And then add all the challenges of pregnancy to that equation and – URGH!
Well, that’s exactly why I’ve decided to share my best kept secret with you - the Body Ball! It’s PERFECT for both pregnancy and post-pregnancy workouts and boy does it get GREAT RESULTS!
Sound too simple to really WORK?
You’d think that exercising on a body ball was easy – WRONG!
I remember challenging a HUGE BODY BUILDER at my old gym to try one of my easier exercises – he couldn’t do it! As big and strong as he was, he didn’t have the core strength or the agility to do the BALL PRAYER (a relatively easy exercise).
If you want to BUILD your core strength (excellent for labor and delivery!) and TONE your troubled areas (butt, hips and thighs!), the body ball is the way to go!
So how exactly do you USE the BODY BALL?
Assuming you’ve been given the OK to exercise by your health care provider, here are 3 great safe and effective BODY BALL exercises to start with:
1. Ball squats (easy to moderate)
Standing with your back to a wall, place the ball on the wall behind your lower back. Step your feet forward and place them shoulder width apart. Slowly sit down to your knee height - NOT below - and then push back up again.
On the way up, focus on pressing through your heels – so you USE those bum muscles! And make sure your knees do NOT project past your toes! Repeat 12-15 times.
Note: Do a Kegel at the bottom.
2. Inner thigh squeezes (easy)
Sitting tall on the edge of a chair, place your body ball between your legs and hold the ball with your hand(s). Squeeze your knees together slowly (you can also do a Kegel here!).
Hold and release only part way. Repeat 12-15 times.
3. Bum Raises (easy to moderate)
Lie with your upper back and neck on the ball, and your feet on the floor. Slowly drop your bum down towards the ground, pull in your abs, and then lift up, squeezing your glutes (bum muscles), until you’re parallel with the floor.
If it’s comfortable, you can also add an inner thigh squeeze at the top by pretending to slowly squeeze a beach ball between your knees. Repeat 12-15 times.
But what if you’re just a beginner?
An easy and quick way to get comfortable with the body ball is to begin with a knee lift. Sit on the top of the ball and slowly raise one foot off of the ground. Eventually try to balance without using your hands and hold one knee up for 30 seconds, and then alternate. This simple exercise uses your core strength!
Note: If you’re still having a tough time getting your balance, put the ball on a carpet or mat to provide you with some extra support. And make sure you’re next to a wall in case you lose your balance.
For lots MORE great body ball exercises (including pictures!) that will strengthen your core and tone your butt, thighs and arms nicely, read my kit at...