So you survived the beautiful, life changing event called having a baby. Congratulations!
Between the sleepless nights and not showering, much less eating, have you been thinking about how you will ever get your abs back??
I remember that feeling of my abs being replaced with this crazy floopy-floppy blob, and I really didn’t think it would ever return to normal! But I’m here to tell you, it can be done.
Pregnancy and delivery are real insults to your musculoskeletal system, just like going in for knee surgery.
But, just as if you had knee surgery, it often takes working with a Physical Therapist to learn not only the right exercises to do, but how to do them.
If you have diastasis recti, pain, prolapse, and/or urine leakage, I promise you are not alone. We can and get your “core” back up and running, I promise!
Check out this statistic:
Kegels and core exercises are all fine and good, but the secrets to healing your abs and getting rid of all these “weak core” related issues do not lie in doing more more more.
Rather, they lie in how effectively you can restore your the way and the order in which your core muscles turn on.
Before I dive in with a few tips, I have to encourage you if you are currently dealing with pain, leakage, or prolapse to go see a women’s health PT. They can get you up and running faster than you might imagine! Certainly faster than reading through blogs on the subject.
Maybe you don’t think your issues are “that bad” to warrant medical attention, and feel confident that, with the right guidance, you can do the work on your own.
If that’s the case, I invite you to keep reading.
Let’s start with getting a baseline understanding of the function of the abdominal wall.
The number one thing I have found that my postpartum mamas are doing incorrectly is THe secret sauce to success. It’s the easiest thing to overlook and something we take for granted.
Ladies, you need to learn how to breathe again.
That’s it. That’s the biggest piece you are likely not addressing that sets you up for the most success.
Recent research has really put the diaphragm at center stage. It’s action precipitates that of the abdominals and pelvic floor. Without activating it optimally you are missing the opportunity to truly strengthen and restore your core.
As simple as this sounds, 95% of the mamas I work with are breathing backwards.
Check yourself in the mirror right now – stand tall, and take some deep breaths
- Do you see your shoulders rise and fall?
- Can you feel your stomach expand and contract
- Do you feel more pressure downward on your pelvic floor?
When the diaphragm contracts it expands downward and outward in order to draw air into the lungs. With this action we should feel and see the belly and back and side ribs all expanding evenly.
Seeing the shoulders rise on inhale is a telltale sign of backwards breathing. And backwards breathing can prevent diastasis from healing and make your prolapse and/or leakage problems worse.
Here is a video where you can start to assess your breathing pattern and begin to work with it. As soon as you have this down we can work towards the next steps of engaging your pelvic floor and transverse abdominals.
If you feel like you get stuck here, trust me you are not alone. It’s possibly you may benefit from some myofascial release or other therapeutic techniques to make sure your ribs are moving and nothing is stuck.
If you are ready for more, I invite you to sign up for my free online training “Beyond Kegels.”
This free video-based workshop will deliver everything you need to know about re-training your abs and pelvic floor right into your inbox. I’ve got tons of info to share with you, click below to get started right away!
DISCLAIMER: This material is not intended to diagnose or treat any medical illness or injury. It is for educational purposes only. Participating in these exercises is done at your own risk. Please consult your physician before starting any new exercise program, or if you have any concerns about your body. Please consult with your physical therapist to make sure your are performing these techniques correctly for your needs. You are responsible for yourself and will not hold Patricia Fasciotti Wellness, LLC or Patricia Fasciotti, PT liable for any illness or injury.
After 5 kids my abs are a bit of a mess! This workshop series was super helpful to draw my attention to the little things I can be aware of when I go to yoga!! This is a great opportunity to really feel if your core is working in every yoga pose. This is the perfect combo of PT and yoga, I loved it!Lisa