Squats are a staple in most workout regimens due to their ability to strengthen the core muscles, improve balance and posture, and even help with labor during childbirth.
But when it comes to pregnant women, can they still safely perform squats?
The answer is yes if done correctly. Squats can be an important part of an exercise program for pregnant women, as long as modifications are made to ensure proper form and safety.
Here are some tips on how to do squats correctly while pregnant:
1. Start By Standing Correctly
To ensure proper form during your squats, start by setting your feet shoulder-width apart with your toes pointing slightly outwards.
Your weight should be evenly distributed across the whole foot and not focused around your heels or toes. You should also keep your head up, chest lifted, and shoulders back throughout the exercise.
2. Avoid Extra Weight
Avoiding extra weights such as dumbbells is recommended for pregnant women because their center of gravity has shifted due to their growing baby belly.
Instead of using weights while squatting while pregnant, use a handlebar or something you can hold onto for support, such as a chair or set of stairs; this will allow you to maintain good form without putting any extra strain on the body.
3. Focus On Form
During each squat repetition, it’s important that you focus on breathing properly (in through the nose and out through the mouth) and maintaining good posture throughout each rep so that your form remains consistent; this will prevent any risk of injury while performing the exercises.
4. Listen To Your Body
It’s important that no matter what exercises you’re doing throughout pregnancy that you always listen to your body so that stop exercising if there’s any pain or discomfort experienced at any point during or after exercise sessions; if pain persists, discontinue the activity and consult with a doctor or midwife before continuing with physical activity again.
5. Consult Your Midwife
Finally, it’s always best to consult your midwife or doctor before beginning any kind of exercise during pregnancy to ensure that you and your baby are safe throughout the process.
What Are The Benefits Of Doing Squats While Pregnant?
When performed correctly, squats offer a number of benefits to pregnant women, and these include:
Squats are a great way to keep your hips loose during pregnancy, and this can help reduce tightness in the hip area that leads to discomfort caused by weight gain and lack of mobility.
Regularly performing squats strengthens your lower body and helps prepare you for labor, delivery, and postpartum activities.
Increased blood flow is essential during pregnancy to nourish both mother and baby throughout each trimester.
Regularly squatting can help support better circulation and support proper digestion, as well as provide relief from constipation experienced by many pregnant women.
Increases Core Strength
Squatting during pregnancy helps strengthen your core muscles, which, in turn, helps support your growing belly as the months pass by.
Having strong core muscles will also aid in pushing when it comes to delivering your baby.
Practicing deep squats before giving birth can make holding positions easier on delivery day, too, since you’ll already have mastered proper form from practicing squats previously!
Strengthens Lower Back Muscles & Hips
During pregnancy, the muscles around your hips may become tighter due to hormonal fluctuation, in addition to the physical strain that is put on them during the act of carrying a growing baby bump for nine months.
Those regularly performing squats will benefit from increased flexibility, which can reduce pressure on your lower back, providing much-needed relief from chronic aches associated with pregnancy.
Squats also work those important leg muscle groups that provide strength and stability while pregnant; so don’t forget to engage those glutes!
Improves Balance & Posture
Balancing yourself correctly — remembering proper posture even when your center of gravity changes — becomes critical during pregnancy because it ensures blood circulates properly throughout the body including going down through the legs, avoiding uncomfortable swelling, known as called edema
Strengthens The Pelvic Floor
Squats can help to strengthen the pelvic floor muscles, which support both your growing baby and uterus throughout pregnancy.
This is important because it helps prevent common issues such as incontinence after delivery. Squatting also helps prepare you for labor by helping increase flexibility in your hips and pelvis, making it easier to open up during childbirth.
Pregnancy-Safe Squat Variations
This squat variation is a great way for pregnant women to begin strengthening their lower body muscles without putting too much strain on the body.
Start by standing with your back against a wall and feet shoulder-width apart, then slowly slide down until you reach a squat position while maintaining good posture.
For this variation, you will need a chair or a bench. Stand with your back facing the chair and feet shoulder-width apart, then slowly lower yourself into a squat position while keeping your chest up and shoulders back.
Once in the squat position, hold for a few seconds before coming back up.
For this variation, you will need to take one foot off the floor and extend it out in front of you, while keeping your other foot firmly planted on the floor.
Bend your standing leg and lower yourself down until your thigh is parallel to the floor before pushing back up again.
Squatting during pregnancy is a great way to strengthen your lower body muscles, increase flexibility and improve circulation.
However, it is important to ensure that you are performing the exercises with proper form, as this will help prevent any injuries while still reaping the benefits of squatting!
With any form of exercise, it is important to get clearance from your doctor before beginning.
This will help ensure that you are fit enough to perform squats and other exercises throughout pregnancy, keeping both mother and baby safe.