Want to maintain your workout routine or up your fitness during pregnancy? You might be asking yourself, Can you do squats while pregnant?
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In this article: 📝
- Are squats safe during pregnancy?
- Tips for safe squatting in pregnancy
- What exercises should be avoided during pregnancy?
Are squats safe during pregnancy?
This one’s a big yes.
If your pregnancy is considered low-risk by your doctors, squatting in pregnancy is usually safe and can be a great way to keep your lower body and core strong throughout pregnancy.
As your baby grows, they might give you a kick to let you know that they’re getting squashed when you bend down. But, as long as you’re taking things slowly and are listening to your body, squat away!
One bonus of pregnancy squatting is that it works your pelvic floor – the same muscle group you strengthen when you’re doing Kegels.
So you’ll be getting your cardio and ticking off another important item from your pregnancy to-do list.
And the best thing about squatting while pregnant?
We already use the muscles involved in squats every day when we take a seat, get up, or pick something up off the floor.
As long as you pace yourself and listen to your body, you can try some pregnancy squats even if you’ve never done them before.
Here’s what you need to know about squatting at every stage of pregnancy:
Is it safe to do squats in first trimester?
If you feel up to it, squatting during your first trimester is a great workout.
And if you only have an hour a day when your early pregnancy symptoms aren’t giving you a hard time, you can squeeze in some squats at home without making an extra trip to the gym.
Are squats safe during second trimester?
If you’re one of those mamas-to-be who finds that they’ve got a new lease of energy after month three of pregnancy, channel it into some gentle cardio.
Just be careful to have your foundation solid, because your growing belly shifts your center of gravity. More on this later.
Squats are a great way to prepare your body for labor and birth.
You’ll need all these muscles for a vaginal birth, and squatting might even help your baby’s head to move down into your pelvis.
After all, it’s the same position you’d take when bouncing on a birthing ball.
Don’t worry though – there’s no evidence that squatting induces labor if your little one’s not already prepared for their grand entrance.
Tips for safe squatting in pregnancy
Squats are a great pregnancy workout, but just bear in mind that you’re at more risk of injury when you exercise while pregnant.
Why’s that? First, your shifting center of gravity makes it easier to lose your balance. And second, you’ve got a whole cocktail of hormones relaxing your ligaments as your body changes. Softer connective tissue = more chance of an injury.
So here’s what you can do to keep yourself safe:
- Find your foundation: Make sure your feet are shoulder-width apart and point your toes slightly outward for a stable base. You can also hold the back of a chair if you need to.
- Keep it light: By which we mean 1. Don’t exhaust yourself, and 2. Consider leaving the weights on the rack ‒ especially if you are new to squatting. Classic parallel (arms out) squats or deep squats (AKA mama squats or malasana pose) are safer.
- Protect your spine: Keep your back straight and your head up. Flex at the hips and your knees at the same time lowering your bum backwards as if you are trying to leave a bum print on the back wall. When you’re ready to come back up, squeeze your glutes and push your hips forwards.
- Finally, it can be helpful to inhale on the way down and to exhale on the way up. Exhaling on the effort is a great way to naturally engage your core and pelvic floor muscles to help get you out of a tough position.
What exercises should be avoided during pregnancy?
Aside from contact sports and activities where there’s a high risk of injury, like horseback riding, there’s not really any exercise that you need to steer clear of during pregnancy. (Providing you’re ‘low risk’ and you’re already used to the workout)
As long as it’s comfortable for you and you stop if something hurts, your doctor will probably give you the go-ahead to continue with light to moderate exercise for as long as you can.
Having said this, the best pregnancy exercises are often low impact – yoga and pilates, swimming, and walking. You’ll find lots more information about these and other pregnancy workouts right here:
💪 More on exercising when pregnant from The 411:
What to Know About Running While Pregnant
A Guide to Swimming While Pregnant
The Benefits of Prenatal Yoga
Exercise During Pregnancy: 8 Helpful Tips
Your Complete Guide to Pregnancy Workouts
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Can You Kayak While Pregnant?
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Can You Bowl While Pregnant?
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