This programme is designed to help you heal from the inside out, reduce your tummy muscle separation, and achieve a firmer flatter tummy and give you a stronger better functioning Pelvic Floor.
With thanks to fitness expert and pelvic health pioneer Jenny Burrell who created the Holistic Core Restore® and The Burrell Method for Holistic Diastasis.
As with all exercise please make sure your health care provider has cleared you for exercise and only attempt this if you have been given the ‘all clear’ at your 6-12 week Doctors check.
This is what should happen when you inhale: you should feel your ribs (side and back) expand and your tummy move gently towards your waistband.
Conversely, when you exhale, your diaphragm (muscle above your ribs) should rise, your tummy muscles should tense and draw inwards, your pelvic floor should tense and lift, and the muscles and tissue around your lower back should tense.
An important point – you should never feel a pressing or forcing down onto your pelvic floor when you exhale, and your belly shouldn’t be ballooning.
If either of these do happen, think about your breathing and actively follow the above exhalation directions to rectify this. Consistent pressure onto your pelvic floor and your weakened tummy will take you away from strength and healing.
Exhale on exertion
Remember that pressure is the enemy of healing your core so be vigilant about avoiding it. One of the main tactics you can employ is to ‘exhale on exertion’.
If you are a woman with children, a home, a job, you’re probably used to lifting objects and/or little people. So every time you lift something even vaguely heavy, exhale as you lift.
Just try this: Stand with feet shoulder-width apart, pushing your hips back and down until they reach knee level in a squat position. Keep your weight in your heels and your lower back flat into a squat as low as you find comfortable, keep your abs engaged. To return to the start, push through the heels and stand up. Repeat and as you are rising the second time, exhale forcefully. Did you feel the difference in the tension of your tummy? This tension is also extended to your pelvic floor.
So, whether it’s kids, shopping, dogs, or yourself whilst exercising, always make sure you exhale on exertion (the hardest part of the exercise) and protect your pelvic floor from pressure.
Not a Crunch
This is not a crunch.
Surprisingly, traditional exercises such as crunches, Swiss Ball sit-ups, V-sits, leg drops etc. are detrimental to your healing. Instead, you need integrated, non-pressurising core work that links your breathing to movement and activates your pelvic floor at the same time. Swap your previous ‘crunch’ for this wonderful ‘point and pole raise’.
Lie with a neutral spine and your toes pointed. Most importantly, hold the pole directly above your shoulders (you should be able to balance a ruler across the two bones at the front of your hips).
Say the word ‘SET’ quite strongly and feel what happens to your core. There should be an increase in tension. Keep this tension but continue to breathe normally.
Take the pole back until you can feel your abdominals and pelvic floor activating. Stop if you feel you are coming out of neutral pelvis and remember to hold the tension caused by saying the word ‘SET’.
Exhale strongly to return the pole to the start position. Aim for three sets of eight repetitions.
Not a Plank
Swap your previous ‘plank’ for this brilliant ‘prone pointe vacuum’.
Lie using your arms as your pillow and toes pointed. Exhale for a count of eight and notice what happens. You should feel your tummy coming away from the floor, just let it happen naturally. Towards the very end of the breath you should also feel your pelvic floor tensing and lifting. Congratulations, you have just reconnected with your core! Perform 2-3 sets of eight repetitions.
There are three parts to this exercise. First, lie on your back with your knees bent.
Then, slide the right foot slowly and controlled along the floor, straightening the knee. Slide the foot back toward the hip, and repeat with the left. Be sure that the floor supports the weight of the leg and that the foot does not lift off of the floor.
Finally, lift the right foot off the floor, keeping the knee bent. Don’t hold your breath and don’t bulge your lower abdomen. Return the foot to the floor and repeat with the left foot. Focus on your breathing: Inhale when you lift and exhale to rest or hold.
Seated Knee Abduction with a resistance band
Seated adduction with a ball
Sit on an exercise ball or a chair and place a ball between your knees. Press the knees together against the ball as you perform the hold and activate the pelvic floor muscles. n the simplest terms…when you squeeze your legs together against the resistance of the soft ball this obviously activates your inner thigh muscles but at the same time, your Pelvic Floor is activated without you having to do anything else!
If you want to be healthier and fitter in your mind and body, you can! Your post-natal transformation may not be easy, but with the right information and the proper protocol, you’ll make more headway than you ever thought possible.