When it comes to fixing abdominal separation, it is so much more than just saying:
“Here’s a program of 4 exercises for you. Do them every day for the next month and get back to me.”
A quick fix is so enticing but it isn’t as simple as that.
Focussing solely on your mid-section and training just your abdominal muscles in an effort to ‘fix’ any distension in your tummy muscles is what’s called ‘spot reducing’.
Put simply, ‘spot reducing’ is where you focus on just one muscle group, one body part, or just one area of your body and try and tone the hell out of it!
Oh, and if you’re doing sit ups and suspect you have abdominal separation – they aren’t the answer – in fact, sit ups will make abdominal separation worse.
The human body is made up of hundreds of muscles and bones. And if the muscles in your body can find an easy way of doing something – they will.
And, they’ll do it over and over and over again until a muscle imbalance has found its way in there.
Have a think about your habits as a new mum…
How do you think these everyday mummy movements affect your overall alignment?
• always holding baby with your dominate arm,
• winding baby over the same shoulder all the time (did someone say colic?),
• sitting slumped over feeding baby…for hours and hours and hours (no one tells you that, do they?),
• propping baby up on one hip,
• pushing a buggy uphill with your arms out-stretched and shoulders lifted….(and your bum out for all to see!)
These things all create muscular imbalances, don’t they?
If one of your muscles is tight, weak or stretched, other muscles will try and compensate?
There are many reasons why postnatal women suffer with diastasis recti after birth (that’s the technical name for abdominal separation, by the way).
But here’s the good news.
There are many ways of fixing abdominal separation.
Education is key here particularly when it comes to discovering the ‘cause and effect’ of abdominal separation – and all of your other postural habits.
Here are some points I consider when treating you for abdominal separation:
• Is this your first/second/third/fourth baby?
• Do you suspect you had abdominal separation that went untreated if it’s not your first baby?
• What exercise did you do prior to getting pregnant?
• How’s your posture right now?
• Can you breathe correctly?
• Do you actually have any ‘core’ strength?
• What muscles are really tight for you?
• Which muscles dominate your entire system, without you realising it?
• What tasks are you doing with a newborn that might be attributing to your abdominal separation?
• Is your pelvic floor ok, or do you need help with that too?
Assessing, treating and rehabilitating a new mum for abdominal separation needs to move away just doing tummy exercises.
It needs a broader, whole-body approach to get your system working and functioning in a more optimal way.
What’s also encouraging is that there’s a 7 Steps to Fixing Abdominal Separation method I follow for clients with this condition.
It’s based on a whole-body, ‘everything working as one’, proper unit-type system….
….that gets results!
Want to work with me to rehabilitate your core? One to one coaching sessions are now available. Click on this link for further information.
Rosie Dhoopun is Movement Teacher specialising in reducing recurring aches, pain and injury, pregnancy exercise birth preparation and postpartum rehabilitation from pelvic floor dysfunction and diastasis recti.