It may not sound like the most attractive exercise you could choose, but squatting may be one of the best ones you can do during pregnancy.
Squatting stretches, tones and strengthens. It’s a quick exercise that doesn’t require much equipment or time and when done right, it can keep you fit during pregnancy and prepare you for labor.
Squatting is a simple exercise you can add to your day. Wherever you are, you can set your feet hip-width apart. Bend your knees, sticking your tush back, and squat down closer to the floor. You can bend down as far as you feel comfortable, but try not to let your knees pass your toes. Then, straighten your legs. To help with balance, you can lift your arms to the side or out in front of you as you squat down.
Squatting is a thorough exercise for pregnant woman. It tones your legs without requiring deep impact, such as caused by running or jumping. It also works those large leg muscle groups, getting the blood flowing and heart pumping without spending a long time doing aerobics. This quick exercise is great for tired or nauseated pregnant women who need to rest between exercises. Squatting also stretches the groin area and tones the abs and pelvic floor, preparing for a strong labor and delivery.
If you want to add squatting into your exercise routine, it is best to do so gradually. Don’t exhaust or overexert your muscles all in one day. Start the squat early in your pregnancy when you are still relatively strong, and your balance is still maintained. Start with just five to 10 squats each day. Gradually add to that number and add repetitions during the day. If you have a difficult time remembering to do the exercise, make a habit of doing a set while you brush your teeth, stir dinner on the stove or catch up on the day with your partner.
There are many variations from which you can choose to make the squats easier or tougher, depending on your abilities and strength level. If you need to make them more challenging, grab some weights. Hand weights from 2 to 10 lbs. can give you an extra challenge. If you want to liven up the squats a bit, add a leg lift each time you straighten your legs. Come up to standing, with your knees still slightly bent and lift one leg to the side. Squat and stand again, then lift the other leg to the side.
Squatting requires balance, especially if you bend low and hold it for a while. This could potentially cause a pregnant woman, unused to a shift in her center of gravity, to topple. Also, because it works those ab muscles, there is a potential to hurt or over separate your abs.
For more great ways to stay fit and strong during your pregnancy, check out the video below: