“I’m pregnant. Is it okay if I go squat below parallel?”
*No other current injury or complication.
Excuse my French, but I don’t know where it became a thing to not perform a full squat just because you are pregnant. I’ve seen coaches prescribe this just to seem like they know something. I’ve seen doctors, grandmas, grocery store clerks all give their opinion without knowing the facts.
"These stories aren't based on research; they're just stories that people like to tell. And unfortunately when you have a belly, people like to come up and tell you inappropriate stories.” – Dr. Lindsay Mumma, DC
And yes, it is inappropriate to tell a pregnant women to not squat below parallel when you do not have solid reasoning behind what you are saying. To say something just to say something makes your words less valuable.
Back to squatting.
My theory is that people were influenced to not squat below parallel when a certain doctor (a Texas Longhorn) wanted to prove his own theory back in 1961. He was hoping to prove that squatting below parallel was risky for the knees and ligaments, when in reality it’s quite the opposite.
Not squatting below parallel can be detrimental for your overall health. Here are a few articles to support this idea:
According to the book Active Birth, squatting is the physiologically most efficient position for labor and birth. It can be used at any stage of labor, during contractions or while resting.
Why would you take the SQUAT away from a pregnant and soon-to-be laboring woman?
Here at BIRTHFIT, we support movement. We support weight-lifting right up there with yoga. Both require flexibility, strength, and sustainability. And, as you can see this translates nicely into what is possibly needed of a woman during labor.
Yoga poses such as the one below (Malasana) are encouraged to be practiced by all of our BIRTHFIT clients preparing for labor.
We also take full advantage of Ido Portal's squat therapy when warming up at the gym or at home.
Back squats, Front squats, and Overhead squats are the movements that we use to maintain strength throughout our full range of motion in ankles, hips, knees, and spine.
Squatting is an innate movement to us as humans. If for some reason there is pain or discomfort or stickiness on one or both sides of your lower back, hips, knees, or feet, then do something about it. Ask your local BIRTHFIT affiliate. Call a chiropractor. Find someone that will help you get back to optimally functioning.
To squat is to LIVE.
@BIRTHFIT & @GigEmLindsey
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