Article by Carifit baby wearing workouts. The new group exercise class for post-natal mums.
As one of the single most effective lower body exercises, squatting is a great way to regain and improve strength in a functional way whilst working the pelvic floor muscles. It is also a very safe exercise for both postnatal and expectant mums.
Before helping a client to undertake any form of postnatal exercise, please check that new mums have had their 6 week or 12 week GP check, dependent on their type of birth. If they experienced any complications during birth, certain exercises will not be suitable so always check before instructing on any postnatal programmes.
Squatting is a naturally symmetrical movement that will strengthen the legs and protect the back which will help to avoid the common back ache and pressure on the hip of holding a baby in one arm and on one hip for extended periods.
Core strength will be regained through the whole core by controlling the movement as you lower into the squat and return to standing by firing up through the glutes and the legs. Encourage clients to use the breath to inhale down and exhale up, so that the abdominals and pelvic floor go through the motions of undergoing a stretch and then a contraction – this is absolutely key to regaining strength and also closing a muscular gap (diastasis) in the abdominals.
A simple way to describe this is to imagine as you push away from the floor that you are gently picking up a grape from the floor before dropping it back down once you reach the top of your squat. Strengthening weak glutes that have become inactive during late stage pregnancy will help improve posture, spinal strength and stamina – remember the post natal Mum may be somewhat sleep deprived so extra energy for everyday tasks is a very useful thing!
- You can squat anywhere! By squatting, you are cleverly working the pelvic floor muscles so this is even more important post-birth.
- The squat works the entire lower body in one movement. Progression is simple as you simply increase the range of movement and the number of repetitions.
- By focusing on keeping the feet grounded on the floor, the pelvic floor can be easily and properly engaged on both the lowering and rising phases of the movement.
- The squat uses the quads, hamstrings, hip flexors and the glutes, the large muscles that will have been weakened during pregnancy and will need strengthening to improve posture and protect the lower back.
- Exercising can help release tension and anxiety.
Visit us at www.carifit.co.uk
If you would like to teach group exercise or post-natal exercise, take your qualification in exercise to music and or pre and post natal exercise, Yoga for pregnancy or Pilates for pregnancy course. Increase your potential to work in this area.