Am I engaging my core?
A ‘diastasis recti’ is where the abdominal muscles separate in a dysfunctional way often causing a pouch. Actually this doesn’t just apply to women believe it or not but more often occurs for women post child birth.
When we say ‘engage your core’ in a yoga or Pilates class really this comprises a whole area of muscles starting with the pelvic floor. And this is an entire workshop of information however there are few things you can be mindful of from now, if you are not already. If a teacher says ‘lift your pelvic floor’ it is not just the area where you stop yourself peeing. That is a small part of it. The pelvic floor muscles are multi layered. Good news, they can really support you! They also need to be trampoline like to be truly functional stopping you from leaking if you cough and sneeze, and taking the load of your internal organs as you move around.
Pelvic floor cues
Imagine your pelvic floor like a diamond. Can you draw the points of the diamond in and gently up. And then let them go. The letting go is just as important.
The layers of the pelvic floor muscles all meet at the perineum which is between the vagina and anus. Can you lift here?
So now you are hopefully lifting your pelvic floor muscles (if not please take a look at the MUTU System here)
Activate your core
From the lift of the pelvic floor can you feel like the hip bones at the front of the pelvis are drawing closer together…or further apart. This is a bit confusing I know! Imagine a piece of string in-between your hip bones. If you imagine you are then pulling a band apart (I hope you are taking your hands up to do that!) it may feel like the hip bones are coming closer together. If you are pushing on something it may feel like they are going apart. It depends on the load you give those muscles.
And then do you get the zipping upward sensation of your abdominal muscles. And if you have a diastasis recti this is all the way up to the point of the separation and beyond. Sometimes I see people not quite getting there and then this is where we can add ‘load’ or pulling or pushing on something to feel those muscles come together. And we may add that into movement…so that you feel it as you do natural movements that may be part of your everyday such as picking things up or loading the washing.
A MUTU System review
Does the MUTU System work? The MUTU System is an extremely valuable online programme to help you heal from pelvic floor issues including prolapse and close a diastasis recti. It is also brilliant during pregnancy as it totally gets you in a strong position for the lifting of a little baby who is getting bigger day by day. It is also brilliant to help you improve your overall core strength and feel more powerful in a good functioning body. Yes..it’s good. It’s great because you will add the necessary load using balls and straps to allow your abdominal muscles to function in the right way again.
The cons? It is an online programme, and it can’t see you! Although there is a brilliant connect feature where you can post questions and see what other people have been asking with the experts answers. What this means is you can follow along and miss some valuable things about your body and no one is pointing them out. You may be breathing into your diastasis recti. You may have collapsed arches and need to learn to connect the whole muscle chain from your feet upwards as your abdominal muscles and pelvic floor are part of a chain and not isolated muscles. You may need to hear some different cues to really feel the pelvic floor (like imagine you are coming away from a sharp needle!). This is where seeing someone will make all the difference.
Classes run weekly or see Tish, a gait and movement specialist who can read your body and see what you are doing. See here
Get 15% off the online MUTU System programme here