“Here are 4 exercises for you. Do them every day for the next month and let me know how you get on”
Sorry – was that what you were after?
Unfortunately in our Insta, have it now world, 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 to tone the hell out of it!
Following on from a previous blog post, 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 let me tell you – 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 nice little muscle imbalance has found its way in there.
New mum? …..
Have a think about your habitual routine…
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, the mum hip as I like to call it!
- pushing a buggy uphill with your arms out-stretched and shoulders lifted….(and your bum out for all to see!) Hand up, I am guilty of this.
These things all create muscular imbalances, don’t they?
If even one of your muscles is tight, weak or stretched, does it make sense that other muscles will try and compensate?
Because, indeed they do.
There are many reasons why postnatal women suffer with diastasis recti after birth (that’s the technical name for abdominal separation, by the way).
Do you want some good news though?
Ok, well fortunately for you – 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 traits.
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?
Can you see what I mean?
Assessing, treating and rehabilitating a new mum or mum of older children for abdominal separation needs to move away just doing tummy exercises.
It needs a broader, full-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!
Please do get in touch if you would like to discuss abdominal separation in more detail. I am happy to do a 1-1 session to get you started on your whole body approach journey.