The “Duck Walk” During Pregnancy: Potential Benefits for Expecting Women

Duck Walk During Pregnancy: Safety and Benefits Explained by an Expert

Staying physically active during pregnancy is essential for the well-being of both the expectant mother and the developing baby. The National Health Service emphasizes the importance of maintaining an active lifestyle during pregnancy, as it can help manage weight gain and prepare the body for labor. While activities like yoga, dancing, and walking are often recommended, one exercise that sparks curiosity is the “duck walk.”

The duck walk involves assuming a low squatting position and moving forward, and it has been a favorite among fitness enthusiasts for years. To shed light on whether the duck walk is a safe and appropriate exercise for pregnant women, Health Shots consulted Kavita Singh, an experienced Physiotherapist and Lactation Expert associated with Cloudnine Group of Hospitals in New Delhi, East Delhi. Kavita Singh provides insights into whether the duck walk is a suitable exercise for expectant mothers and how to modify it for safety and effectiveness.

What Is a Duck Walk?

In simple terms, a duck walk makes you look, well, a bit “ducky”! While it may sound amusing, it’s a valuable low-level workout. According to Singh, the duck walk is excellent for strengthening and stretching the lower leg muscles. It primarily targets the quadriceps and hips, offering several benefits for lower body strength, mobility, and coordination.

During a duck walk, you maintain a low squat position while moving, which enhances muscle endurance in the quadriceps, glutes, and hamstrings. This exercise challenges these muscles to maintain the squat position, improving leg and hip strength, as well as mobility and flexibility.

Is Duck Walking Safe During Pregnancy?

Pregnancy and childbirth are physically demanding, requiring strength and flexibility. Duck walks can indeed be performed during pregnancy but with necessary modifications. These modifications are crucial because pregnancy triggers hormonal changes that loosen the body and joints to accommodate the growing baby. Duck walking, in its standard form, can exert pressure on the abdominal area, necessitating adjustments for safety.

Duck walking becomes particularly relevant during the third trimester, typically after the 34th week of pregnancy. This is when you’re preparing for childbirth, and as the baby continues to grow in size and weight, it’s natural to feel increased pressure and weight gain.

Modification of Duck Walks During Pregnancy

To safely perform a duck walk during pregnancy, follow these steps:

  1. Begin in a kneeling position, and if needed, place a pillow under your knees for support.
  2. Extend one leg to the side, creating a 90-degree angle at the hip.
  3. Gently bring your knees together.
  4. Take small, controlled steps forward while facing your body. Ensure your legs are apart, and your feet are firmly grounded.
  5. Complete approximately 10 steps, then rest. Increase the duration as your strength and endurance improve.

Ideally, this exercise should be performed when your doctor confirms that the baby’s head is positioned correctly in the womb. You can gradually increase the number of steps as your strength grows. It’s normal to experience some muscle soreness the day after exercising, but there’s generally no cause for concern.

However, it’s crucial to stop the duck walk immediately if you experience any of the following:

  • Vaginal, pelvic, or waist pain
  • Abdominal discomfort resembling menstrual cramps
  • Difficulty breathing
  • Vaginal bleeding or leakage
  • Hip or spine discomfort

You can incorporate the duck walk into your prenatal workout routine, but it’s essential to consult your doctor before starting any exercise regimen during pregnancy.

In conclusion, the duck walk, when modified appropriately, can be a valuable addition to a prenatal fitness routine. By ensuring safety and following expert guidance, expectant mothers can enjoy the benefits of this exercise while prioritizing their health and the well-being of their baby. Always consult with your healthcare provider for personalized exercise recommendations during pregnancy.

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