Nowadays, it feels like brands and companies are set on using society’s current fixation on health and fitness to sell us all sorts of supplements and programs and devices. One of the current fitness trends that is all over social media is squatting, and lucky for us, this workout can be done sans extra equipment or an expensive gym membership (take that, targeted Facebook ad)! Of course, there are downsides to squats for plenty of people, including women that suffer from light bladder leaks that are associated with Stress Urinary Incontinence or SUI. Every rep below the knees has the potential to turn into an embarrassing disaster with SUI, so what are we to do?
What are the Benefits of Squatting?
So, the obvious way to avoid leaks while doing squats is to just nix the exercise and its variations from your workout routine entirely. Boom. Problem solved. While, yes, you can just not do squats, you’ll be missing out on some great benefits for the body. According to this article from Healthline, here are some of the benefits of doing your squats:
Strengthens the Core: Having strong core muscles can make everyday movements like turning, bending, and even standing easier. Not only that, but a strong core can improve your balance, ease pain in your low back, and also make it easier to maintain good posture. A 2018 study that compared core muscle activation during a plank with back squats found that back squats resulted in greater activation of the muscles that support your back. Based on these findings, the researchers recommended targeting the core muscles with back squats to reduce the risk of injury and to boost athletic performance.
Reduces Risk of Injury: When you strengthen the muscles in your lower body, you’re better able to execute full-body movements with correct form, balance, mobility, and posture. Plus, incorporating squats in your overall workout routine also helps strengthen your tendons, ligaments, and bones, which, according to the American Council on Exercise, may help reduce your risk of injury.
Burns Calories: Calorie burning is often equated with aerobic exercises such as running or cycling. But performing high-intensity, compound movements like the squat can also crush some serious calories. For example, according to Harvard Medical School, a 155-pound person can burn approximately 223 calories doing 30-minutes of vigorous strength or weight training exercises, such as squats.
Increase Athletic Ability & Strength: If you compete in a sport, adding jump squats to your workout may help you develop explosive strength and speed which, in turn, may help improve your athletic performance. A 2016 study, Trusted Source, investigated the effects of jump squat training done 3 times a week over the course of 8 weeks. Based on the results of the study, the researchers concluded that jump squat training has the ability to improve several different athletic performances simultaneously, including sprint time and explosive strength.
Can Be Done Anywhere: To do bodyweight squats, you don’t need any equipment. All you need is your body and enough room to lower your hips into a sitting position. And, if you’re pressed for time, you can still benefit many muscle groups by doing 50 squats a day: Try doing 25 in the morning and 25 at night. As you get stronger, add 25 to the afternoon.
How Squats Can Trigger Bladder Leaks
It’s obvious that doing squats has some serious benefits for your physical and mental health. But if you’re like around 1 in 3 women in the US that suffer from light bladder leaks, squats may be easier said than done. When attempting a squat, sometimes the muscles that regulate the flow of urine are unable to hold back a leak in a type of urinary incontinence called Stress Urinary Incontinence. Stress Urinary Incontinence is the light bladder leaks that occur whenever the bladder, urinary tract, or abdomen is put under pressure. In some cases, these leaks may be triggered by light activities like laughing or sneezing. In other cases, the leaks can be triggered by more serious movements like running or jumping during a workout. Another trigger may be the ultra-beneficial squats! SUI is tied to the weakening of the pelvic floor, the layer of muscles that support the pelvic organs and span the bottom of the pelvis. In women, this includes the bladder, bowel, and uterus. There can be several reasons that the pelvic floor is damaged or weakened, one of the most common being having had a vaginal birth. Other risk factors include things like changing hormones with menopause, surgical procedures that involve the pelvic floor, and developing bladder cancer.
While bulky pads and liners are available, women may find them uncomfortable, especially to work out in. Revive® is a reusable bladder support device that works to reduce leaks from the inside out, ensuring your workout is comfortable and dry. The one-size fit most, silicone device is made to fit and move with women’s anatomy for up to 12 hours a day. Revive® is inserted and removed much like a tampon and can we washed and stored to be reused for up to 30 uses!