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3 Essential Core Exercises For Postpartum Recovery You Can Do At Home

3 Essential Core Exercises For Postpartum Recovery You Can Do At Home

3 Essential Core Exercises For Postpartum Recovery You Can Do At Home

 

This week we welcome Retykle ambassador Ziggy Makant of Zig FitMama to show us 3 essential core exercises that you can do from the comfort of your living room! These are also postnatal diastasis safe. Ziggy is an experienced personal trainer and group fitness instructor with a demonstrated history of working in the health & wellness, and the fitness industry in the UK and Hong Kong. She is also a certified pre and post natal coach (CPPC). 

Postpartum (meaning the period following birth), is a period of recovery. From a training standpoint, this isn’t the time where we want to be doing any heavy lifting or intense cardio, as the body has quickly shifted from pregnant, to baby being earthside! The most important things that you need to be focusing on is establishing good breastfeeding (or appropriate feeding for your family), resting, hydrating and eating whenever possible, and bonding with your baby.

What is abdominal separation? Why is it such a big deal?

One of the biggest concerns for postpartum women is abdominal separation (also referred to as diastasis recti). This is where that “six pack” on the front of our abdomen separates during pregnancy to allow our uterus to expand, and for the baby to grow. The connective tissue that runs between those muscles is called the Linea Alba, and it can become stretched or weakened as these shifts occur. All women experience some degree of abdominal separation at some point during pregnancy!

The two biggest concerns are function - can my abdominal wall bear load and maintain intra abdominal pressure, and aesthetic - sometimes referred to as a ‘pooch’, if you have a significant abdominal separation you may continue to look pregnant months and years postpartum.

The best thing to do is seek professional help and get an accurate assessment from a women’s health physio any time after your six-week-medical checkup, so you can have a tailored plan for your rehabilitation. 

It's important to re-train the deep inner core muscles to reduce the pressure on that exterior abdominal wall. In the midst of all the postpartum fog, or wherever you are in your journey. Here are three simple and essential exercises that you can do from your living room floor.

Locating and Breathing

Finding your Transverse Abdominals (TA) is first - these are your inner lower abdominals muscles. To find them, lay on your back on a firm surface (living room floor) and place your feet on the floor hip width apart. 

Next, place your index and middle fingers one inch between the hip bones, and then move them above one inch down. From there all we have to simply do is breathe through the nose, and try to breathe deeply into the space underneath your fingers.

Pelvic Floor Engagement

We naturally get co-contraction of the TA when we engage our pelvic floor, so this is a great way to get those muscles firing again. So, lying iIn the same position, try to connect your pelvic floor to your breathing. Inhale deeply into the space underneath your fingers, and as you exhale imagine picking up a blueberry with your pelvic floor muscles (the feeling of stopping urine mid stream, clenching, and stopping passing wind simultaneously). Inhale, let that all go and relax. Exhale and draw that blueberry up behind your belly button.

Toe Touches/Marching

Lying in the same position, we are just going to alternate raising each leg to a 90 degree position. It's key here to maintain contact with the floor and your spine without shifting the hips from side to side. It may seem easy, but if you’re doing this properly you should feel your TA firing.

                     
                     

Please keep in mind that if you experience any feelings of heaviness, dragging, bulging or pressure, consult your physician or physiotherapist.

To find out more about Ziggy and Zig FitMama, visit her Facebook, Instagram, and Website. Also subscribe to her Youtube channel for postpartum and prenatal workouts, wellness, and more!

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