Do squats in pregnancy: tips and precautions

Doing squats in pregnancy is very positive to keep fit and facilitate labor. It is only dangerous when the feat is high risk.

Last update: 09 August, 2022

Many women wonder if it is dangerous to squat while pregnant, as this particular type of exercise might be too strenuous during pregnancy. This doubt is even more incisive in pregnant women who are at risk.

The truth is doing squats in pregnancy is not only positive, but also recommended. This is an exercise that strengthens the legs and buttocks.

This does not mean that they can be done indiscriminately and at any time. Certain precautions must be taken and, in risky gestures, the doctor will indicate whether or not he allows them.

exercise during pregnancy

Exercising during pregnancy is more than recommended.

Staying active makes muscles more toned. Also, strengthens the respiratory and cardiovascular systemmaking the mother feel less tired.

Similarly, physical exercise provides strength and energy to face childbirth. Likewise, it reduces the probability of suffering from preeclampsia and reduces various discomforts, such as back pain.

As if the above were not enough, exercise also helps prevent excess weight gain and promotes a good mood. Squats, in particular, are a very complete exercise that provides all the benefits mentioned.

Benefits of doing squats in pregnancy

Doing squats in pregnancy is more than recommended in most cases. It does not imply any risk if they are carried out in the proper way, unless the doctor contraindicates it.

The benefits they provide are many:

  • They allow to improve posture: strengthening the buttocks and legs helps to counteract bad postures, since it also gives greater stability to the pelvis.
  • They improve the functioning of the pelvic floor: strengthened glutes exert traction on the sacrum and reposition the pelvis. The result is a stronger pelvic floor, preventing complications such as prolapse and incontinence.
  • They allow to work several muscles at the same time: Squatting while pregnant simultaneously strengthens the quads, abductors, and glutes. It also affects the movements of the calf and the hamstrings.
  • They help prevent back pain: this is very common in the third trimester.
  • Promote labor: the exercise that is done on the pelvis gives strength and flexibility to this area, which is positive during childbirth.
Squats can be done safely if the proper steps are followed and there are no medical contraindications.

How to do squats in pregnancy safely?

It is clear that doing squats in pregnancy is very positive, but it is important to keep in mind that this exercise must be done in the correct way so that it does not generate problems. The best thing to do is to take each stage of pregnancy as a reference.

First trimester

Although the first trimester of pregnancy is the stage in which there is apparently more freedom of movement, the truth is that It is also the most delicate phase of pregnancy.. That is why care must be taken when doing squats.

Jumping or bouncing excessively is not recommended.

The tips for doing squats in pregnancy during this stage are the following:

  • Open your legs only until they match the width of your hips.
  • Your hips should be parallel to the ground, so it’s best to move your back slightly backwards, as if you were sitting on a chair.
  • Movements should be smooth.
  • Perform only 3 sets of 15 repetitions.
  • If there is any discomfort, discontinue immediately.


Second quarter

Squatting in pregnancy is an exercise that you should change in the second trimester. At this stage, the body begins to secrete the hormone relaxin, which makes the body more flexible.

Despite this, extreme stretching should be avoided.

The most advisable is the following:

  • The legs should be separated to just beyond the line of the shoulders.
  • The toes should point inwards.
  • When squatting, the back should be straight and the muscles should not be tight.
  • The weight should be supported on the heels.
  • The knees should be slightly bent.
  • Returning to the starting position, the glutes should be contracted.
  • Do 3 sets of 15 repetitions.


Third trimester

Squatting during the third trimester is a bit more difficult. The body no longer has the same balance as before and movements are limited. The best thing is to have a support point, which can be the wall.

The idea is to support your back and head against a wall, squat down and hold that position for 30 seconds. Then get up and repeat.

This exercise can also be done with a chair:

  1. Lean the chair against the wall or use a chair that does not move.
  2. Bend over until you feel your buttocks brush against the chair and stay that way for a couple of seconds.
  3. Do 3 sets of 10 repetitions.
Low back pain in pregnancy is common, so it is advisable to maintain physical activity to prevent it.

Other tips and recommendations

Squatting during pregnancy should not be a problem if the pregnancy progresses normally. However, it is very important to do them properly and not to overdo it.

There are some recommendations that are worth taking into account and they are the following:

  • You should always have company. It is not good to do them alone.
  • Keep your back as straight as possible, looking straight ahead. When lowering the hip, the alignment must not be lost.
  • The soles of the feet must be supported very firmly against the floor.
  • The indicated thing is to inhale when going down and exhale when going up. There should be no apneas. If you are tired, it is best to take a break.
  • If there is any discomfort, it is indicated to stop.

Doing squats in pregnancy leads to a more comfortable pregnancy. Not only does it strengthen the pelvis and abdomen, but it is also an excellent means of relieving tension in the back.

In fact, it is very convenient to continue this type of exercise after giving birth. Promotes physical recovery after childbirth.

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