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Squats During Pregnancy: What You Can Do And Precautions To Take

Squats During Pregnancy: What You Can Do And Precautions To Take

It’s no secret that exercising during pregnancy can be beneficial for both you and the baby. But when your growing belly makes simple tasks like tying your shoelace a challenge, the idea of doing exercises such as squats can be a little intimidating. However, squats are an important prenatal exercise that helps strengthen your lower body and tone muscles. 

Talking about the benefits of doing squats during pregnancy, Dr. Pooja Marathe, Nutrition and Lactation Expert, BabyChakra said, “Squats are extremely safe for most pregnant people, and also highly recommended. They can help strengthen your pelvic floor muscles. Squats also improve hip mobility and improve blood circulation to your whole body—all things that help prepare your body for labour. Pregnant women may choose to incorporate squats into their weekly exercise routine. Squats can offer many benefits for both you and your baby-to-be during pregnancy, labor, and after delivery. Squatting during labour and delivery may help open your pelvis, assisting in the baby’s descent.” 

Additionally, it can reduce some of your pregnancy symptoms such as body aches and pains, and help you sleep better. But there’s a catch, performing squats in excess during pregnancy can leave you feeling weak and tired. Therefore, you must perform them in moderation, and follow certain guidelines while doing so. Also, make sure to consult your doctor and get a go-ahead before trying some of the safe squat positions. 

Is It Safe To Perform Squats During Pregnancy?

Squats are safe to perform during pregnancy, provided you are not overdoing it

It’s safe to do squats during pregnancy. In fact, they are one of the best exercises to keep you healthy and make you feel better and energised during pregnancy. But make sure you don’t overdo them or indulge in strenuous workouts as they can leave you fatigued.

Squats help build lower body strength and facilitate smooth movement of the hips, pelvic floor, and core muscles. Squatting can also help open up your pelvis and assist in your baby’s descent.

Benefits Of Squatting During Pregnancy

From improving your posture and spinal alignment to preparing your body for childbirth, squats can work wonders for maintaining your health throughout pregnancy.

  • It alleviates lower backache: Squatting exercises can stretch your lower back areas and relieve back pain, which is common during pregnancy due to the loosening of ligaments.
  • It strengthens the glute muscles: Squat workouts can help strengthen your glute muscles and also maintain the shape of your bottom.
  • It helps strengthen the leg and pelvic floor muscles: Squatting helps lower the pressure on the pelvic floor muscles and strengthens the leg muscles. This further helps in preparing the body for labour and birthing.
  • It helps prevent constipation: Many women experience constipation as they near the end of their pregnancy. Squats aid in the normal functioning of the digestive system and relieve flatulence.
  • It expands your birth canal: Squatting positions can help you cope with contractions during labour. This is because squats facilitate the expansion of the birth canal, which helps in the easy descent of your baby. Squatting also helps relax your perineal muscles. 

5 Safe Squats To Perform During Pregnancy

Performing safe squat positions during this time can relieve body aches and pains and help you maintain a good posture

Simple Squat

This is one of the easiest squat positions that you can perform throughout pregnancy, without using any equipment. Simple squats reduce pain or discomfort in your lower back area.

How to do:

  • Stand with your feet shoulder-width apart. Turn your feet in an outward direction to maintain balance.
  • Bring both your arms in the front and press your palms together. Now, bend your legs in a deep squat position.
  • Open your palms and press your knees with both hands to make space for your belly. Slightly bend towards the front, while maintaining your balance.
  • Hold the position until you feel comfortable.

Deep Squat With Pelvic Floor Contraction

As your bump grows during pregnancy, the pelvic floor muscles become weak. This exercise will help keep these muscles active and facilitate smooth delivery.

How to do: 

  • Stand facing the wall, with your feet in a wide sumo squat position. Lower your body as much as you can.
  • Make sure to keep your arms extended in front of you or hold onto the wall for balance.
  • Once you attain the squat position, perform a Kegel exercise by squeezing the pelvic floor in such a way that you are trying to stop the flow of urine.
  • Hold this position for 10 seconds or as long as you are comfortable.

Dumbbell Squat

Dumbbell squats can strengthen your pelvic floor muscles and prepare your body for childbirth

This move will help strengthen your leg muscles and glutes and also maintain their shape.

How to do:

  • Stand straight with your feet shoulder-width apart. Take dumbbells in each hand and then stretch them forward for balance.
  • Slowly lower your position into a squat, keeping your back straight, and knees in line with the toes.
  • Return to the original position while squeezing your glute muscles up.
  • Repeat this exercise 10-15 times.

Sumo Squats

Sumo squats target the inner muscles of the thighs and glutes and open up the hips.

How to do:

  • Stand straight, keeping your feet wider than shoulder-width apart. 
  • Lower yourself into a squat position, as far as you are comfortable. Make sure that your knees don’t cave in towards each other.
  • Return to the normal position by squeezing your glutes up.
  • Repeat this movement 10-15 times.

Squats Against Wall With An exercise Ball

This movement is helpful in strengthening the core muscles and alleviating lower back pain.

How to do:

  • While standing straight against a wall, keep an exercise ball between the wall and your back.
  • Place your feet shoulder-width apart and stretch your arms in front of your body for balance.
  • Lower yourself as far as you are comfortable, hold for a few seconds and then return to the original position. 
  • Repeat this movement 10-15 times.

Basic Guidelines To Follow While Doing Squats

Make sure to protect yourself from injury by following safety guidelines while performing squats

Here are a few tips to remember while doing squat exercises during pregnancy:

  • Always ask someone to be around while exercising as you may need help with balance.
  • You can increase the intensity of workouts during the first trimester, but ensure to keep it low in the second and third trimesters. Avoid performing difficult exercises.
  • Stay hydrated and wear comfortable cotton clothes to prevent excessive sweating while squatting during pregnancy.
  • Avoid overdoing the squat exercises. If you feel tired, slow down your activity.
  • Do the exercises on a flat surface to avoid the risk of slipping and falling.
  • Avoid performing squats if you find them painful or have other medical complications like placenta previa or multiple pregnancies.

Squats can keep you healthy and fit in all stages of pregnancy. It can strengthen your lower body and pelvic floor muscles, and aid in smooth labour and delivery. Start with light squat positions and then gradually increase the intensity. Also, before starting your squat exercise regimen, make sure to consult your doctor and get their go-ahead.

02 Jun 2022

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