Pregnancy workouts on a fitball

Pregnancy workouts on a fitball
June 29, 2017 Sophie Wishart

Use these pregnancy ball exercises for a complete pregnancy workout that even works your abs and core for a total fit pregnancy session!

Birth ball, fit ball, swiss ball, pregnancy exercise ball – different names, but same bit of kit. Using a fit ball during pregnancy will work your core without you having to do ‘sit-up’ type exercises. All that balancing and stabilising works your deep abdominal muscles (or TVA – Transversus abdominis), helping to keep your core strong during pregnancy and supporting your back and pelvic floor muscles.

Include dumbbells in your fitball routine to work your whole body.

Pregnancy gym ball workout (15-20 minutes, six exercises to work your whole body)

Remember to warm up and cool down and always listen to your body and stop if anything doesn’t feel right.

1. Arm work out on the ball (2 x 3kg weights)

Work your core, biceps, triceps and shoulders!
Work your core, biceps, triceps and shoulders
Sit upright on the birth ball, feet flat on the floor hip-width apart. Keep your shoulders back, tummy muscles pulled in. Hold your weights firmly.
Now do:

  • 12-15 bicep curls
  • 2-15 tricep kick backs (arms close to your body at 90 degrees and straighten out behind you)
  • 12-15 overhead presses

2. Arm and leg lift (2 x 3kg weights)

Work your core, shoulders and the front of your legs.
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)

3. Wall squat (hold a weight in each hand – optional)

Great for working your legs. extend this exercisee by keeping your legs slightly bent between reps.
Start with your feet hip width apart and your birth 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.
Slowly return to the starting position.
Repeat 15-20 times

4. One leg lunge (hold a weight in each hand – optional)

Take a big step forward with one foot. Rest your back foot on top of your fit ball, shin down.
Keep your hands on your hips or by your sides if you are holding weights. Keep your shoulders back, core muscles pulled in.
Slowly bend your front knee until it reaches approx. 90 degrees.
Return to the starting position.
Repeat 15-20 times
Extend with a bicep / hammer curl to te upward press to work upper body.

5. Seated upper back squeeze and ab-hold (2 x 1kg weights)

Try adding 10 normal ab squeezes at the end to make sure you have really worked your deep core muscles.
Sit upright on the fit ball, with your shoulders back and feet flat on the floor.
Breathe in deeply and let your chest expand. Then, as you exhale, draw your belly button in so that you feel like you are wearing a tight corset (engaging your TVA). Hold this position breathing comfortably.
Hold your weights in each hand, arms out in front at head height. Keep your shoulders back.
Slowly bring your arms towards you, squeezing your shoulder blades together, bringing the weights to either side of your chest.
Slowly return to the starting position. Once you have completed your back squeeze repetitions release your abs.
Repeat 15-20 times and do two sets.

6. Seated pelvic tilt

Work your deep tummy muscles and keep your pelvis mobilised. Don’t be afraid of sucking your tummy in, baby won’t feel it!
Sit upright on the fit ball, with your shoulders back and feet flat on the floor.
Breathe in deeply and let your chest expand. Then, as you exhale, draw your belly button in so that you feel like you are wearing a tight corset (engaging your TVA).
Without moving your feet, tilt your pelvis forward and upward.
Hold for a couple seconds and return to start position.
Repeat 15-20 times and do two sets.

Everyday movements on your fitball

Use your exercise ball everyday during pregnancy – the balancing movements work and strengthen your abs. These moves are all excellent to use during labour too.
Try replacing your desk chair with your fitball, sitting tall and engaging your core
Circle your hips on the ball in both directions or move them in a figure of eight.
Lean across the ball for a strong back stretch – adding a side to side or forward and back motion to increase the stretch

High Support Pregnancy Exercise Top is perfect for however you are adding fitball workouts to your fitness sessions!

Make sure!
Remember to warm up and cool down before your exercise session
Always listen to your body and stop if anything doesn’t feel right.
Wear well fitting maternity exercise clothes and keep your baby bump supported – it’s not just about looking good, you’ll feel more comfortable and secure when you exercise
Stay hydrated – keep a bottle of water handy
Have a chair nearby for support in case you get stuck in any of these fit ball exercises.
Experts agree that all healthy pregnant women should aim for at least 30 minutes exercise every day but check with your midwife or doctor if you have any concerns about your pregnancy or medical condition

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