Motherhood has a very humanizing effect. Everything gets reduced to essentials.~Meryl Streep

Motherhood has a very humanizing effect.  Everything gets reduced to essentials.~Meryl Streep

Saturday, October 31, 2009

Exercise Ball...A Must Have

An exercise ball or birthing ball is a must have for pregnant women. Working out using the exercise ball during pregnancy helps to decrease discomforts and prepare the body for labor and birth. These are workouts I use during the third trimester of my pregnancy to relieve back pain and other discomforts.

Sit on the Ball. Just sitting on the ball can improve posture, balance, stomach muscles and relieve back pain.

Bounce on the Ball. While in a sitting position, bounce on the ball to strengthen leg and abdominal muscles. You can also rotate your hips in a circle to strengthen abdominal muscles.

Lunge. Place the ball against a wall and then place the small of your back against the wall. Stand with your legs spaced a little further than your hips. Extend your left knee (so you're lunging) and hold for 5-10 seconds. Return to the start position and then do the same with the right knee. Do this for 12-15 reps. You could also sit on the ball, with the pelvis tilted back and do the same exercise to strengthen leg muscles and improve balance.

Hands and Knees. Get into a hands and knees position and lean over the ball so your cheek is resting on the ball. Rotate your hips or do a pelvic tilt while in this position. To do a pelvic tilt, tighten your stomach muscles so the pelvis tucks under. This will help to relieve back pressure not only during pregnancy but also during labor.

Remember to always check with your doctor before starting an exercise program during pregnancy. When doing exercise ball workouts use caution...your center of gravity is not the same and it is possible to fall of the ball and injure yourself.

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