Friday, 13 January 2017

Can I squat during pregnancy?

Now we all know how popular squats are in this fitness world. Im sure if you speak to any trainer or exercise instructor they will tell you to 'squat squat squat......' but the question is 'Can I squat during and throughout my pregnancy?'

Here are 5 reasons why you should continue or begin to squat during your pregnancy:

Prepare you for labour
Squatting is one of the most natural positions for giving birth. This position can help you cope with contractions in early or late labour. Squats can also help your baby move deeper down into the pelvis, which is what we want during the late stage of pregnancy.  

Prevents lower back and pelvic pain
Strengthening your glutes maximus muscles helps decrease lower back and pelvic pain. By strengthening your glutes you help stabilise and support your pelvis by supporting your sacroiliac joint which loosens due to pregnancy hormone (relaxin and progesterone which effects the whole body). 

Stronger birth position
Squats will help keep your glutes and legs strong throughout your pregnancy. Not only will this help the body adapt to the extra weight that is gained but this will also help with your birthing positions during labour. Labour requires a lot of physical strength and control so keeping your lower body strong and active is very beneficial. 

Increase pelvic floor strength
Depending on how often you squat (with correct technique) your squats will help strengthen your pelvic floor muscles even more than your kegel exercises. Quality over quantity! 

A great derriere
Obviously you want a fabulous perky bottom, who doesn't? 

 If you are a fitness fanatic/love to squat you may just need to hold out until post pregnancy. This sometimes happens, pregnancy is very unpredictable. You may have had an amazing previous pregnancy or you may be the fittest woman out their but yet this pregnancy you may just be limited in what you can do.

There are always alternatives in exercise so please do not feel disheartened if you find you cannot continue to squat, you can always return/begin to squat after pregnancy. Baby comes first. 

Here are 3 reasons why you may not be able to squat during your pregnancy:

Medical reasons
Some of us won't be able to squat or even exercise during pregnancy. If you are someone that could have early labour, squatting maybe one of the exercises you will need to AVOID. Please listen to your doctor/midwife! There are always alternatives. 

Never continue if you are feeling abnormal pain. Of course you will feel uncomfortable and exercises will be challenging but no abnormal pain should occur at all. Please seek for professional advise or do not risk it at all. 

When baby is not in optimal birth position after 30 weeks gestation
Squats help your baby descend deeper down into the pelvis so if your baby is feet or bottom down after 30 weeks we don't want to encourage them to go further down. Wait until baby is head down then resume back to your squats.

How often should I squat?

If you have read that statement "Squat 300 times a day and you are going to give birth quicker" Ina MayGaskin.  You may just be questioning whether this is what you should be doing?

I can tell you squatting 300 times a day is a crazy. Not only will you loose the benefits from squats but you will most likely cause yourself an injury which is something you definitely do not want to do especially during pregnancy. 
I would recommend 12-15 repetitions in one set, 2-4 rounds depending on you and where you are in your pregnancy. I would suggest having squats in your exercise routine 2-3 days a week. 
Do remember you are maintaining your fitness or decreasing, this is not the time to set for any personal bests, Save them for your post-pregnancy body as you will feel you can conquer the world once you have been through labour!
You will also notice the later you get on into your pregnancy the more you will actually squat. By this I mean squatting in your day-to-day tasks which you should be doing anyway.(I.e lifting)

All the best for you during your pregnancy, Us women really are incredible......

I hope you have enjoyed the read.... Please do check out my other blogs if you have missed them.. Keep following me: kimmy_fitness on my social media for safe and effective pregnancy and post pregnancy workouts. Make sure you sign up to my mymummyfitness post pregnancy exercise program I have had amazing results from mothers. 


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