Fit Ball Exercises During Pregnancy: Are They Recommended?

During the last months before childbirth, many pregnant women choose to do fit ball exercises. Why is this recommended? We'll explain in this article.
Fit Ball Exercises During Pregnancy: Are They Recommended?

Last update: 09 October, 2018

Doing fit ball exercises during pregnancy has great advantages. They contribute to your well-being in different ways. In addition to working on your physical health, it also provides a space for dialogue and socializing, which can help women gain tranquility in the face of childbirth.

When thinking of a group of pregnant women doing exercise, the first thing that probably comes to mind is fit balls or pilates balls. This isn’t coincidental.

Researchers have proven the benefits of these workouts when it comes to pregnancy. This is why so many decide to use them in the months prior to delivery.

In fact, fit ball exercises are also recommended after childbirth and the rest of a woman’s life. But why is that so? And why are they so popular? Continue reading to find out.

Benefits of doing fit ball exercises during pregnancy

Strengthens muscles

Exercising with a fit ball during pregnancy allows the development of the pelvic floor, which is essential for soon-to-be mothers. These muscles are subjected to great demands at the time of childbirth.

They’re also ideal for exercising the back muscles, which are responsible for supporting the extra weight of the belly. They help considerably to prevent very common pains during pregnancy.

Helps establish relationships with other pregnant women

It’s not unusual for gym classes that use fit balls to encourage people to talk to each other. It kind of serves as a free space, where everyone is willing to understand others, plus express themselves.

When pregnant women take these classes, they take advantage of the opportunity to express how they’re feeling, their fears, previous experiences, and illusions. In fact, socializing with other pregnant women and listening to their stories can decrease the fear of giving birth that many first-time mothers have.

Improves flexibility

A woman’s body goes through many changes during pregnancy, many of which lead to a decrease in mobility. Don’t worry, this isn’t incurable.

Doing exercises with a fit ball can greatly reduce this. These exercises also contribute to a more effective recovery after giving birth.

couple exercising

Reduces stress

Many fit ball exercises for pregnant women consist of mastering breathing techniques. This isn’t only useful for the time when the contractions before delivery start to show up, but it also helps reduce stress and anxiety. These two latter symptoms are characteristic of this hormonal stage.

Fit ball exercises for pregnant women

Crunches using a fit ball: These are recommended during the beginning of pregnancy. It consists of lying on the ball supporting the lower back and doing slow crunches with your feet on the floor and your knees at 90º.

Rotation of the pelvis: To do this exercise, you have to sit on the ball facing forward. Then, rotate about 45º to the side (or more, depending on your state). When you’re done, return to the center and repeat the exercise on the other side.

There’s also another way to do this exercise: stretch your arms forward at your chest level. To make it easier to do, you can grab a towel with your hands and keep it stretched.

Abdominal exercise: This exercise requires you to be sitting on the ball with your legs at 90º. Bring your abdomen back and forth exerting a movement with your buttocks so that your chest and belly come closer and away.

Complete rotation: This exercise consists of executing a complete waist rotation while sitting on the ball. To do this exercise, your legs have to be at 90º and must act as a support while doing the movements with the hip. These should be done gently and carefully.

Light jumps on the ball: Women usually do this exercise during the last trimester of pregnancy, when the belly makes carrying out the other exercises pretty much impossible. This is very effective in combating urinary incontinence.

This is a very simple exercise since it only requires you to lightly jump on the ball. You should keep your arms relaxed and control your breathing consciously.

pregnant woman at the gym

Precautions to keep in mind

Lastly, it’s necessary to point out that there are certain precautions you should take before starting to do fit ball exercises during pregnancy.

The first one has to do with a very important thing called “company.” Don’t train all by yourself. Do your best to find someone who can train with you and who can guide your posture so that you don’t hurt yourself. Also, make sure they’re willing to help you in case of an injury.

On the other hand, talk to your doctor and ask for permission before doing these exercises. A professional should always be there with you marking your progress.

Evidently, don’t exercise if you’re bleeding or if you just don’t feel like it. In case you don’t feel motivated or comfortable, it’s better to rest and try again another time.

This text is provided for informational purposes only and does not replace consultation with a professional. If in doubt, consult your specialist.