You may have been told to avoid squats altogether if you’ve been diagnosed with a prolapse. However, there is no evidence that squats are “bad for your prolapse or pelvic floor”. In fact, done in a way that supports your pelvic floor, they can be more effective than Kegels (Crawford et al, 2016).
But how can you make them symptom-free if you have a prolapse? If this movement seems to feel a bit icky. Icky might mean heaviness, leaking, or just feeling vulnerable in a more open position), here are some things I use to help my amazing clients get back to feeling good in their squats.
Avoid v expose?
One of the narratives around prolapse and exercise is that you should avoid certain movements. And you may have been told to avoid squats if you have prolapse symptoms.
However, one of the best ways to feel more confident and less fearful with squats is to do them!
Using a strategy that feels supportive for your pelvic floor can be really useful in helping you have a symptom-free squat. This may be exhaling before you squat or before you come out of the bottom part of the squat.
Start on the floor (in lying)
I love starting clients in this position! It really helps them to experience a subtle connection and feel a response from their pelvic floor.
You can then build up to a kneeling squat, a quarter squat, a squat to box, and then an air squat.
Build up load
Progressive overload is the key when it comes to exercising with prolapse!
So building up load can be really useful to see what load symptoms might crop up, or what you might need to change in your strategy (see blog on how to exercise with prolapse)
Avoid bearing down
Bearing down during an exercise such as squatting can add extra downward pressure or load onto the pelvic floor. It’s not that we want to avoid all pressure because that would be impossible but instead find a strategy where you avoid or minimize this. This might be using your breath, not gripping your abs, or having too much tension.
If your prolapse is making squats bothersome and you’d like to be doing them symptom-free, book a free 15-minute call here. Or check out my online programme, LIFTED! which helps you return to movements such as squats, deadlifts, and more.