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Showing posts from April, 2010

Weeks 2 and 3 of 12

March 22nd I begin Week #2 of the Ab Rehab Program. The only change to my routine is that the contractions are now done from 4th to 5th Floor, instead of 3rd to 5th. This proves to be surprisingly hard- most notably I really feel an ache through my lower back at the end of the set when I take the belly breath. I am really surprised at how much more difficult it is, but at least I feel like I am really working!

I am developing 100+% more awareness within my core- I can feel the muscles as I attempt to isolate them. I feel stronger through my core!
I accidentally do this for 8 days, so I begin Week 3 a day later. I complete it 100%

March 30th I begin Week #3. Now the contractions progress to 5th to 6th. I am expecting this to be very difficult and it is! Most remarkably:
This is the first time I had trouble breathing. I had to stop periodically and "reset" myself by taking 2 full belly breaths.My upper back begins to feel tired as I recruit the adjacent muscles to help with the e…

Week 1- The Program begins

March 14th I begin the Ab Rehab Program Week 1. The Terminology is defined/visualized as follows: Consider your transverse muscle to be a horizontal elevator. Passive inflation with a belly breathe is First Floor. Contracted to the spine is Fifth Floor. Here's what the exercises look like: BELLY BREATHING:
·       Sitting tall against a wall or chair, place your hands on the top and bottom of your abs. ·       Visualize closing your rib cage. This is your starting position. ·       Take in air through your nose and expand your belly with air. ·       Exhale out your mouth and let all the air out and bring your belly button to your spine (5th floor)
****Belly breathing is important because by filling up your lungs and belly with air, you take in approx 30% more oxygen. Always start your exercises and finish with 1-2 belly breaths.
ELEVATOR:

·Sit tall on a chair or crossed legged on the floor with your back against the wall. ·Place your hands on the top and bottom of your abdomen. ·Do a be…

Step 1- the splint

The Ab Rehab Program has 4 components: SplintingGetting Up and Down CorrectlyTargeted Abdominal ExercisesEngaging the transverse all day, every day So now that I am onboard I start wearing my splint every day. It takes a bit of getting used to. Unlike a standard postpartum compression garment, the splint crosses across the front and is designed to approximate the rectus abdominus muscles, making the exercises more effective and speed the healing- much like you would cast a broken arm to keep the bones in place. There is a specific manner in which to put on the splint; it is taught by the trainer. The splint is best work over a light undergarment such as a tank-top, to prevent it from "riding up" or bunching. Because I am nursing this is extremely impractical, so I opt for my maternity belly band underneath it instead. It really doesn't end up being too bulky. I am able to wear it all day, even when running!


In addition to approximating the muscles, the splint helps me to ke…

Ab Rehab Program 8-12 Weeks

Yesterday I met with the Core Expectations Team to discuss our ongoing field work with diastasis recti rehabilitation and to get some more training from Samantha. Here we are a group of personal trainers, fully trained and diligent with our own programs, reporting that we are all struggling to various extents with the demands of the Tupler Technique format- both in timeline and execution/performance. We are all seeing results from our exercises but progressing as quickly as the Tupler lays out is not happening; which begs the question "If we, as a group of personal trainers are struggling, how can we expect our clients to progress this quickly?"
The answer? We can't. It just isn't realistic.
Core Expectations is customizing its "Ab Rehab" program to be a more realistic approach for our clients. We want to set them up to succeed, and laying out a program that they can actually manage is the best way to do that! Discouragement will kill motivation. Unrealistic …

The Beginning- My Diagnosis

So I'll start at the beginning of my own diastasis journey:

As a personal trainer specializing in pre and postnatal fitness I felt I was fully equipped to assess myself after my son was born. I had trained carefully during my pregnancy, following all the Can-Fit-Pro guidelines- splinting my abdomen during targeted exercises, getting up and down correctly, belly breathing, strengthening my transverse. I did not feel like I was a high risk candidate for a diastasis recti. I was strong going into my delivery and I only pushed for about 25 minutes to deliver my baby.

At 2 weeks postpartum I was itching to get going on some gentle core exercises. I had been doing the leg slides and wanted to move into gentle back bridges, leg lifts and modified planks. I checked myself according to the Can-Fit-Pro guidelines- lay on back, place 2 fingers of hand at naval with palm facing towards myself, crunch up to lift my shoulder blades from the floor- 2 fingers or less= no diastasis. Great! I had a 2…

Diastasis Recti and Pregnancy

During pregnancy the two halves of the outermost abdominal layer, the rectus abdominis, can become separated due to the forceful pressure from the increasing abdominal weight,  resulting in diastasis recti. This is the cause of the dreaded belly bulge. The separation happens because the growing baby and uterus put a forceful pressure on the connective tissue that holds the two halves of the muscles together (See diagram), causing the connective tissue to stretch apart and become weak.  Futher to, maternal hormones: relaxin, estrogen and progesterone encourage the connective tissue to become less supportive.  Although not all women get diastasis recti when pregnant, it is extremely common.   Also, the more pregnancies you experience, the worse it may get. This is why you "show" faster with successive pregnancies- a diastasis exists.
Now the good news?  A diastasis can be closed with the Tupler Technique!
Since the birth of my second child I have determined that I am suffering fr…

Diastasis is NOT gender specific!

Yes, men can get a diastasis also! The culprit is abdominal crunches and a beer belly! It becomes a problem if a man stops exercising and gets a beer belly. The situation is similar to a woman who starts her pregnancy with a diastasis from doing abdominals incorrectly. The beer belly, like the pregnancy belly, will make the diastasis larger. Men with a diastasis will get the same football protrusion that women who have a large diastasis get. The effects on the body will also be the same....... a weakened support for the back and the belly causing low back pain and the guy gut. If there is trauma to the abdominal area and the weakened connective tissue comes away from the muscle, a hernia will occur and surgery will be required.  - Julie Tupler

I CAN Fix your Mummy Tummy!

As a Personal Trainer who specializes in Pre and Postnatal fitness, I encounter the duress of "Mummy Tummy" with my clients regularly. A common postpartum complaint is how all the crunches and abdominal exercises are not reducing that poochy area around the midsection. As a member of the Core Expectations training team, I have specialized training in the postnatal AB Rehab program, and now I can tell my clients with confidence: "I CAN fix your Mummy Tummy!" What a tremendous claim!