The Yoga Squat – Pelvic Floor Strengthener
Fitness tip by Jackie Scorzetti
We all know the benefits of Kegel exercises for strengthening the muscles of the pelvic floor. These muscles, if properly and routinely strengthened during pregnancy, will make for a smoother labor and delivery, as well as post-partum recovery. When used to supplement Kegel exercises, this specialized squat not only targets the same muscles that support a strong pelvic floor, but offers the added benefit of sculpting the glutes, hamstrings and quadriceps. It also helps to open the pelvic outlet to allow more room for your baby to descend.
How to Do It:
Stand with feet slightly wider than hip width apart. With arms long and straight, hold dumbbells (optional) together in front of your body (Fig A). Slowly and steadily lower your butt down as low as you can go while keeping your chest lifted and arms straight. Support your weight in your heels and touch your dumbbells to the floor (Fig B). Stay in the squat for up to 5 breaths. Contract your pelvic muscles and, pressing down with your heels and lifting your chest, slowly rise up out of your squat back to starting position.
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