Get Your Booty Below Parallel, Mama
“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 train- mind, body, and soul- throughout the motherhood transition. We train smart and recover smarter. We focus on strength, endurance, stamina, balance, and range of motion. 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 mamas.
We also take full advantage of Ido Portal‘s squat therapy when warming up at the gym or at home trying to enhance range of motion.
Back squats, Front squats, and Overhead squats are the movements that we use to maintain strength as well as full range of motion in ankles, hips, knees, and spine. We program different squat variations throughout our online training program. And yes, some women may find that a certain type of squat is more comfortable than another.
Squatting is an innate movement to us as humans. We must not lose the ability to squat. Any pain or discomfort that your body is communicating to you must be addressed. Connect with a your local BIRTHFIT Regional Director or BIRTHFIT Coach asap. Find someone that will support sustainable, functional movement.
To squat is to LIVE.
-LINDSEY MATHEWS, CEO
@BIRTHFIT & @lindsey_k_mathews
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