The Many Uses of a Yoga Ball (updated July 2022)

the many uses of a yoga ball
A yoga or exercise ball is a great tool to have in your home during your pregnancy, labor and beyond. Due to the many helpful ways you can use a yoga ball, it really is a worthy and smart investment.
When choosing a ball be sure to get the appropriate size based on your height. When you sit on the ball your hips should be slightly higher than your knees to avoid putting pressure on your back, to allow lots of space for your tummy and for stability.
Here are a few different ways you can use it!

Replace your desk chair. 

Whether you’re pregnant or not, sitting on a yoga ball is much more comfortable and better for your body than a regular chair. The buoyancy helps strengthen your core muscles and cushions your bottom. Make sure your ball is inflated properly for firm support. Some women find sitting on a yoga ball relieves discomfort related to medical conditions they are experiencing as well.

Use the exercise ball for… exercise! 

We’re not fitness experts, so be sure to check with your healthcare provider before beginning an exercise program. Here is more info on what exercises are generally safe during pregnancy.

Foot rest. Especially great for those swollen cankles!

Positioning support during labor.

Once your labor begins, the ball gives you several different options to help you through labor.

  • Sitting: Sitting and gently bouncing or swaying your hips in a figure-eight. This position may help keep your pelvis open and uses gravity to help your baby move downwards.

  • Laying: While lying in bed on your side or semi-reclined the ball can be placed near your legs and feet and you can rest one leg or both on the ball to get some elevation and spread your hips.
  • Leaning: The ball can be put up on a couch or bed and you can stand in front of it and drape your body over it. It’s more supportive than a stack of pillows and because of its round shape, you can also move your legs and hips while leaning.

  • Kneeling: You may find being on all fours – on the floor or bed – to be comforting in labor. You can also drape your top half of your body over the ball in this position for counter pressure and rest.

  • Rolling against your back: Put the yoga ball up against the wall at about the height of your back. Then stand in front of it with your back against the ball. (Get help from your doula or your partner to get into this position if needed.) Now you can roll your back up and down and side to side against the ball while it is pressed into he wall. (Picture a bear rubbing it’s back against a tree.) This may be helpful if you are noticing pain in your back or you just want to try something different.

Soothing a fussy newborn. 

Babies LOVE to have you hold them, of course, and really love the gentle bouncing, swaying motion of being held by you while you sit on the ball.

Entertainment. 

When your toddler is walking, he or she will love to play with this giant ball all around your house.

Check out this post to learn about the uses of a peanut ball in labor!

About Amy Lewis

Amy is certified by ProDoula as a labor doula, postpartum and infant care doula and postpartum placenta specialist. She was certified by the Healthy Children Project and the Academy of Lactation Policy and Practice as a lactation counselor and is a birth, newborn and breastfeeding educator.

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