Squats with the stability ball against the wall
Place the ball against the wall, behind the lower and middle back; walk your feet forward and about hip width apart so that you are leaning against the ball. Slowly lower down, bending at your knees and hips, keeping the back straight and body weight in your heels until your thighs are parallel to the floor. Keep abdominals tight and slowly press back up to standing. This is an excellent exercise for those legs and thighs.
Lower back pregnancy exercise using the stability ball
This is an excellent exercise for releasing pressure and stretching the lower spine. When done correctly this movement increases flexibility of the spine; it is also a safe and effective way to ease the lower back pain experienced during pregnancy.
To perform it you will need a fitness ball. Go on your knees and place your hands on a fitness ball. The spine is meant to stay very straight. Push the ball away from you and feel the stretch in your back. At this point of the exercise your upper body is parallel to the floor. Roll the ball with your hands towards your body and straighten it with your heads up. At this point your upper body is vertical with the floor.
Lunges next to the barre
1. Maintain an erect spine. Extra weight in the breasts and abdomen during pregnancy tend to pull your trunk forward. Lifting your chest and pulling your shoulders back and down will help keep your trunk perpendicular to the floor, centering your weight and preventing forward momentum and loss of balance.
2. Assume a wide stance. Begin with your knees and ankles aligned directly under your hips. Shift your weight to your right foot as you step back with your left foot, planting the ball of your foot with your toes pointing forward. As the right hip and knee bend, concentrate on keeping your knee aligned over your ankle and your spine erect. Do not bend your knee beyond 90 degrees.
3. Maintain a visual focal point. Fixing your gaze on a non-moving target will help you maintain balance. If possible, face a mirror to monitor your alignment and your body’s position in space, with your centre as your focal point.
4. Use your arms for balance. Begin your lunge with your arms at your sides and allow them to move freely to offset shifts in your centre of gravity.
Back stretch on the barrel
The exercise is done around the arc barrel. This is a good exercise for pregnant women with back and neck issues; they can get support from the barrel and not stress and strain the neck or back while strengthening the muscles needed to help balance the body.
Push-up against the barre
Hands against the barre.
Legs together or apart.
Body at a 45-degree angle.
Inhale: Contract abdominals, bend elbows and lower torso towards wall.
Exhale: Straighten elbows.
Hip exercise against the wall using the stability ball
This is a great hip exercise. Stand pretty close to the wall with your hip against the ball. Lift the inside leg. Just let the ball go up a little then let it come down. You are just pushing your bodyn up into the ball and then back down again. Hold one hand around the ball and your other hand on your hip. The work that is happening here is in the base leg, the mobilization is happening through the pelvis but all being supported with the outside leg.
Always consult your doctor before you begin a new exercise regime during pregnancy. Real Pilates, Palm Strip Mall (04 345 3228) and Jumeirah Lakes Towers (04 458 5399), www.real-pilates.com.