Welcome! Congratulations for joining the movement and growing a little human!
Movement during your pregnancy and post natally, should feel like you are embarking on the road towards a great adventure.
You mumma, are an athlete training for your greatest adventure yet!
Such a crazy beautiful journey, and I am excited that you have chosen to nourish your body with movement!
We often have a focus during pregnancy to keep a 'strong' core, and similarly post natally we are concerned with 'strengthening' the core.
The problem that I see with trying to keep a strong core and regaining strength is that we often turn to less ideal core exercises to achieve this, because we do not understand what the true core is.
We need to be focused on regaining function BEFORE returning to traditional core exercises that we think will give us strength.
The true core has four muscles, the inner core system is made up of the diaphragm, transverse abdominis, pelvic floor and multifidus. They work together as a system to stabilise the centre of our body in daily mum life activities and in movement.
The pelvic floor is the conductor of the core system, that provides support for pelvic organs and controls urinary and bowel continence.
The transverse abdominis muscle is the deepest of the core muscles and acts like a corset around the lower back to help prevent damage to the spine.
The pelvic floor and transverse abdominis function is a part of a system that starts at the big toe, which is why it is important to train the pelvic floor in movement or the ground up so that the body is supported in movements that mimic everyday life activities!
At the TMR we focus on four movement patterns created by OD on Movement that are authentic to everyday life.
- Sit and Reach
- Step and Reach
- Gait (Moving from point A to point B)
- Prone (grounded movements with either belly to floor or belly to ceiling).
The core is a vital part of all of those movements, without it you wouldn’t be able to use the body as a whole because it is literally at the centre of your body!
What do you think of as soon as you think of core work?
I think planks, crunches, sit ups, v-ups, bicycles and bridges.
When we are being super honest these are all the things that women complain about and have a love, hate relationship with.
What would you think if I said to you, that if you didn’t want to you wouldn’t have to do another one of these ever again!
In fact to really seal the deal these exercises are not ideal in pregnancy or in the early post natal days as they can do more damage then good, because when the core is not functioning properly there is too much pressure that the core can not handle!
I personally haven’t done any of those exercises in isolation since I started coaching women.
Not that there is anything wrong with them when done properly, but if there is a better, safer and more effective way to have a strong and functional core I would take that any day over 100 crunches ;)
When I look at training a pregnant and post natal mumma, I want them to be effective in movement patterns that look like things they are doing everyday, when we are moving our body is needed to work as a integrated whole! So it is a must that as a mumma athlete we are training for our sport.
So what does that look like?
Pushing, pulling, sitting to standing, stepping and reaching, bending and reaching, getting up off the ground, lifting and carrying the little human, the list really is endless.
What is not really needed is being strong in a plank position on the ground.
You get my drift.
When we fall pregnant it can become a pretty confusing time with what we can and cant do exercise and movement wise.
I know I was a teary mess after I came out of the joyous stage of falling pregnant, I was SO confused!
Here’s the thing, there are a HEAP of things you CAN do, there is just no point having a massive focus on what you cant do.
Time to switch the thinking from wanting a strong core as what we really need a strong FUNCTIONAL core.
So I am going to gift to you seven different movements that you can substitute for your normal core exercises that you would normally have in your session.
Most of them are in standing, because this is more authentic to everyday life when we are looking at MOVEMENT training this is what we are after.
WHAT YOU NEED:
- A small ball – can be bought from Kmart
- A resistance band – can be bought from Kmart/Target or any sports store
THINGS TO REMEMBER:
- Tall, long spine with sternum stacked over the top of the pubic bone so that the diaphragm can connect to the pelvic floor and they can function as a core system and are able to breathe correctly.
- Exhale on exertion (see breathing cues under the videos) - if you need help check out this blog for zone breathing, and this blog for integrating the breath into movement.
- If you are 6 weeks post birth and have been cleared for movement ensure that as you exhale you gently bring on your pelvic floor to protect and start train it for movement, as it may need reminding of what it needs to do. Whether you have had a C-section or natural birth it will still be stretched and needs healing and retraining.
- Remember this is just a few of many core exercises that I think are safe and effective, if you are wanting more keep a look out for programs launching soon!
INTEGRATED CORE MOVEMENTS:
Cues - inhale in the starting position in zone one and two exhale then pull the band apart.
Regression - Hold the band as far towards the end as possible.
Progression - Bring the hands in closer together or double the band.
Cues - inhale in standing in zone one and two exhale as push the resistance band away from you and back to starting position. Must not lean, stay tall.
Regression - Stand closer to the anchor point of the band, less resistance.
Progression - Stand further away from the anchor point of the band.
Cues - inhale in starting position in zone one and two, exhale as you pull the band down by your side, inhale as you return back to starting position.
Regression - Hold the band as far down towards the end, less resistance.
Progression - Hold the band further up the band, more resistance.
Cues - inhale in standing in zone one and two exhale as you tip from the hip keeping a soft knee in the grounded leg through the movement, inhale at starting position. Ensure the hips stay square to the ground, no rotation.
Regression - Reduce the range of motion.
Progression - Tip from the hip further with a longer reach from arms and leg.
Please ensure before beginning you read these terms and conditions.
Cues - inhale as you go towards the wall in zone one and two exhale as you push away from the wall. Straight line from shoulder to ankles.
Regression - Come closer to the wall.
Progression - Have the feet further away from the wall.
Cues - inhale in standing in zone one and two exhale as push the resistance band away from you and back to starting position.
Regression - Stand closer to the anchor point of the band.
Progression - Stand further away from the anchor point of the band.
Cues - inhale in standing in zone one and two exhale as you gently squeeze the ball, release the pressure on the ball inhale and then repeat.
Regression - Apply less pressure to the ball.
Progression - Apply a little more pressure to the ball, but not too much.