Everyone has abdominal separation. Diastasis recti happens when there is a gap of 2 fingers or more. Abdominal separation is most common after having a baby. What happens during pregnancy is the six-pack muscle (Rectus abdominis), which runs down from your breastbone to your pubic bone, is joined together by a fibrous sheath called the Linea Alba. This mid-section of the body stretches and expands to allow room for the baby. The muscles don’t actually split; it is more an abdominal “separation”. A bit like a piece of cling film coming apart. [Read more…]
Social interaction and bonding, whether with peers in the same group, team or class, or with a partner or a child, all have been shown to be beneficial for your health. Emotions such as affection and trust characterise bonding.
Group fitness classes bring a social element to exercising which helps with motivation and commitment. The bonds that you build with instructors and other members should grow stronger over time. [Read more…]
After giving birth to my son in October, I was not surprised to be told by my Midwife to start doing the old pelvic floor squeezing to tighten up my lady bits! I was however shocked by the vagueness of this statement.
As a trained pre/postnatal fitness expert, who enjoys keeping her education on this subject matter up to date, these squeeze and lift exercises in recent years have most definitely changed.
You are not alone if you suffer from low back pain.
Simple low back pain affects nearly 8 out of 10 people in the UK.
Poor alignment and improper recruitment of the correct muscles are the main issue of low back pain. Often the pain is the last symptom to show there is a problem in the body, for some time the wrong muscles have been recruited and the back has been in stress mode before it really started to hurt.
At The View Studio, our focus is in balancing and strengthening the muscles that surround the back (the core muscles) to promote injury prevention and healing of low back pain. All classes are planned and geared up to support the body and ensure the spine is in the correct alignment, which means all the lengthening and strengthening of the spine helps to keep it healthy.
If you are having a flare up, there are numerous ways to modify your exercises to eliminate low back pain. Here are our top three tips:
First of all Less is more
Moving in a small range of motion is usually the best way forward. It means the core muscles are being recruited without the lower back taking over. With any skeletal issues like a bulging or herniated disc, large range of movement can put enormous pressure on this area. It’s always best to listen to your body, remember everyone’s back pain is different, and work in a range of motion that suits you and your ability.
Changing position, taking a break frequently and stretching are also great ways to release the back. Always let your class instructor know if an exercise doesn’t feel right and a modification will always be offered to help protect the lower back.
Next Slow it down.
Fast movements tend to make us lose good alignment and we then recruit the wrong muscle groups instead of the correct stabilising muscles. Using the wrong muscle group can aggravate old injuries, or even promote new injuries. To protect the lower back, remember to slow movements down and avoid momentum. Move with intention using the mind and body to connect the move.
Finally Work higher.
Some exercises where hinging from the hips is required, like a squat, recruit the back muscles to hold the upper body in a lengthened spine position. These exercise are great for strengthening the back body. However if you are suffering from back pain we recommend working more upright to alleviate pressure on your back muscles and prevent them from going into spasm.
Please know that your class instructor is always on hand to help you work safely with your body.
Please note that there are new classes in the timetable, starting 1st September 2015.
Pre-natal Pilates Tuesdays 19:30 – starts 1st September (class is already filling up)
Iyengar Yoga Thursdays 20:00 – starts 3rd September
Salsacise Mondays 19:30 – starts 21st September
What is abdominal separation?
Everyone has abdominal separation. Diastasis recti happens when there is a gap of 2 fingers or more. Abdominal separation is most common after having a baby. What happens during pregnancy is the six-pack muscle (Rectus abdominis), which runs down from your breastbone to your pubic bone, is joined together by a fibrous sheath called the Linea Alba. This mid-section of the body stretches and expands to allow room for the baby. The muscles don’t actually split; it is more an abdominal “separation”. A bit like a piece of cling film coming apart.
The result of this separation is that the ‘core’ becomes increasingly weakened, a less stable pelvis, and an overall reduction of functional strength. Weak core muscles and an instable pelvis are a perfect combination for poor posture and low back pain.
Before skipping this article thinking it’s more related to post baby ladies. Abdominal separation isn’t just isolated to the postnatal lady. For example people with muscle imbalances, those working in a job with copious amounts of heavy lifting can get diastasis recti (correct Latin name for abdominal separation). For this other group of individuals it can be caused by a number of factors genetics, or excessive abdominal pressure.
There is no ‘quick’ fix for repairing abdominal separation and doing lots of curl ups is certainly not the correct answer. In fact, curl ups will make your abdominal separation worse. Focusing on just the abdominal muscles in an effort to ‘fix’ the separation will also not resolve the issues.
Muscle imbalances are caused by:
- Heavy lifting
- Poor posture
- Carrying a baby on one hip
- Slumped over
- Picking baby up from the floor/cot/ car seat
The good news is, if you have abdominal separation or suspect you have abdominal separation, the View Studio can help. Our classes are designed to realign the whole body, strengthen the muscles to help stablise the core. We talk about the ‘corset’ a lot in class. The deep abdominal muscles act like a corset around you protecting your lower back. The first step to improving abdominal separation is taking the modification that is on offer in class.
When starting classes either postnatal or otherwise these are some points to consider when treating abdominal separation:
- Is this first/second/third/fourth/fifth baby?
- How is your posture?
- What is your ‘core’ strength like?
- Which muscles feel really tight?
- Which muscles tend to dominate?
- What are some everyday tasks being carried out?
It is good to look at the broader picture. Taking a full-body approach to get the whole system working and functioning in a more efficient way and implementing a healthy lifestyle as part of your daily life.
As discussed earlier, most women with post-natal abdominal separation think the only way to heal the separation is to work their abdominals harder. This is actually counter intuitive and not the time to be gung-ho. Instead, our classes at The View Studio recommend embracing subtle bodywork and modifying a few exercises so that you build strength from the inside out.
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