Can Prenatal Massage Induce Labor
Nearly every pregnant woman I know has told me how much their bodies ACHE, especially towards the end of their pregnancies. Massage therapy during pregnancy has been shown to provide many benefits! Prenatal massage is a specialized certification, and massage therapists who practice it receive advanced education in safe techniques for pregnant women. Unlike deep tissue massage, prenatal massage typically involves light pressure.
The American Pregnancy Association reports that the benefits of massage performed during pregnancy can help to reduce anxiety, decrease symptoms of depression, relieve muscle aches and joint pain, help with blood flow and improve labor outcomes and newborn health. Plus the relaxation youll feel after a prenatal massage might help you have better sleep, too! But what about when it comes to inducing labor?
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Using A Birthing Ball When Your Baby Is Born
There’s no need to throw away your birthing ball when your bundle of love makes their appearance as there’s plenty it can be used for beyond birth, for example:
- For breastfeeding your baby when you’re comfortable with getting them to latch on.
- To help get them used to tummy time.
- Cuddling them while bouncing on the birthing ball to soothe your little one to sleep.
- For post-natal exercises such as yoga and pilates.
- As a general chair while working or watching TV – this will help provide better posture.
Using Your Height To Size Up Your Ball
When you stand next to an exercise ball, it should be even or slightly above your knee level. The best way to size up your ball is by sitting on it. When you sit on the ball, your knees should be bent at a 90-degree angle and your thighs should be parallel or even with the floor. Find your height and see which ball size you should try first.
The following chart shows a slight variation of recommended heights for the different ball sizes you can choose from.
Recommended ball size
For kids who are 5 years and younger, always use a 45 cm ball.
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Are Birthing Balls The Same As Exercise Balls
Effectively, yes! Sometimes cheaper exercise balls will deflate faster than specialist birthing balls, so make sure its fully inflated before birth. Also, some birthing balls will have a non-slip finish which is important. One thing to check is the size of the ball, as some yoga balls are much smaller than you think when you inflate them ideally, your birthing ball should be 65cm or 75cm when inflated.
Do Exercise Balls Work
Exercise balls, also called stability balls and fitness balls, were designed by a Swiss doctor in the 1960s for use in physical therapy. The balls are an effective means of building muscles and endurance, strengthening your core, and developing flexibility and balance. The balls are rubber inflatables that can be used for a variety of exercise routines.
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Buy The Right Size Ball
There really arent any rules about the size of a fitness ball. I have a collection of fitness balls from huge ones down to little ones, but for most exercise purposes, you will want to choose the size a ball that is proportional to your height. The rule of thumb is that you want to be able to sit on your ball with your legs at a 90-degree angle or slightly more, but not less.
Use these guidelines when you buy a fitness ball:
- If you are 411 54, get a ball that is 55 cm
- If you are 55 511, get a ball that is 65 cm
- If you are 6 67, get a ball that is 75 cm
Related: Top 15 Kettlebell Workouts Of All Time
> What makes these weights so beneficial is also what makes them look so goofy: the handles. Think about a baseball bat, says trainer Jason C. Brown, creator and owner of certification program Kettlebell Athletics. Holding a dumbbell is like choking up the center of gravity is always inside your grip. With its handle, though, a kettlebell is more like holding the bat by the end, which delivers a very different swing. Kettlebells create a longer lever arm, which requires you to use more force to move an equal weight the same distance, Brown says.
This recruits more muscles, challenges inter- and intra-muscular coordination, and generally delivers one hell of a burn. But which size should you reach for? In general, Lopez recommends going anywhere from 5 to 15 pounds lighter on a kettlebell than you would a dumbbell. But resistance is assistance, so going too light or too heavy can compromise technique not to mention increase your risk of injury with the added momentum of most moves, Brown adds. Translation: Every move requires its own weight. Heres how to pin that kettlebell weight down for 11 of the most common moves.
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Which Size Should You Get
Many exercise ball manufacturers provide their own height-based sizing recommendations, which weve mentioned and linked in our picks respective sections when provided. The American College of Sports Medicine has the following recommendations:
It is not only your height that is important when determining the correct size of ball needed, but also your leg length, said professor of physical therapy Marilyn Moffat in our email interviews. My preference for determining the correct ball size is to sit on the ball with the feet flat on the floor, and your hips and knees should be at 90 degree angles .
If youre able to, we recommend trying different sizes out before buying a ball.
A 65 cm ball is most commonly used for alternative seating. Tim DePuy, co-founder and CEO of SmarterLife Products, which sells exercise balls, told us he advised his customers to consider under-desk dimensions and floor-mat height when choosing a ball to use at a tabletop.
What Size Exercise Ball For Sitting At Desk
An office job requires you to sit at your desk for long hours. This has many negative effects not only on your posture but also increases the risk of diabetes and slows your metabolism. To avoid these health problems a person would have to do more than occasional walking in the office. For this purpose, many people have started using exercise ball or stability ball for sitting at a desk, previously used in yoga to achieve active sitting.
One might think that an ergonomic chair can prevent you from having bad posture but in reality, we all know that after few hours of work, we start slumping on our comfortable chair as well. Exercise ball for sitting at a desk on the other hand helps in achieving active sitting since it is unstable and forces your body to keep making small adjustments in the core and lower body.
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Key Points For Fitting The Correct Size Exercise Ball
- Getting the right size exercise ball promotes the activity of your deep core abdominal muscles and reduces pressure on the joints of the lower back, pelvis and hips.
- Use the recommended ball size height guide as a general guide only. Differences in ball manufacture and individual body shapes and sizes mean that these size guides dont necessarily apply for seated ball exercises.
- The best way to know if your exercise ball size is right for your seated core exercises is to sit on your ball and view it from the side in a mirror.
Okay What Size Exercise Ball Should I By
There’s no one-size-fits-all situation with exercise balls. Instead, finding the right one for you depends on a few factors , but in general, you can use this chart below as a guide.
- Height: Under 48»Ball size: 45 cm/18
- Height:48 to 53»Ball size: 55 cm/22
- Height: 54 to 510»Ball size: 65 cm/26
- Height: 511 to 64»Ball size: 75 cm/30
- Height: 64 and up »Ball size: 85 cm/34
Other than that, a good rule is that the smaller the ball, the bigger the challenge. So consider scaling up or down depending on your fitness level and how you plan to use yours. For example, tinier stability balls make for hardcore abs exercises, while a bigger one is beneficial if you intend to swap it in for a workout bench.
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How To Use A Birthing Ball
Using a birthing ball is incredibly easy! Just remember:
- Careful not to over or under-inflate your ball- You should feel supported well without sinking into the ball too much
- Make sure your knees are not above your hips when sitting
- Think tall, have good posture and try different exercises for maximum benefit
- Get the right size for you!
55 cm 4 11 to 5 3 65 cm 5 4 to 5 10 75 cm 5 11 and up
You can use the ball to do squats, pelvic rolls and tilts, small bounces and more. All of these can help your pelvic ligaments stay loose and allow baby room to descend for labor. Not to mention giving you a break from carrying the extra weight around, it can really feel amazing!
You can watch how I used my birthing ball throughout pregnancy and to naturally induce my labor, below!
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What Is The Difference Between A Yoga Ball Stability Ball Exercise Ball And Balance Ball
While there are many different names floating around, yoga balls, stability balls, exercise balls and balance balls are technically all the same thing.
They can also be referred to as Swiss balls, fitness balls, and workout balls.
They are all typically about knee-high, but the size you choose may vary depending on how youd like to use the ball.
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Related: The Killer 8
DeadliftDitch your idea of an ultra-heavy deadlift. There are no guys doing a one-rep max for a kettlebell deadlift, Brown says. Instead, this is viewed as a fundamental move a way to refine your technique as you work up to the swing. The general rule of thumb is the more joints involved, the heavier the kettlebell weight you can use. The deadlift is a multijoint move, so the average guy can probably handle 32 kg/70 lbs here to start, Brown says.
> Double-Arm SwingA swing is just a high-speed deadlift youre using the same muscles with a little more emphasis on the abs to control the momentum, Lopez explains. Unlike a deadlift, though, the high speed of the swing requires you to control the weight, so opt for lighter than you would a deadlift. Lopez suggested starting weight: 16 kg/35 lbs or 20 kg/44 lbs.
Single-Arm SwingThe single-arm swing puts more emphasis on the core because, in addition to being a high-speed hinge movement, you also now have to resist rotation since youre only loaded on one side, Lopez explains. Not only are your shoulders and abs working hard to keep you stable, but theres more challenge to your grip since all the weight is in one hand. Drop down one weight level from your double-arm, Lopez says .
How Much Weight Can An Exercise Ball Take
The weight limit for most stability balls is 250 lbs although models capable of supporting weights of up to 300 lbs are not uncommon. These products are sufficient for basic aerobic and light weight training workouts.
Types of Weight
Static Weight refers to the total amount of weight the ball is capable of supporting, assuming no movement from the user.
Body Weight refers to how much weight the ball can support when the user is exercising without exceeding the limits of the balls burst resistance.
What are Anti-Burst Gym Balls?
When choosing your exercise ball you need to be aware if youre purchasing an anti-burst exercise ball or not. Anti-burst exercise balls will gently deflate if punctured which make them a much safer version of exercise ball.
Most gym balls are marketed as an anti-burst gym ball so that when youre sat on the ball or working out on the ball its not going to pop underneath you like a balloon!
While larger stability balls are often capable of supporting greater weight, it is important that the balls dimensions remain a good fit for your frame. To choose the right size for you refer to the size guide above.
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The Midwives Brew Recipe
If you get the green light and want to try the famed Midwives Brew yourself, first know that it is designed to upset your stomach . Also, do NOT ingest castor oil by itself, as you could become incredibly sick.
2 oz castor oil
Small can of apricot nectar
1 cup of champagne
Mix together using a blender. Drink quickly! Dont drink more than one dose per day.
Remember, the Midwives Brew is STRONG and should only be taken with the go ahead from your care team!
The Sphere Of Success
Yoga for kids is all about having fun and developing healthy habits. Whether you choose a yoga ball to promote focus, minimize a case of the wiggles, add variety, or ratchet up the challenge, matching the right ball to your young yogi changes the game. Give children a shot at success both on and off the mat with a yoga ball that both tames and directs the exuberant energy of kids.
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Which Size Exercise Ball Should I Buy
Exercise balls are measured in centimeters and come in five industry-standard sizes: 45 cm, 55 cm, 65 cm, 75 cm, and 85 cm. These measurements indicate the height of the ball once its fully inflated. For general exercise applications, the most common ball size is the 65 cm ball, best used for anyone between 59 to 62 tall.
To choose the best exercise ball size for you, measure the distance between the floor and your knees. That’s the size you want to go for. If your knee measurement is between ball sizes, buy the larger ball and under-inflate it. Your hips and knees should bend at a 90-degree angle when you sit on the ball.
Hard-to-find 85 cm exercise balls are ideal for individuals over 68 tall. To make things easier for you, use the chart below to choose the perfect exercise ball size based on your height:
LARGE 75 cm
6’8″ and taller
XLARGE 85 cm
While the above chart is for general exercise purposes, choosing the ideal ball size to use as an office chair is slightly different. The University of Minnesota Extension recommends using an exercise ball that is one size larger for sitting at a desk. This is because the ball will deflate slightly when you’re sitting on it.
How To Fit The Right Size Exercise Ball For Core Exercises
Do you use an exercise ball?
Are you sure your exercise ball is the right size?
This short video shows you how to fit the correct exercise ball size for your body.
Knowing the correct exercise ball size helps you get the most benefit from your core exercises and minimize the strain on your lower back, pelvis and hips.
Video duration: 3 minutes
Please scroll down below this video for written guidelines and a checklist for choosing the right exercise ball size.
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Troubleshooting Ball Some Common Ball Size Problems
Some of the most commonly experienced ball size problems stem from:
- Leg length differences women with long legs will require a larger ball than a woman of the same height with short legs
- Body weight heavier body weight tends to compress the ball more than lighter body weight
- Lower back , hip and/or pelvic joint dysfunction positioning the hips well above the knees can relieve pressure from these joints
Sitting On An Exercise Ball
Before attempting to sit on a ball at work, its important to choose a ball that is the proper size. You will likely have to make additional changes to your computer as well.
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What Are The Best Workout Videos For Using An Exercise Ball
You can find so many videos of fantastic workouts using the exercise ball simply by searching on Youtube.com. There are also fantastic stability ball exercise videos available by Beachbody.
If youre looking for a video specific to yoga, Yoga By Candace on Youtube.com has a great video using the stability ball.