Squats are one of the most helpful exercises to perform while pregnant – not only do they help strengthen the lower back (and therefore cut down on lower back pain!) they also build the necessary leg and abdominal muscles for labor. However, as the baby grows during pregnancy, many women become unsure about the proper form for squats. We can help! Proper pregnancy squat technique:
1- Feet are a little wider in a pregnancy squat than a normal squat, and the toes are turned out just a hair. This mirrors the spreading and opening of hips that happens during pregnancy—your feet and toes should reflect this so as not to put excess strain on the knees.
2- Engage your abs by imagining hugging your baby with your stomach muscles. Pulling your baby up and in before lowering into the squat not only strengthens your core, it protects your lower back.
3- Keeping your weight in your heels, drop your hips back so your knees stay aligned over your ankles. This is similar to a normal squat, but especially important to protect your loose joints!
4- Bring your hands in front of you as you perform a squat to counter balance your baby. This will help you feel like you are falling backward, and ensure that your weight is in your heels.
Check out the photo above to see how all of these tips combine to a safe and effective pregnancy squat!