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“To squat or not to squat?” getting started with postnatal exercise

10 min read

The squat is one the most effective and beneficial exercises for everyone. However it is particularly important for the postnatal body as it encourages activation of the major postnatal muscle groups and can help to safely re-engage the pelvic floor muscles. 

Before you start exercising again, there are a few things to consider after you have had your 6 week check (or 12 week if Caesarean):

 

  1. What type of training or exercise did you perform throughout your pregnancy? If you were active throughout and are have good movement patterns your return to exercise could be easier.

  2. Did you experience any complications throughout your pregnancy or birth? If so, please check with a health professional and ensure you are not doing something that is contraindicated.

  3. Are you familiar with pelvic floor exercises and how to activate them? It is important to understand how to activate your pelvic floor. Your pelvic floor is made of muscles and tissue under the pelvis. These muscles and tissues will have been stretched and weakened as a result of childbirth. 

 

Squatting is a great way to start to regain strength in a functional way whilst working the pelvic floor muscles. 

 

Some of the benefits of squatting for the post natal Mum:

 

  1. You can squat anywhere! Work your pelvic floor muscles in a functional way-squatting is part of everyday life!

  2. Work your entire lower body in one movement. You can start with limited range and increase your range and repetitions as you gain strength.

  3. Strengthen weak glutes and help improve your posture.

  4. Exercising can help release tension and anxiety. 

 

Where to start? It could be as holding onto the back of a chair, keeping your knees over your heels. Slowly sink into the squat to a range that you feel comfortable (avoid deep squatting initially) and ensuring you are in control of your pelvic floor muscles. Try to focus on your glutes (backside) as you push back to starting position.

 

You can enjoy free workouts and postnatal fitness advice at https://www.carifit.co.uk/carifit4all

 

Vern Hill

Ante and Post-Natal Fitness Expert

& Founder, CARiFiT