Want to know the most important muscle group to focus on during your pregnancy workouts? The glutes! The glutes are a powerhouse, and have so many important aspects in the overall functioning of the body, especially when it comes to pregnancy. Today I’m going to talk about 3 specific reasons why you should be training your glutes!
If we are meeting for the first time - Hi! Welcome to Vibrant Mama Wellness! My name is Megan, and I am a pre and postnatal personal trainer. I am certified through the National Academy of Sports Medicine, with a specialization in pre+postnatal fitness through PROnatal Fitness. I am a mom of one, and became interested in pre + postnatal fitness as I was going through my own pregnancy journey!
(Disclaimer: I am not a doctor and this is not medical advice. This blog is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease or condition. This blog post is based on my own research and experience - please consult a medical professional before starting or making any changes to your exercise program).
The first reason you should train the glutes is because they help stabilize the pelvis. Pregnancy (and specifically the weight of the baby/uterus/placenta) puts a lot of pressure on the pelvis. This can lead to misalignment, pelvic girdle pain/symphysis pubis dysfunction, sciatica, and low back pain. Many times if the glutes aren’t working properly, the accessory muscles will kick in which can lead to not only pelvic pain, but also low back pain. By ensuring the glutes are strong and carrying their weight, this can help alleviate a lot of aches and pains that typically occur during pregnancy!
The second reason is to support the pelvic floor muscles. The pelvic floor is a sling of muscles at the bottom of the abdominal cavity that supports the internal organs. It is put under a lot of pressure during pregnancy under normal circumstances, but if the glutes are not functioning properly, this puts more stress on the pelvic floor. What this means is the pelvic floor may be overly contracted and tight if it is doing the work that the glutes should be doing. A tight pelvic floor is a weak pelvic floor, so this isn't what we want! But - if the glutes are strong and functioning properly, the pelvic floor is able to relax and also function optimally!
The third reason is that strong glutes help support you during labor and help with an easier postpartum recovery! Having a strong lower body will help your body be able to get into a variety of pushing positions which may help the baby move through the birth canal quicker than if you are in one position. It also helps a lot with postpartum recovery! The postpartum period is demanding, and there is really no time for rest. It involves a lot of lifting and bending which can be really hard on the core and back. Having a strong lower body, and particularly strong glutes, can allow the body to squat and hinge safely while protecting a healing core.
So what are some of my favorite glute exercises that you can start incorporating into your routine? There are 2 basic and fundamental glute exercises that I recommend everyone does to fully activate the glutes and those are glute bridges and clam shells. These are great too because you can advance them/build on them over time as you get stronger! Squats and deadlifts are also important because they are movements we do every day, so you want to be able to do them well.
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Disclaimer: This blog does not serve as medical advice. Please consult your medical provider before starting a new fitness routine. This blog is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease or condition.