Castle Personal Training is a Corstorphine, Edinburgh based company who specialise in weightloss/toning and Pre and Post Natal exercise.
Hope you’re all keeping well.
Just a nice quick one this week with 3 questions that I’ve recently been asked about post-partum exercise. Hope you find the answers useful.
1; I’ve had my last baby a few years ago and still look like I’m 3 months pregnant. Is this normal and can this be fixed?
It’s not unusual
I met a new client the other day who asked this and there are many more mommies out there who just didn’t find the time after their new baby was born, or just did the wrong exercises, made the diastasis recti worse or just didn’t get their core going again.
The good news is that it can almost always be fixed by doing the right exercises. In some extreme cases surgery might be required but I have had clients come in 3-4 years after giving birth, or having DR from being obese, and we’ve managed to bring everything back to the nice tight package it’s all supposed to be. Obviously the longer you leave it the harder it’s going to be to fix it but it is usually possible.
2; What kind of exercises should I do to fix my Diastasis Recti or will it fix itsself?
So you know what it looks like.
Diastasis Recti will hardly ever fix itsself. If you are properly alligned after giving birth the separation will become less but the core function won’t improve until you force it to. You’ll obviously still need to make sure you’re properly alligned though, which will require some work. Think of it as having had a broken leg and then pulling that leg straight and keeping it up in the air, without a cast, for 6 weeks. Sure, the bone will heal itsself but it won’t grow back correctly and that will mean that your leg won’t function properly afterwards. The great news is that your linea alba isn’t made of bone 🙂
First let’s look at things to avoid; Crunches and front loaded exercises, such as standard planks, should be avoided at all costs. They really just cause more damage. Crunches do NOT give you a flat stomach! If you look at the above picture you can see that DR does not run horizontally. Now ask yourself how a crunch would resolve this if that folds the muscles horizontally.
Even when you are 100% fit you should not overdo it on the old crunches. Frontloaded exercises such as planks should only be done when your core is properly engaging, which translates to “not for a while yet, do the following first”;
Just a little bodyweight circuit you can do every day;
Glute bridges x 10 Marianna shows you some here; I have used her video because she really explains them verfy well. You can do hip thrusts, which she also explains in this video, but only once your glutes are activating nicely again.
Heel slides x 10 each side. This is a Youtube video explaining how to do them. It goes into a lot of detail but post-partum you really want to be getting your form right.
Squat to bench x 10. I couldn’t find a decent Youtube clip for this, I really should start filming some myself, but it’s just your basic squat where you very briefly land on a gym bench. Make sure you stick your bum out, knees don’t go too far past your toes, and exhale on the way up engaging the core.
Side plank on knees 3 x 10 seconds (or 5 seconds if you can’t do 10 yet) Here’s your clip.
3; I want to lose my baby-weight, when can I go running again?
Never how it looks in Edinburgh.
This is a very common question. Society has taught women that “baby weight” needs to be dumped ASAP as it’s a horrible thing. Well I have great news for you; It’s nohing to be ashamed off and if you keep your diet tidy it will fall off before you know it. As some of you will know; I don’t like running for weight-loss, I don’t like the high-impact element of it. It messes up your knees and joints etc. and I, personally, find it insanely dull. However this is not even the beginning if the issues with running post-partum. too many times have I had people email or phone me saying they felt a sensation like “Stuff was about to fall out” when running within a few weeks after giving birth. This is obviously not a normal sensation.
I STRONGLY suggest that you do a pelvic floor and core routine for a period of 6-12 weeks before going out for a run again. And there;s no need to start this core and floor routine for 6 weeks after giving birth, though if your birth has been a doddle you can start as soon as after 3 weeks.
Be a little bit patient, there really is no rush in losing that bit of extra fat and there are many other ways to do that than pounding the pavement. There is nothing wrong with taking it easy on the running front for a few weeks after giving birth, you just did an amazing thing; You grew a new human! Cut yourself some slack and enjoy not being pregnant for a few weeks.
That’s all I have time for today, have a great week and just send me an email if you have any questions yourself.