By Catherine CHUA Bee Hong Senior Principal Physiotherapist, Elizabeth CHAN Jiahui Principal Physiotherapist, KK Women's and Children's Hospital

Exercising during pregnancy comes with many benefits, including promoting muscle strength and endurance to meet the physical demands of pregnancy. It can also help control your blood glucose levels and blood pressure. Please consult your doctor before starting any exercise programmes. Ensure you avoid hot conditions, keep hydrated, and wear comfortable attire while exercising.

If you haven't been exercising regularly before pregnancy, start with an easy 15 minutes of activity a day. Then gradually increase that to 30 minutes a day, five to seven days a week.

Hip extensions with a gym ball can help to strengthen your core and abdominal muscles. These muscles help support your back to maintain good posture during pregnancy.

Here are the steps for the gymball hip extension exercise:

Begin with kneeling on a mat and with a gym ball in front of you. Rest your hands on the ball and ensure your body is upright and straight.

Tighten your tummy muscles and extend one leg backwards slowly and deliberately in a controlled manner to maintain your balance. Hold your extended leg out for 5 seconds and slowly bring it back to rest on both knees. Repeat this exercise 10 times on each leg.

When extending your leg, keep your spine in a neutral position and make sure your lower back is not arched. A great way to check your posture is to practise with a mirror on your side and a protruding butt is a usual indicator of an overextended spine.

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Read these next:


The New Art and Science of Pregnancy and Childbirth 2008, World Scientific

Healthy Start for your Pregnancy 2012, Health Promotion Board Singapore