Ladies!! We’ve all heard that saying “Squatting will get you a bigger booty” but aside from the external benefits to squatting and how it can help improve your physique, there are MANY more reasons why you should be incorporating squats into your health & wellness routine, especially during pregnancy.
Squatting comes very natural for me. I’ve played sports all my life and ran track in college (Go Blue!!) so it has always been an integral part of my workout routine but as I’ve navigated my pregnancy journey (twice over now) and found things that were right for my body, I’ve realized how important squats are for labor & birth, especially for those who plan to have a natural birth. Below I’m sharing a few key reasons why I choose to squat everyday – check them out!
- Lower Back Pain – if done right, squatting can help stretch your lower back muscles. The has been a lifesaver for me as I’ve experienced back aches due to my small frame and big, heavy belly. Squatting can help relieve any pressure or pain you feel in your lower back area.
- Loosening/Strengthening Hip & Pelvic Muscles – squatting helps reduce the pressure on your pelvic floor, while also stretching and strengthening the pelvic muscles you’ll use during labor and delivery.
- Constipation – I know, I know. No one likes to talk about it but the reality is, so many women deal with flatulence during pregnancy. Squatting regularly will help keep your digestive system working smoothly, regulate your bowel movements and decrease the chances of clogging.
- Opening The Birth Canal – squatting during pregnancy can help prepare your body for labor and widen your birth canal, especially if you plan on squatting when you give birth (which I did). It will also help relax the perineal muscles (the muscles that usually tear during childbirth) to reduce the impact of pushing and provide additional oxygen to your baby. Squatting during labor gives your baby more space to travel down the birth canal and enter into the world.
- Overall Fitness – if for nothing else, squat to feel like a champ. Incorporating squats into your workout routine (along with a good diet, avoiding lots of stress, getting good sleep, etc) will help you stay fit and feeling good.
For me, my squat routine has varied throughout this pregnancy. I started out doing 50-100 squats every morning. Now that I’ve progressed through my pregnancy, I’ve been in the gym squatting with weights (I wouldn’t recommend adding weights for anyone who has never lifted/squatted before). I also just sit low in a squat position & move my hips around – this honestly feels like heaven for me as it helps stretch my hip & pelvic muscles. The most important things is to make sure you are squatting CORRECTLY!! If you’re not familiar with proper squatting techniques, below are a few pointers:
- Stance – stand with your feet shoulder width apart. For those of us with bigger bellies, widen your stance a bit to accommodate the bump.
- Feet – your feet should not be facing forward but should be turned out about 30 degrees.
- Knees – when squatting, your knees should follow along the same line as your feet. You should be sitting your butt back during the squat (never leaning over) to avoid your knees crossing over your feet.
- Back – keep your back flat throughout the full squat.
- Heels – keep your heels grounded. Do not let them raise up off the ground.
As always, no two bodies are exactly the same so do what feels right for you and your body. Also, if you aren’t someone who typically works out or are feeling any pain or discomfort, be sure to consult your doctor. If you’re not pregnant, the benefits to squats are endless so get after it ladies.