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Waddling Gait in Pregnancy

Waddling Gait in Pregnancy & How To Fix It!

hip flexor pregnancy May 09, 2024


Picture in your mind a very pregnant person walking…


Did you picture that penguin waddle?

As you get deeper into pregnancy and the belly grows, the pelvis inlet (top) widens.


This puts you more into external rotation and makes it harder to load through the mid stance so you just end up pushing yourself side to side. This is  what we call the waddling gait in pregnancy and its not ideal for your running stride!


To effectively load into midstance we need to internally rotate and load through length in that glute so that we can organize our center of mass over that stance leg.  This external rotation bias also results in a tight back side (aka. Pancake butt).


Tight is the antithesis of strength and power.!


So what can we do?


We go for length to create strength and stability. This is actually super important for all runners…It just becomes extra, super important during pregnancy!


Focusing on strength, balance and stability in the hip musculature earlier in the pregnancy will also greatly reduce the chances of pelvic girdle and SI Joint pain later in pregnancy.


My favorite Exercises to Help With Waddling Gait in Pregnancy:


The All 4s Pelvic Rocks will help you “stack” and use your  deep abs and proximal hamstrings for hip stability.



The Low to Mid-Range Zercher Squat starts moving your pelvis through internal and external rotation while reinforcing that stack.



The bottom of the squat promotes more external rotation and relaxation of the pelvic floor. Inhale there.


Mid-range of the squat promotes more internal rotation and a lifting of the pelvic floor through length. Exhale there.


The Step to Lateral Hip Shift helps you to find length in the glutes in the back of the pelvic floor.



Any hinging variations are great here too.



Here my favorite cues are


“Shift back into your hips”

“Lengthen your backside”

“Spread your sits bones apart”

“Breathe into your butthole”


Finally, we want to load this length dynamically.





Important note: This is all stuff I talk about with all my runners outside of pregnancy and postpartum too! Practicing it now during pregnancy is a major opportunity for your performance in the future!



In Running for 2 U, we look at the changes in your body during pregnancy in the context of running biomechanics and create a strategy that fully supports your body for as long as you want to continue running in this pregnancy AND for a successful return to running postpartum.



AND I provide you with 3 mix and match sets of Full Body Workouts specifically designed with these principles.


AND the guidance tailor them specifically to the needs of your unique body (no matter where you are in your pregnancy journey).


Here’s to happy hips!


Next on Your Reading List: 

Running and Pregnancy: How To Love Both! 

Your Ultimate Guide For Strength Training In Pregnancy for Runners!

Best Ab Exercises for Pregnancy

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