Pregnancy Fit #2 -Traction Squats
When it comes to prenatal exercises, squats take the cake! Before hospital beds and epidurals, women gave birth in the squatting position. With the help of gravity working to their advantage, women would use their legs and abdominal muscles to push the baby down and out. As birthing grew into big business, women gave up more control to doctors and they moved away from the natural squat position and onto their backs. Practicing the squat, physically prepares your body for childbirth, connecting you to your primal instincts. Add a little upper body traction to the mix and you will not only find a wonderful release in the joints and spine, you will also be able to hold the body comfortably in a potion that works best for you. By using your arms to slowly release into the turned out squat position you will begin to let your pelvis drop and release towards the floor for a deeper stretch....the traction will feel like the frosting on the cake. If you don't have a steady ballet bar, don't worry, just hold onto anything sturdy and stable. When I'm not in my studio, I use a kitchen sink. Just remember when you're pregnant, you get tired and winded much faster, so if you need to, take a pause when exercising and continue when you're ready.
Start with your legs turned out, with your feet a little wider than your hips. Hold onto your traction bar with your hands a little wider than shoulder width apart. Your shoulders should be directly over your hips. Slowly bring your hips back and down toward the ground, bending your knees into a squat position. Lengthen your tailbone to the ground, so that the lower back lengthens and your lower abs are pulling in. Make sure that your knees are in-line with your second toe. Swing your hips down and forward so that the weight of your pelvis naturally opens the front of your hips. Keep your shoulders pulled into your back, chest forward and upper back straight. Swing your hips 20 times and hold for 10 seconds in your squat. Slowly stand back up using your arms to pull you up. Repeat 3 times, and breath!