I was recently given the incredible opportunity and great privilege to collaborate with doctors, physical therapists and birth professionals in the kind of book that should be handed out in high schools and gynecologists offices. This book was a passion project like no other. All of the authors of this book had something unique to share. From personal stories, to anatomy lessons, to helpful tips and solutions to some of the most common postpartum symptoms.
But this book is not just for women. Men have a pelvic floor too. And many even suffer from Pelvic Floor Dysfunction (PFD) without even knowing it. Do you know a man who refers to his “dad belly”? That could very well be related to PFD. In women it’s affectionately referred to as the “mummy tummy”, the fupa, the mom pooch. We’re told “you’re a mom now. It’s part of the package”, but it simply isn’t true. We just have to have the knowledge of how to fix...
I initially set out to create this 12 week program for myself. Because at 2 years postpartum I still looked 4 months pregnant, i had a very severe 4 finger diastasis (ab separation), I couldn’t pick up my child without feeling like my vagina was going to fall out, penetration was extremely painful, and i was just about ready to give up teaching Pilates.
The Pilates ab exercises just weren’t cutting it like they used to and no one seemed to be able to give me any answers. I even went to several of my most trusted mentors and asked them why it felt like I was being stabbed in the stomach when I tried to do the Pilates ab exercises. And they all pretty much told me “your core is weak. You just need to do more of it”. I now know however that the absolute opposite is true! So in a last ditch effort, I turned to the teachings of some trusted physical therapists and finally found the missing piece of the puzzle - the core functions differently after birth and...
So we all know and love high pressure ab exercises (crunches etc), but what exactly is a low pressure ab exercise? Well, it’s pretty much any ab exercise where the spine stays in neutral, and it can have varying degrees of intensity. Here’s an example of a moderate low pressure ab exercise for you to try:
I used to teach kegels as a stand alone exercise, but in my lifelong ‘research paper’ on the pelvic floor, i have learnt that the pelvic floor was never designed to function/move on it’s own. It was designed to move in tandem with the diaphragm and it actually behaves and functions infinitely better that way.
If the pelvic floor is the baby hammock (see previous post), the diaphragm is the Mommy hammock that attaches to the bottom of your ribcage and expands and contracts as you inhale and exhale. These two muscles are meant to move together which is why the breathing (pelvic floor training) i teach incorporates BOTH rather than just the pelvic floor muscle (kegels).
The reason why this tandem movement of the two muscles moving as one is so important is because as you exhale, we want both the diaphragm AND the pelvic floor to lift. Now here’s the really important part… As you INHALE, we want both the diaphragm AND the pelvic floor to move...
Think of the pelvic floor as a hammock that holds all of your internal organs in place. In women it also supports the uterus and it’s made up of ligaments, connective tissue and muscle that attaches to the inside of the pelvis.
A weakened pelvic floor can be the cause of all sorts of uncomfortable consequences ranging from leaking when you run, jump or laugh, to pelvic organ prolapse (you’d feel a heaviness or a bearing down sensation in your vagina). A strong pelvic floor on the other hand, is necessary for optimum sexual function.
There are several reasons why the pelvic floor can become weak, but I am just now learning about the impact of collagen and the effect it has not only on keeping the skin firm and fresh, but also on the muscles and keeping them resilient and strong, and that includes the pelvic floor. As we age, the body’s ability to produce and retain collagen diminishes, which is why us older mammas (wink) have to work much harder than...
If you know me, you've probably heard me say before that it takes 4-6 weeks of consistent workouts to notice a significant change in the body. And just 72 hours before we start to loose some of that fabulous muscle tone we've worked so hard for.
Now don't let that discourage you. On the contrary. Personally I think that might be the most motivating thing I've ever heard!
And since there is just under 6 weeks left of 2020, it's the perfect amount of time to get a really good head start on our 2021 workout goals. Because why wait til January 1st when we can do it now?!
So unless you are injured or sick, you want to make sure that you don't ever leave 3 full days in between your workouts. Why? Because the body CRAVES movement. And because working out will make you feel AMAZING!
If you get your workouts in this week for no other reason than because it makes you feel amazing, then my work here is done my friends!
So let's get those workouts scheduled...