At 35 weeks pregnant, moving around and my everyday exercise routine are both getting much more challenging. But rather than giving up on my routine, I have found the exercise ball has become my best friend. It has been especially useful for allowing me to still maintain my fitness while keeping as much stabilization and comfort as my belly only keeps getting bigger and bigger.
Throughout my pregnancy, the key has been to tailor my workouts to fit where I am in my pregnancy and how my body is feeling to ensure I still move my body daily! Using an exercise ball during pregnancy can help maintain balance and stability and help keep abdominal muscles strong by using the core for stability. The exercise ball allows you to still engage and indirectly work your core muscles without directly working them, as you would in an abdominal crunch or other ab exercise. The exercise ball also offers great comfort, especially against your back, since your body conforms to the ball, taking away any added pressure to your lower back, which is where most women feel pain in their third trimester. So, the exercise ball has become key during these final weeks of my pregnancy.
No matter where you are in your fitness journey, pregnant or not, there are always ways to adjust your workouts to fit your level and limitations. Rather than having excuses, it is important to be creative and find ways to still move your body and stay active. So, check out my most recent full-body circuit using the exercise ball!
For all exercises, perform 12 reps and then move on to the next exercise until you complete the circuit. Rest for two to three minutes, then repeat the circuit one more time.
Place an exercise ball against a wall and back pressed against the exercise ball. With your legs in a wide stance, standing up tall, and hands placed on your hips, start to bend your knees and lower down towards the ground. Once your knees are at a 90-degree angle, use your heels to press yourself back up to the starting position and repeat the exercise.
Exercise Ball Calf Raise
Place an exercise ball against a wall and stand with your forearms placed against the exercise ball, in front of your chest. Raise yourself by standing on your toes, hold and squeeze for second, then slowly lower yourself back down and repeat.
Exercise Ball Triceps Extensions
Place an exercise ball against a wall and stand, in a wide stance, with your forearms against the exercise ball, in front of your chest. Push yourself back by rolling the ball towards your hands to extend your arms until they are fully extended. Slowly lower back to the starting position and repeat exercise.
Exercise Ball Triceps Extensions (Skull Crushers)
Lie with your upper back placed on the exercise ball and buttocks off the floor and feet in a wide stance. Hold a dumbbell over your head, keeping your elbows hugging your ears. Raise the dumbbell up by straightening your arms, then slowly lowering back to the start position and repeating the exercise.
Exercise Ball Bridge (Hip Extensions)
Lie with your upper back placed on the exercise ball and buttocks off the floor and feet in a wide stance. Place your hands on your hips or across your chest. Without moving your feet, press with your heels to extend your back until it is parallel to the floor. Squeeze your glutes and hold for two seconds, then slowly lower back down and repeat the exercise.
Exercise Ball Push-ups, off Knees
Kneel down in front of the ball with your hands on top of the exercise ball and back extended. Push yourself up by extending your arms. Lower yourself back down, chest towards the exercise ball and repeat the exercise.
Exercise Ball Incline Dumbbell Press
Lie with your upper back placed on the exercise ball, feet in a wide stance and your hips slightly above the ground. Hold a dumbbell in each hand and on each side of your chest. Push the dumbbells straight up and then slowly lower down to the starting position and repeat the exercise.
G-Tip: Don’t forget to breath throughout each exercise. Inhale as you lower your body or the weight and exhale as you exert energy or return to the starting position. Breathing is extremely important, so don’t forget to breath deeply!