting position, using the ball as support.
Push back up to a standing position and repeat.
2. Ab Crunch
While lying on your back for standard crunches isn’t advised, Smith recommends this modification instead: Sit upright on an exercise ball and walk your feet forward so they are just in front of your knees.
Continue taking small steps until your lower back touches the ball. Your feet should remain flat on the ground with knees bent, and your body should be at an incline with hips lower than your shoulders.
Bring your hands behind your head, contract abs in toward your spine, and lift head, arms, and shoulders up and forward.
Make sure the ball is on a non-slip surface, or against the wall, to keep it from slipping out from under you — and stop if you feel any discomfort.
3. Pelvic Floor Exercises
Sit on the ball with a straight spine. Contract your pelvic muscles, as you would to stop the flow of urine. Hold for a few seconds, and then release and repeat.
“Be sure not to hold your breath!” Smith says.
4. Ball March
Sit on the ball with your feet firmly planted on the floor. Exhale and draw your belly button towards your spine as you slowly lift one knee without letting the ball or your hips move.
Slowly place your foot back down and repeat on the other side. Keep alternating sides for 10 repetitions. (Don’t forget to breathe!)
“If this is too hard, you can just lift up your heel and keep your toes on the ground,” says Stephanie Stamas, DPT, a pelvic health specialist and co-founder of Chelsea Method, an online pregnancy and postpartum rehab program.
5. Ball Bridges
“Labor requires a lot of hip and gluteal strength, so training these muscles is important!” Stamas says. (This move may be too challenging or uncomfortable later in pregnancy, she advises.)
Start by sitting on the floor with your upper back against the ball. Push up through both of your feet and lift your hips off the floor towards the ceiling, as high as you can comfortably go without arching your back.
Hold for three seconds and slowly lower back down. Repeat 10 times.
6. Kneeling Ball Roll-Outs
Start in a high kneeling position with your hands on the ball. Keeping your back straight, roll the ball forward until you can feel your core engaging. Hold for three seconds, then roll the ball back in.
“Only go out as far as your abdominal muscles can stabilize without bulging,” Stamas says.
Repeat 10 times, and make sure you continue to breathe throughout the exercise.
7. Back and Upper Body Stretch
“The chest and abdomen often get really tight in pregnancy, so this can be a great stretch!” Stamas says. Kneel on the floor, hinge forward at your hips, and rest your arms on the ball.
Gently rock the ball to one side until a stretch is felt. Hold here while breathing into the opposite side of your rib cage for 30 seconds. Repeat on the other side.
8. Ball Circles
Sit on the ball with your feet firmly planted on the floor, slightly wider than hip-width apart. Move your hips in a circular motion to “draw” small circles on the floor with the ball.
Do 10 repetitions clockwise, then repeat counter-clockwise.
Sit on the ball with your feet firmly planted on the floor, slightly wider than hip-width apart. Move your hips as if you’re drawing a figure eight on the ball.
This move is great for opening up your pelvis.
Is There a Difference Between an Exercise Ball and a Birthing Ball?
While exercise balls can be a healthy part of pregnancy-safe workouts, they also can serve as a birthing ball, too.
“The exercise ball is a wonderful tool that can help you go through the different stages of pregnancy — and labor! — in a calmer and relaxed way,” says Tal Siperman Cohen, an ACSM-certified personal trainer with an extended specialty in Prenatal And Postpartum Exercise Design by Human Kinetics USA.
During your pregnancy, sitting on an exercise ball may help to open up the pelvis and pelvic floor.
“This helps to create space for the baby to drop lower into the pelvis — a necessary step as you move towards birth,” Stamas explains. It may also help alleviate back pain, she says.
“Many patients use exercise balls during early labor to relieve some of the pressure associated with labor pains,” Roshan says.
Of course, be sure to ask your obstetrician and delivery center what their policies are when it comes to birthing balls.
Choosing the Right Exercise Ball
“When choosing an exercise ball, make sure you select the appropriate size based on your height,” Stamas says.
- 5’0″ and under: 45 cm width ball
- 5’1″ – 5’8″: 55 cm width ball
- 5’9 – 6’2′: 65 cm width ball
- 6’3″ and up: 75 cm width ball
Once the exercise ball is inflated, check your body position.
“When you sit on the ball, your hips should be slightly higher than your knees to avoid pressure on your back, to allow lots of space for your tummy, and to give you stability,” Cohen says.
If you’re between sizes, Cohen suggests choosing the smaller size — especially if you plan to use it as a birthing ball too.
“I personally recommend getting the smallest one that can suit your needs,” she says. “During labor itself, it’s relaxing to lean on the ball on all fours, and a big ball might not be comfortable.”
This is a great ball for pregnancy and delivery. It will help you stay active and get ready for labor, as well as provide support for your back, pelvis, hips and belly. Getting the proper exercise for your body is essential for a healthy pregnancy. The 3rd trimester is a time when concentrating on core strength, posture and flexibility become even more important than ever.
Using A Birthing Ball In Third Trimester
Using a birthing ball during your third trimester can help ease many of the discomforts associated with pregnancy. By using this simple yet effective tool, you can decrease back pain, improve blood circulation and allow for deeper hip flexion.
The birthing ball is an excellent tool to use during the third trimester. Using the ball can help prepare you for labor, provide relief of lower back pain and help to open up your pelvis. It also allows you to move freely while still receiving support. A birthing ball can make sitting on the floor during your third trimester more comfortable and relaxing. The exercise involved in using a birthing ball can help make labor easier, so even if you use the ball only during pregnancy, it will improve your chances of having a natural birth.
A birthing ball can help you remain active during your pregnancy. Using a birthing ball helps to support your abdomen, hips and legs during labor, reducing the strain on your back. The ball also provides a sense of rotation for your baby inside the womb, possibly creating a more natural birth experience by your baby easy access to all points in their birth canal. A birthing ball, also called a pregnancy ball, is a great tool for natural labor and delivery. By supporting your body in a swaying motion and allowing your pelvis to open naturally, it can help reduce back pain and prepare your body for birth.
A birthing ball is a great way to prepare your body for labor. Using the ball promotes mobility, strengthens your back and abdominal muscles, and can help in bringing on contractions.
Using An Exercise Ball Third Trimester
For third trimester exercise, you can use an exercise ball and do some gentle stretching to open up your joints. You can also try some gentle Pilates moves or yoga poses that are appropriate for this stage of pregnancy. Typically, a prenatal ball will be larger than a regular exercise ball so it’s easier to stay balanced on it once you get off balance. Third trimester motherhood is tough. The pressure on your belly, pelvis and back can be intense. But it doesn’t have to be – with the help of an exercise ball.
- ver your birth ball from standing position with the ball placed on a higher surface.
Mat and gym ball exercises with pregnancy related Pelvic Girdle Pain
What to consider when buying your birth ball
Buy the right size for your height. Your knees should be about 10cm (4in) lower than your hips when you sit on it.
- If you’re up to 1.73m (5ft 8in) in height, get a 65cm ball.
- If you’re taller than 1.73m (5ft 8in), get a 75cm ball.
Birthing balls can take any weight, regardless of your size. Good quality birthing balls are pressure-tested to support weights up to 300kg (about 47st).
You’re not done yet! If you have a vaginal birth, it’s common to feel pain or pressure between the vagina and anus and sitting down may cause some discomfort. To help with the pain, slightly deflate the ball to make it softer to sit on.
- If your waters break or fluids are spilled anywhere near your birth ball, refrain from getting on it until the area is cleared from liquids to avoid slipping.
- Most birth balls are anti-burst, which means if they’re punctured, they will deflate slowly instead of burst. Still, try to keep sharp objects away.
- Pace yourself, and don’t rush to move until you feel balanced.
- Make sure you talk to your midwife before you use a birth ball.
Exercise balls are great to use during pregnancy because they help strengthen the core muscles, which is especially important during the third trimester. Also, being active and getting regular exercise will reduce backaches and leg swelling at this stage in your pregnancy. An exercise ball is a great piece of equipment to use in the last trimester of pregnancy. Research shows that women who use exercise balls, and other similar types of equipment, report feeling better prepared to handle labor and delivery.
Want to build your strength in the third trimester? You’ll develop a strong core, glutes, and legs with exercises done on the ball.
Can You Use A Exercise Ball In Pregnancy
Is it safe to use an exercise ball in pregnancy? Read this article from our Obstetrics & Gynecology Expert before you start using one. Yes, you can use a exercise ball during pregnancy. In fact, there are many benefits to using a exercise ball in your pregnancy.
Exercise balls are not exclusively for working out! Consider how useful a pregnant woman can be, as we explore how exercise balls can be used throughout pregnancy. A pregnant woman can use an exercise ball when she is in the third trimester. Many women use an exercise ball to help them regain their core strength after pregnancy and encourage a healthy body after childbirth. It also helps with back pain or any other postpartum aches and pains.
You’ve probably seen exercise balls in yoga classes and at the gym. But these inflated balls aren’t only great for workouts. You can also use them during pregnancy, labor, and even after giving birth — and when used in this manner, they’re often referred to as birthing balls.
Here’s what you need to know about birthing balls, including why some women consider them a godsend during pregnancy and labor.
Birthing balls are essentially the same as exercise balls. They’re both made from a durable material that makes them extremely difficult to puncture. But exercise balls used at the gym tend to be smaller than birthing balls.
Birthing balls are larger for comfort and have an anti-slip finish. This is a must-have feature for sitting on the ball for long periods without slipping off.
So why are birthing balls frequently used during pregnancy, labor, and even after birth?
To put it simply, birthing balls can reduce pain and help you feel more comfortable during labor. Many birthing balls are round, but some are also in the shape of a peanut.
Peanut balls are made from the same material as a round birthing ball. But instead of being round, these balls are larger on the ends and have a narrow middle, like a peanut. You can’t use a regular birthing ball while lying down in bed — but you can use a peanut ball in this position.
It’s easier to get into a comfortable, relaxed position while resting or sleeping since you’re able to lift your legs over or around a peanut ball.
There are no rules that say you have to use a birthing ball during pregnancy or labor. Many women don’t.
But a 2015 review of studiesTrusted Source suggests that using a birthing ball (either a round or peanut ball) can be beneficial in many ways.
Let’s face facts. Pregnancy and delivery can be hard on the body. And while everyone’s experience is different, many women have the same general complaints of back pain, stress, and pelvic or abdominal pain. According to some personal testimonies, a birthing ball can improve some of these symptoms, allowing for a smoother labor and delivery.
But don’t think you have to wait until labor to use a birthing ball. A ball can also help relieve pain and pressure in the months or weeks leading up to delivery.
Sitting on the couch, a chair, or any flat surface can be uncomfortable during pregnancy. On the other hand, the curve of a birthing ball might relieve pressure in your pelvis, lower back, and spine.
Sitting on the ball in an upright position can also encourage the opening of your pelvic muscles, allowing room for the baby to descend into the pelvis in preparation for birth.
There’s also evidence suggesting that using a birthing ball during labor can reduce stress and anxiety, as well as labor pain.
In one 2013 studyTrusted Source, 203 pregnant women admitted to the hospital with labor pains completed 30 minutes of birthing ball exercises. When researchers measured their pain and anxiety level after the exercises, the women reported significant improvements.
There’s even research suggesting that a peanut ball can result in shorter active labor, although more studies are needed.
If a birthing ball has these potential benefits, you might wonder whether a birthing ball could also induce labor. Although some women might go into labor while sitting, rotating, or bouncing on a birthing ball, there’s no evidence to suggest that these balls can induce labor or break your water.
To be comfortable on a birthing ball, it’s important to choose the right size ball based on your size and height. Birthing balls aren’t one size fits all. They usually come in small, medium, or large. Some birthing balls are sold fully inflated, but other balls must be inflated after purchase.
For the most part, you should be able to sit on a birthing ball with your feet planted flat on the floor. If you’re on your tippy toes while sitting, the ball is too large. And if your knees are positioned higher than your stomach, the ball is too small.
As a general guideline, ball sizes correspond to height.
- if you’re 5-foot 4 inches or shorter: 55 cm
- if you’re 5-foot 4 to 10 inches: 65 cm
- if you’re 5-foot 10 inches or taller: 75 cm
Keep in mind that recommendations can vary depending on the ball. So read the package label to see the manufacturer’s guidelines.
Some manufacturers may recommend a different ball size based on your height and weight. Choosing the right size is important because sitting too high or too low to the ground could irritate your back and knees.
If you’re using a birthing ball for the first time while pregnant, do so with the assistance of another person to prevent accidentally slipping off.
Now that you know how to purchase a birthing ball, here are some suggestions for how to use the ball during pregnancy, labor and after delivery.
Lower back pain doesn’t only develop during labor. Some women also experience pain during pregnancy. If so, sitting on a birthing ball at work or while watching TV may relieve some of this pressure and help you feel more comfortable.
Sitting on a birthing ball is also great exercise. It can strengthen your stomach and back muscles, improve your posture, and prepare your body for delivery.
Sitting in an upright position can also change your baby from a posterior position to an anterior position, which may also relieve back pain.
Finding a comfortable position during labor is difficult. Yet, using a birthing ball and experimenting with different positions can help ease pelvic or spinal pressure.
You can sit on a birthing ball and rock from side to side, or from front to back. Some women also sit on a birthing ball while leaning forward on a table or bed, so that their partner can massage their back.
Getting into a hands and knees position while using a birthing ball may also take pressure off your lower back and pelvis. Place a pillow on the floor, and with your knees on the pillow, lean forward and hug the birthing ball.
This position can provide comfort if you’re nearing the pushing stage and can’t sit due to pelvic pressure.
If you’re using a peanut ball, you may want to use it to support your legs or body while you’re in the bed. There are various positions you can try to increase your comfort during labor.
After giving birth
After giving birth, it’s only natural to have pain or pressure in the area between your vagina and anus. So sitting down can be uncomfortable.
You can slightly deflate the birthing ball to make it softer and more comfortable. This way, you can sit on the ball while watching TV or relaxing, or while breastfeeding or rocking a fussy baby.
Once you’re feeling up to it, use your birthing ball for exercise or to help strengthen yourself postpartum.
For this exercise, you’ll gently bounce on a birthing ball for a few minutes at a time. This exercise can improve stability and balance and strengthen your legs.
Hula hoop exercise
Strengthen and tone your core with a birthing ball. Sit on the ball with your hands on your hips, and then rotate your hips in a circular motion as if you’re hula hooping.
Lie on the floor on your back with your legs elevated and ankles resting on top of the birthing ball. Slowly raise your upper body until you form a V-shape. Keep your hips on the floor. Hold this position for 5 counts and then slowly lower your upper body to the floor. Repeat for the desired number of reps to strengthen and tone your legs and abdomen.
Overhead ball squat
Stand in the position of a traditional squat with your feet shoulder-width apart. Hold the birthing ball in front of your body. Bend your knees and squat, as if you’re about to sit in an imaginary chair. As you squat, raise the birthing ball overhead. Hold his position for about 5 counts and then return to starting position. Repeat the desired number of reps to strengthen your legs, thighs, abdomen, and arms.
Exercise balls can be useful for pregnant women as support for upright positions and for lower-back strengthening exercises. When using an exercise ball to sit in, choose one that has a firm, non-bouncy surface. A weighted ball is also recommended since it will keep your body from rolling off to the side. Once you are comfortable with the ball, a relaxed posture with good posture is recommended so that you don’t fall off of it while practicing yoga or other exercises involving bouncing. Yes. Using an exercise ball during pregnancy is a great way to increase balance and improve your posture. A balance ball can also help increase your mobility as you progress through pregnancy by keeping you moving with more intensity, introducing more weight shifts and more challenging core exercises, like plank variations.
Can I Do Squats While Pregnant Third Trimester
Yes, you can use an exercise ball during your pregnancy. It will help with strength training and help prepare you for labor. You should not use it if the ball is bigger than your belly or if you are still experiencing morning sickness or dizziness. Yes! A great benefit of using an exercise ball during pregnancy is that it can help increase your body’s flexibility, build muscle strength (especially your abs), and improve balance. These are all vital attributes to have while carrying a child. However, you should only use the ball if your doctor gives you the ok first.
Exercise balls are a great tool to use during pregnancy. If your doctor has recommended them, then use them. You can do many exercises using the ball and they strengthen your back! Work your abs, thighs, shoulders and so much more while pregnant. Good luck! It’s true, exercise balls are usually used to strengthen core muscles and improve balance. But you can also use them at any stage in your pregnancy – though you may need to modify some of the exercises.
Exercise balls can be used as an alternative to running, walking, and other aerobic activities. When it comes to pregnancy, pregnant women should avoid overloading the belly area with too many different types of exercises. Instead, a prenatal exercise ball can be used for gentle muscle strengthening and stretching throughout your pregnancy. Exercise balls are a great way to get in shape, relieve back pain and more. The best part is that it can be used as an alternative for your medical ball, weight lifting equipment and more.
How Long Can You Sit On An Exercise Ball When Pregnant
Exercise balls are a great piece of equipment to have at home. They’re versatile, portable and easy on the joints! That being said, exercise balls can be hard on women who are pregnant. So how long can you sit on an exercise ball when pregnant?
When pregnant, sitting on an exercise ball for a long time leads to back pain because the ligaments in your pelvis are more relaxed during pregnancy. Sitting on an exercise ball not only increases circulation throughout your body but also helps strengthen your muscles that support your spine. To prevent or minimize lower back pain, make sure that you take frequent breaks when sitting on an exercise ball, and switch sides frequently while reclining. It is not recommended to sit on an exercise ball for long periods of time when pregnant. A woman should use a maternity seat cushion, a firm chair or couch, or use the ball in a supported position (supported by the floor, thigh or chest) instead of sitting on it alone.
Consider using an exercise ball as your pregnancy fitness core. You can sit on it, lie on it and use it in all sorts of ways to benefit yourself, especially during the last trimester when you’ll need it most. Sitting on an exercise ball or in a stability ball chair is a great way to sit comfortably when pregnant. Staying comfortable during your pregnancy is essential to provide the right conditions for your baby’s development. A pregnancy ball can help with lower back pain, relieving stress by keeping you healthy and active, increasing core strength while reducing the risk of pelvic floor disorders.
The Best Exercises to Induce Labor at Home
1. Parallel Your Feet
“A lot of pregnant people splay their feet wide, but bringing their toes parallel can help separate the sitz bones,” says Brichter. This finds more space in their lower back, which makes labor and delivery easier.
2. Maintain Alignment
Instead of pushing your belly forward when standing, stay aligned with your hips over your ankles. This stance—which is easy to take while doing dishes, standing in the line at the grocery store, etc.—encourages the baby to move into the proper position. Similarly, try not to slouch when you’re sitting down, says Brichter.
3. Sit on a Birthing Ball
According to Brichter, sitting on a birthing ball in neutral wide-legged positions prepares the body for labor by increasing blood flow, opening the pelvis, and encouraging cervical dilation. You can also try these birthing ball exercises to induce labor: circular hip rotations, rocking, and gentle bouncing.
4. Do Pelvic Tilts
During delivery, your pelvic bones pull away and separate to accommodate your baby’s head. Keep the joints loose by completing pelvic tilt exercises. Here’s one way to do them: Lying on your back, place your feet flat against the floor and bend your knees. Slowly lift the pelvis until it becomes parallel with your torso. Hold for 10 seconds, return to your starting position, and repeat several times.
5. Assume the Butterfly Pose
You might recognize the butterfly pose from dance or yoga class—but did you know it can increase flexibility in your pelvic joints, improve blood flow, and make childbirth easier? To get into the pose, sit upright on the floor, and bring the sole of feet together while bending the knees. Pull your feet toward your body to feel a stretch in your hips and inner thighs, and don’t forget to breathe into it.
6. Go on Walk
Maintaining a regular exercise routine, including low-impact cardio like walking, has many benefits throughout pregnancy. But walking can also be used as an exercise to induce labor, since it helps with cervical dilation and allows the baby to drop in the pelvis. Walking might also ease some of your anxiety surrounding labor and delivery.
7. Perform Lunges
Lunges stretch the hips and open the pelvis, which helps the baby move into the ideal birthing position. Here’s how to do them: Stand up straight, then take a big step forward with one leg, keeping your knee over your ankle. The other leg should drop so it’s parallel to the ground. Push back up to starting position, then repeat with the other leg.
Who Shouldn’t Use Exercise to Induce Labor?
While experts often recommend regular exercise for low-risk pregnant people, the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG) suggests discontinuing if you experience certain symptoms. They include:
- vaginal bleeding
- abdominal pain
- regular, painful contractions
- fluid leaking
- shortness of breath
- chest pain
- muscle weakness affecting balance
- calf pain or swelling
Always speak with your plans to induce labor through exercise with your healthcare practitioner, especially if you have a high-risk pregnancy. Consider discussing your plans with a physical therapist as well. “Midwives and OB-GYNS are very good at keeping pregnant people safe, but they aren’t necessarily experts at the body’s structure,” says Brichter. “Somebody thinking about using movement and exercise in labor might want to talk with a physical therapist.”
Sitting on an exercise ball is a great way to improve posture, work your core and even strengthen your back. You can sit on the ball for extended periods of time, but you may want to take periodic breaks from it so that you can relieve any strain or pressure in your back. Do not sit in the same position for long periods of time