Changes in hormone production and a woman's center of gravity due to the additional weight contribute to back pains during pregnancy. Sitting and exercising on a balance ball can help lessen the physical strain.
If you’re pregnant and want to give the balance ball a try, here are some exercises to get you started:
Sit upright on a ball and rock your hips slowly from side to side. Move the ball with your hips in a circular motion clockwise 10 times. Repeat the same number of times counter-clockwise.
Another variation of this is to do figure 8 movements with your hips instead of circles for five to 10 minutes.
While sitting upright on the ball, let your arms hang loosely by your side. Lightly squeeze your shoulder blades together for five to 10 seconds before releasing. Do 10 repetitions.
Leg and arm lift
Sit up straight on the ball with your feet about hip-width apart. Ensure that they are a comfortable distance from the ball. While keeping your balance, straighten your right leg and lift it up to hip level. Then raise your arms up until shoulder level. Go back to the starting position and do the same exercise with your left leg. Lift legs alternately for every repetition.
You can also just lift your foot from the floor instead of raising your whole leg to hip level if you have difficulty extending your leg.
Kneel on the floor with your knees open. Position the ball in between your knees about an arm's length away. With arms extended, hold on to the ball and gently lean forward. Then retreat. Repeat for 10 to 15 times.
Another variation of this exercise is to put the ball on top of a bed. You can stand and lean on the ball from this position.
Stand with your feet pointed outward and shoulder-length apart. Lower yourself and squat. Place the ball in front of you and hold it with your hands. Allow the ball to help keep your balance. Tuck in your abdominal muscles and maintain a good posture.