“To squat or not to squat?”
Addressing the concerns of pelvic floor weakness for the post natal mother.
There will be many factors that will not only influence when you return to exercise but also what that exercise is.
Things to consider when returning to exercise once you have had your 6 week check (or 12 week if Caesarean):
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- You can download our ‘Restoring the core’ FREE pdf HERE
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:
- You can squat anywhere! Work your pelvic floor muscles in a functional way-squatting is part of everyday life!
- You will maintain good mobility and movement through your pelvis.
- You will regain core stability through the whole core by controlling the movement as you lower into the squat and stand back up from the bottom with power.
- When you use the breath to inhale down and exhale up, the abdominals and pelvic floor go through the motions of undergoing a stretch and then a contraction.
- Work your entire lower body in one movement. You can start with limited range and increase your range and repetitions as you gain strength.
- Strengthen weak glutes and help improve your posture.
- Exercising can help release tension and anxiety.
Should you have any concerns about what is appropriate for your body just ask your CARiFiT post-natal mentor – we are all postnatally trained and here to help throughout your 6 month online membership – Get started with CARiFiT online NOW
Where to start
A simple way to start could be 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.
Avoid any single leg exercises initially, unless supervised or as part of a properly prescribed post-natal program, ensuring that weight-bearing exercises are evenly balanced as this will only put further pressure on the pelvis and pelvic floor muscles.