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Choose A Fit Ball For A Fit Pregnancy

     Whether you choose to call it a fit ball, a Swiss ball, a pregnancy exercise ball or a birth ball we're talking the same thing - a ball that you can use as part of your pregnancy exercise routine that will work your core without you having to do 'sit up' type exercises.

A fit ball is a great way to exercise during pregnancy. Enjoy sitting on it when you're at your desk or watching TV; bounce gently on your exercise ball and circle your hips in both directions or a figure of eight to ease niggling pregnancy backache and try leaning over your ball to stretch out your back too. And you can use it as a birth ball during labour.

What more could you ask of a simple, inexpensive item of pregnancy exercise equipment? We love them!!

But before you buy your fit ball it's worth taking the time to make sure you choose a pregnancy exercise ball that's the right size for you.

When you sit on it with your feet flat on the floor your knees should be in a comfortable right angle with your thighs parallel to the floor. Your pelvis, shoulders and head should be vertical. Draw in your core tummy muscles and sit up tall!

Typically, choose a 45 cm fit ball if you are less than 5' tall, a 55cm ball if you are between 5' and 5'6" and a 65cm ball if you are between 5'6" and 6'. Bear in mind that a fully inflated 55cm exercise ball is 22" high and full inflated 65cm ball is 26" high.

But it's not just about the size, you do need to make sure your fitness ball is properly inflated - if it squashes down too much when you sit on it your exercises will be slightly easier but not so effective. If you're not used to exercising when pregnant you can take it easy by starting on a softer ball and increasing the firmness as your strength and fitness improves. A fully inflated fitness ball should be quite firm and require you to fully engage your muscles to stay upright. If you over-inflate your exercise ball it will become a lot more wobbly and unstable when you sit on it!

Work your core, biceps, triceps and shoulders!

Sit upright on the birth ball with your feet flat on the floor about hip-width apart. Keep your shoulders back and tummy muscles pulled in throughout.

In this position do:

12-15 bicep curls

12-15 tricep kick backs (arms close to your body at 90 degrees and straighten out behind you)

12-15 overhead presses

Arm and leg lift (2 x 3kg weights)

Work your core, shoulders and the front of your legs. You'll need your brain in gear to co-ordinate too!

Sit upright on the birth ball with your feet flat on the floor about hip-width apart. Keep your shoulders back and tummy muscles pulled in throughout.

In this position slowly lift one leg off the floor, keeping it straight.

As you lift the leg, lift the opposite arm out to the side in a straight arm side raise, lifting it no higher than shoulder height.

Return both the leg and arm to the starting position and repeat with the other arm/leg.

Repeat 15-20 times (alternate sides)

Wall squat (hold a weight in each hand - optional)

A great exercise to work your legs. To work harder don't completely straighten your legs between reps; keep them slightly bent staying in the muscle.

Start with your feet hip width apart and your exercise ball between your mid to lower back and the wall.

Keep your hands on your hips or by your sides if you are holding weights. Keep your shoulders back and tummy muscles pulled in throughout.

Slowly squat down, bending your knees and rolling the ball down the wall until your knees are bent at approx. 90 degrees.

Now slowly return to the starting position. Have a chair nearby for support in case you get stuck in your squat!

Repeat 15-20 times

Article Source:

Alexandra McCabe is a founder of FittaMamma, the healthy pregnancy experts. FittaMamma is a free resource to help women enjoy an active pregnancy with workout videos, recipes and prenatal yoga tips. Here you can find easy to use guides to use fit balls for core exercises to help with pregnancy tummy and pelvic floor

Posted on 2013-11-03, By: *

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Note: The content of this article solely conveys the opinion of its author.

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