As my son approaches 2, I reflect back on his short time here on this Earth and also my time as a parent. I can't help but think about my wife, and the challenges she faced getting back to an active lifestyle she was accustomed to. It took over a year for her to 'get it all back.'
Since then, I have seen many postpartum women that come in with various aches and pains and it always takes me back to seeing my wife with belly out to here (extend hand away from body). Needless to say, having a baby takes a major toll on your body, both physically and mentally.
So while I may not have had a child myself, I worked in a women's health clinic in the past, treated many postpartum patients over the years, and now seeing it all first hand, here are my tips, with links, to getting it all back.
So, I googled 'postpartum core exercises' and here are some of the top findings, with my professional, and personal, feedback:
What's a Pelvic Tilt?
Lay on your back. Knees bent, feet flat. press your low back flat on the ground without pressing through your feet....and keep breathing.
Here is my (quick) playbook for getting stronger after having a baby:
I love to hear feedback! Hope this help some mamas out there!
The 'dead bug" has long been used as a go-to core exercise in physical therapy clinics everywhere. While it is a great beginner exercise, I've always felt it needed a little bit more. Recently, I came across a great tweak on this classic to make it more challenging and effective.
The Dead Bug Press
There you have the Dead Bug Press. I hope you can add it to your current ab routine. Let us know what you think!
If you have any questions, please let us know.
The plank should be felt in the abs. It's probably one of the most boring exercises out there, however one of the most effective. Why? Well, to simplify it, you have 4 layers of abdominal muscles. The top layer, the rectus abdominis AKA your six pack muscles (its there...somewhere), has a vertical orientation. Your next 2 layers, your obliques, run diagonally. Your deepest layer, the transverse abdominis, has a horizontal orientation, wrapping around and attaching into the back, and functions similar to a corset (or a weight belt if you packing a little extra testosterone today). The plank targets the transverse abdominis.
Two small tweaks to you plank and you could be activating this muscle, and making the exercise more difficult and effective while putting less load on your spine. There is some research that proves it.
1. Tuck your pelvis, tuck your tailbone, round your low back; all cues to POSTERIORLY TILT YOUR PELVIS.
2. Move your elbow AWAY from your body; increasing the demand on your 'core' and less on your shoulders/pecs
Doing it this way is harder than it looks. Start with 30 sec on, 30 sec off, 6 times. Too easy? Go to 45 sec on/45 sec rest 6 x, then 60 sec on/60 sec rest 6x. I tell patients to start on their elbows and knees and progress to elbows and feet. If you can do 60 sec on/60 sec off 6 times with proper form like the last pic, your name should be on a plaque.
Have any questions? Let us know! Have a great week!
Happy New Year!
With exercise and fitness, there is always the next newest and best thing.
With that being said, never forget the fundamentals! They should apply to any of the new routines and exercises you are encorporating.
With core stabilization exercises that are preformed on your back or in a plank, you should always start with and maintain a posterior pelvic tilt. What does that mean? Check out the pictures below:
Whatever the core exercise try and keep a posterior pelvic tilt to limit the back's involvement in the exercise.
Try it! Lay on your back and arch yor low back off the ground. Reach under and feel how tight your low back muscles are and then reach around and feel how loose your abs feel. . Now press your low back into the ground and feel your abdominals turn on; this is a posterior pelvic tilt. Magic. Please notice the angle of the wast line in the pictures above!
This goes for planks, scissors, marching, and leg lifts (especially leg lifts!!! No hands under your butt and back arching!).
This applies when we are asking the spine to be straight and not for any flexion (ex: sit ups) or rotation (ex: Russian twists) exercises.
If you have any questions, feel free to let me know!
Just as you should spend a 5-10 minutes raising your internal body temperature before activity, you should spend a few of those minutes turning on your core. This is not to be confused with an abdominal workout. Again, before that run, basketball game, Cross fit workout, whatever; don't you think you should wake up the area of you body that connects your shoulders and arms to your hip and legs? I used this as part of my warm up this week and really enjoyed it.
Check these 4 easy exercises out.
10 times each side.
Rotation and Lift
Quadruped Glut & Pull
Dead Bug Press
Side Plank with Twist
The therapists at SRVPT have a variety of backgrounds and are interested in sharing our knowledge with you! Check out their bios for more specific information.