As a Fitness Trainer/Coach, the Squat is a fundamental movement that is incorporated in some way shape or form into every Fitness/Strength program.
The term squat is “to sit or crouch with knees bent, heels close to or touching the buttocks or back of the thighs” and when it comes to Strength Training, the Squat is a compound exercise that targets the entire lower body focusing primarily on the 4 heads of the quadriceps but also develops the hamstrings, glutes, and hips. With heavier weights, the squat also promotes an environment of body wide strength development and also additional fat burning! Because this movement is so fundamental to our day-to-day activities, the squat also serves to improve on our over all functionality meaning everything we do (i.e. real life activities) will be easier.
As a soon-to-be Mom (who also trains other soon-to-be Moms), the squat is critical to help with labour during childbirth for a number of reasons:
i) a stronger lower body means less back pain
ii) in a addition to back pain relief, a strong lower body from squats helps relieve pressure on the uterus, builds power in the abdomen, and helps prepare for an easier child birth all around.
iii) a stronger lower body reduces the need for medical interventions such as epidurals, episiotomy, vacuum extractors, and forceps.
iv) squatting opens up the birth canal and can reduce tearing.
v) because hemorrhoids can affect many women during child birth, a stronger lower body can help reduce this greatly.
Reducing the body’s ability to be functional in the squatting position (due to lack of activity/mobility) can cause so many potential problems during childbirth such as hernia tears and pelvic floor issues.
If you’re new to squatting and are soon expecting your bundle of joy, please consult with your doctor before engaging in strenuous physical activity.
If you’re new to squatting, I suggest beginning with Bodyweight Squats before adding resistance such as Dumbbells and Barbell.
If you love squatting…awesome!!! 🙂