Do you feel stalled in your Diastasis Recti healing? Are you looking for more core training ideas? I’ve got you covered.
Training the core is often synonymous with crunches, planks, V-ups, etc. While these movements have a place in programming (and I coach them for Postpartum clients), there are other ways we can functionally train the core to get more bang for our time.
Core Training and Diaphragmatic Breathing
The best way to train the core? Breathing. Early postpartum (re) learning how to breathe and establishing optimal breathing patterns is a critical piece to building a solid foundation. Once we dial in breathing and pressure management strategies we can add layers and challenge.
Another important aspect of Diastasis Recti healing and adding challenge is body awareness and position. Pregnancy and life in general will often bring about shifts in alignment, placing additional stress on joints and muscles trying to heal. I dive into this here. How is your pelvis oriented? Are you dumped forward, tucked, or rotated to one side? Finding neutral alignment / pelvis position will be key to Diastasis Recti rehab and progressing to more advanced core movements.
Core Stability and Anti-Core Movements
Core stability is the ability to control the position and movement of the trunk over the pelvis to allow for optimal production, transfer, and control of force. In other words, maintaining a neutral position of the spine while breathing and moving the arms and legs in ways that mimic movements we do everyday.
I love incorporating anti-core movements. Through these exercise we are attempting to pull the torso in different directions out of a neutral spine position — forward, backward, sideways, or into rotation. We are forcing our core muscles to work against the resistance to keep the body in neutral.
Core Movements I’ve Been Loving Lately
Below are some core movements I’ve been loving lately. Some are more advanced, but the goal is to control movement of the spine / resist movement with anti-core movements. I’ve also sprinkled in some rotation. Because we all need to be able to move our bodies in all the ways.
Perhaps you’ve been told to avoid rotation while working out during pregnancy? I’m not a fan of giving “NO” lists to pregnancy clients because it really matters how the movement is performed. Are you experiencing doming across the midline? Feeling symptoms with the movement? Then perhaps it’s time to swap it out. But, some gentle rotation during pregnancy can feel great, especially as thoracic mobility becomes more and more limited with a growing belly.
Ok – back to core work 🙂 This post is meant to spark ideas. Core work never has to be boring or ONLY on the ground. Adding challenge is another way we can facilitate healing and increase strength and resiliency over time.
1. Quadruped Pull: added bonus of some thoracic mobility love. Add challenge by hovering the knees in a bear position.
2. Lateral Bear Crawls with resistance: I love training bear crawls. A movement that carries over to mom life. Lateral challenges the body in a different plane of motion.
3. Racked Carry with Marches: because we carry all day long. One-sided position incorporates anti-rotation, while also adding in some hip flexor focused work while maintaining a stacked position.
4. Offset Carry: two weights of a different size, ideally at least 10 pounds apart.
5. Anti-Rotation Dead Bug: Taking the dead bug exercise up a notch with an anti-rotation element. Decrease challenge by bending the knee vs a full leg extension.
6. Split Squat with Cable Rotation: maintain a stacked position as you rotate cable towards stance leg.
7. Med Ball slam: Adding in some rotational power.
Which one if your favorite? Let me know!
And if you’re looking for ways to progress back to exercise postpartum and integrate more advanced core movements, let’s chat 😉