Share

Family Health

Inflate Your Exercise Ball For This Workout That’s Great For New And Soon-To-Be Moms

Apr 13, 2018

Put your hand up if you have a deflated exercise ball sitting around in a box somewhere! Maybe you bought if for your labour and birth, or maybe it was purchased on a whim — either way, it is sitting there collecting dust. Maybe it's even still sitting there in a box because you don’t really know what to do with it, but look no further.

These large balls have some amazing benefits when it comes to exercising, especially if you are pregnant or a new mom. They're a great way to add more of a challenge to an exercise, or they can be used to modify an exercise to make it easier. They aren’t your typical piece of home equipment as they are pretty bulky to store, but if you see one laying around your local gym, grab it and try a few of these exercises out.

If you have watched the video already, you may see it can be trouble stealing the ball away from your child as they are so exciting, but do your best to grab the ball and get in a good workout. Start off with doing 15-20 reps or 30-45 seconds of each exercise, focusing on good form and correct breathing. As you progress, you can add time or repetitions, and repeat each exercise three to four times in a circuit.


You'll Also Love: 5 Ways To Still Work Your Core While Pregnant


WARNING: Some of the exercises I have provided are a challenge even to a non-pregnant person. So if you are pregnant and haven’t done much exercise before, some of these exercises will NOT be right for you. Please don’t try them out if you are pregnant and new to exercise.

  1. Plank on the ball: Start kneeling with your forearms on the ball and drop your hips so that they are in line with your shoulders and knees. If you want to ramp it up a bit, lift the knees off the floor so you are balancing on your toes. If this isn’t enough for you, try rolling the ball out a few inches and bring it back in to under the shoulders.
  2. Glute hip thrust on the ball: Sit on the ball and then slowly roll your bum forward so that your back is on the ball. Roll forwards until your head is supported. Drop your hips so that they are hovering off the floor but not touching the floor. Exhale to lift your hips up to make a straight line from your shoulders to your knees. To ramp it up a little, you can add a weight to your hips. If this still isn’t enough, try doing it with one leg lifted off the floor.
  3. Squat with an overhead lift: Stand with your feet hip-width apart and hold the ball out in front. Inhale to sink the hips back into a squat, keeping the arms out straight (holding the ball). Exhale as you stand and lift the ball over your head. If your child is standing in the way, add a little twist so the ball moves to the side as you lower into a squat (as I did in the video). If you are without child and want to ramp it up a little, you can bounce the ball off the floor (without letting go) and then jump up as you stand (jump squat).
  4. Stability ball dead bug: Adding the ball to this exercise increases the challenge as your core has to work the whole time. Lay flat on your back with your arms and legs straight up in the air. The ball needs to be placed on your shins and then supported by your hands. Exhale as you lower one leg without touching the ground and simultaneously press into the ball with your hands. To add a challenge, lower opposite arm and leg at the same time. To make it easier, bend your legs or place one foot on the floor.
  5. Wall pushup with the ball: Place the ball against the wall and step back into a plank position. Make sure your hands are an equal distance apart, then bend at the elbows to lower your body towards the ball. Ensure your body moves as one and you don’t leave your bum behind. If this Is too easy, place the ball on a chair against the wall or the ground (in a corner) and resume a pushup position. If you want to ramp it up to the max then place your feet on the ball and hands on the floor so you are doing a decline pushup — THIS IS NOT FOR EVERYONE, I can’t even do this when I’m not pregnant!

BONUS: This exercise was not found in the video. It's for the pregnant mamas and feels really good on the back — a wall squat. Place the ball at the base of your back against the wall. Legs will be out in front of the body as opposed to directly under the hips (it may take a few attempts to figure out the right footing for the squat). Inhale as you lower into the squat, and the ball will roll up your back. Exhale and squeeze the glutes to stand. Repeat 15 repetitions, three rounds.

Happy workouts, parents! And don’t forget to tag me in your videos if you complete my workouts! I'm @fitandeats.

Article Author Lucy D’Aguilar
Lucy D’Aguilar

Read more from Lucy here.

Lucy is the owner of an in-home and online personal training service specializing in postpartum fitness and core rehabilitation. She's a stay-at-home mama to an inquisitive little lady and an overly protective puppy which makes life very interesting. When she's not breaking up battles of whit between the two kiddies (puppy included) she's usually enjoying a cup of coffee that has been heated up about ten times. She is the self-proclaimed DIY master of her house, and loves to take on projects and gives herself a high five when she finishes it. You can find out more about her business at fitandeats.com. You can also follow her on Instagram and Facebook.

 

 

Add New Comment

To encourage thoughtful and respectful conversations, first and last names will appear with each submission to CBC/Radio-Canada's online communities (except in children and youth-oriented communities). Pseudonyms will no longer be permitted.

By submitting a comment, you accept that CBC has the right to reproduce and publish that comment in whole or in part, in any manner CBC chooses. Please note that CBC does not endorse the opinions expressed in comments. Comments on this story are moderated according to our Submission Guidelines. Comments are welcome while open. We reserve the right to close comments at any time.

Submission Policy

Note: The CBC does not necessarily endorse any of the views posted. By submitting your comments, you acknowledge that CBC has the right to reproduce, broadcast and publicize those comments or any part thereof in any manner whatsoever. Please note that comments are moderated and published according to our submission guidelines.