Beyond the mom pooch series #3
The mom belly – it’s ALWAYS so much talk about it – especially after pregnancy. That’s
why I found it very strange that it’s often so overlooked from health care providers, and work out programs to heal, and making a mamas core stronger – the right way.
Most programs promise you that you will bounce back into shape right away and get a 6 pack after baby. Doctors tell you to just do sit ups and you’ll get back to it. And although you can definitely have a 6pack after baby if that’s something you desire, you need to start at the beginning, listen to your body and slow down some and often it may suprisingly take A LOT of WORK!
I feel so passionate about “allowing” others to just take it step by step instead of “crushing” some crazy weight loss goal once the baby is born to show off on social media! And the first two steps I encourage mom’s to start with is reactivating the deeper core and pelvic floor strength (YES! Even if you had a c-section! I meet lots of women who think they are off the hook on this one because they didn’t push a baby out vaginally!
I had NO idea how much that goes into activating your core correctly even after having 3 babies AND passing my trainer certification with top grades.
In my training I had to learn a lot about our muscles and over all health – but not a lot about how to correctly focus on our core in ALL our exercises – from a squat to a plank to bicep curls and running.
Every muscle in our body is connected. If one is off, somewhere else will be off too.
A strong core is important for a million reasons, but after having a baby it’s even MORE important for mom’s to reconnect with their deeper muscles to prevent back pain, strengthen your pelvic floor again, balance, and being strong for the everyday tasks of a mama. Of course also for the more vain reasons like getting rid of the “mom-pooch” and getting in our pants again.
Let’s chat a little bit about our muscles.
Our own body has its on built-in corset! It’s pretty cool!
The TVA muscle (The Transverse Abdominis) holds everything in and gives you that flat looking tummy you want. It wraps around your spine and gives you the protection your tummy needs as well as give you that slim waist you might be going for! Working on these muscles to be strong is so important!
Next layers are the internal abdominal oblique, the external abdominal obliques and in the middle of our stomach the famous 6 pack muscle, rectus abdominis.
So let’s chat about WHAT we should be thinking about when we are reactivating our core!
You active your core, and your TVA muscles, by drawing your belly button up and in towards your spine. (I feel like a broken record on this one – but it is so so important!)
HOWEVER – this technique is great – but doesn’t always work for new moms as they can’t seem to “find” this muscle after first, especially after a c-section or a big gap between your ab muscles.
So if you have a hard time doing this when starting to work out, STOP, work on “finding” these muscles again, and then move onto more challenging things. It WILL be a little bit of a slower process but so very worth it in the long run!
Here is a “step by step” what to do to reactivate and “find” your core muscles again or maybe for the first time!
ONE. Stand with your back up to a flat wall, OR lay down flat on the ground straight, then bend your knees up. Have a good posture in your shoulders, hips, pelvic and feet facing forward.
TWO. Breath in through your nose so that your chest rises.
THREE. Breath out SLOW through your mouth and at the same time pull your belly button up towards your spine.
FOUR. Now HOLD your belly button in while taking your next breath in through your nose, repeat breathing slowly out through your mouth.
FIVE. Repeat 4-6 times still holding your belly button in, before relaxing your core again. This is ONE set. Do 3-4 sets daily until feeling stronger.
This is how you work on connecting and “finding” your lost core muscles before you can do this in planks, squats, while working your arms etc.
If your trainer, or me at bootcamp, tell you to draw your belly button in or tighten your core and you have NO idea what we mean, start working with that breathing exercises at home and pelvic floor training and then work yourself up towards stronger, more intense moves.
A weak core, and a weak TVA muscle – is often the reason of lower back pain and bad posture. In the next few weeks I will be sharing some exercises that will help you strengthen your core the right way. But I want you to start with this breathing technique first because it will be important in the work outs!
Please let me know if you need more help on this.
Private message me TonedMamas@gmail.com or leave a comment!
“Great things comes out of patience!”
Listen to your mama body – it knows exactly what you need.
Remember you are awesome!
NEXT in the series is how we can heal separation in our core, and some other amazing things that you don’t want to miss out of! You can join your friends and subscribe on the right hand side so you get these straight into your inbox!
And don’t forget to read the INTRO of the Mom pooch series where I share more of my own story.
#1 about Mommy guilt and #2 about our pelvic floor.