Monthly Archives: February 2014

66% of women who have abdominal separation also have pelvic floor dysfunction

A functional pelvic floor is long, supple and taut, a dysfunctional pelvic floor is tight, weak and lose. Kegels exercises have long been advised to strengthen the pelvic floor however keels actually make a dysfunctional pelvic floor worse! Yes ladies, that means you can stop squeezing your bits because it just isn’t helping. The best thing you can do to strengthen your pelvic floor is to strengthen your glutes (bum), and that means squats! Squats will work your pelvic floor in its optimum position (lengthened and taut) whilst strengthening the glutes. Strong glutes will realign the sacrum enabling the pelvic floor to remain lengthened, taut and supple rather than in a slackened, loosened state. Check out the video below see the perfect squat.

 

Monkey squat

Movements to avoid if abdominal separation is present

If abdominal separation is present there are certain movements and exercises you should avoid. The first movement you should avoid is forward flexion of the trunk, this means anything that requires you to fold forwards, for example situps. You should come up from lying on your back (supine) by rolling onto your side and pushing yourself up by your hands, this includes when getting up out of bed in the morning.

You will also need to avoid any direct abdominal strengthening work, common exercises to avoid include; crunches, leg drops, russian twists, v-sits, etc. All these exercises will do is increase the separation of the abdominals not help get abs back into shape after birth.

A big no no is planks and side planks, planks increases intra abdominal pressure, an increase in intra abdominal pressure can not only cause abdominal separation but can also exacerbate it too. This includes avoiding any position that involves holding your body weight on hands and toes such as press ups or burpees.

Oblique work should also be avoided if abdominal separation is present, this means no (resisted) rotation through the waist or side bending, and finally no heavy lifting.

 

avoid-crunches1

Exercising without knowing it

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For those of you that follow us for our injury or nutritional advice but aren’t all that interested in exercise, even in January!, I thought I would write a quick blog to show you that you don’t have to be a fitness fanatic to get abenefit from exercising regularly.
Have a think about what you enjoy doing and then think about how you could still enjoy it whilst getting fitter! Let’s take shopping to begin with, it’s something we all have to do after all! If your out and about in a town centre why must you always take the lift or escalator? By the time you’ve waited for the lift to come, It’s going to take you no longer to walk up the stairs!
If you’re at the supermarket instead then ask yourself if you really need a trolley? What about just grabbing a basket and carrying it instead of pushing a mostly empty trolley! This is even better because you won’t end up chucking that pack of biscuits in because they’ll be no room!
Just nipping to the local corner shop, why drive? Walk and you will soon be building up your fitness levels!
Finally how about just getting out for a walk! When I am out walking the dog I realise just how few people actually just walk for the hey of it! Walking is a great way to explore whats just outside your front door! Even if you just walk to the nearest park and back again it’s a hell of a lot better than sitting on your bum thinking how bored you are! Better still take someone with you! You will soon realise you’ve got a lot more to say to each other when your not sat in front of the TV!
Thee are loads of other options that can get you moving and help you reach the recommended guidelines of 30 minutes of exercise a day. Hopefully this will get you thinking and active!

Checking for abdominal separation

Lie on your back with your feet flat on the floor. Locate your belly button and place two fingers vertically up from it. Just above the two fingers place two fingers from the other hand horizontally. Take a deep breath in, as you lift head and shoulders off the floor slowly breath out and press the two fingers in to feel for a gap. If the gap is as wide as your two fingers or wider diastasis is present. Repeat the test below the below the belly button as well. Feel free to click on the video below to watch how to test for abdominal separation/ diastasis recti. how to check for diastasis recti

 

Ski fit

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Have you booked your ski trip yet? Skiing requires specific fitness to avoid injury and to be able to make the most of your time on the slopes, below are a few exercises that should set you up ready for your holiday.
So what parts of the body do we need to work on and what exercises should we do? Above all I would say a strong core is key to keeping upright on the slopes. So your focus should be about getting strong and building endurance here. I would suggest variations of planks and side planks are great exercises plus a while range of Pilates based exercises. Try to keep away from ‘big movements,’ never on a ski slope are you going to be doing a sit up or leg drop so why bother doing them? It’s all about specificity! Learning to hold your core strong against external forces, those churned up pistes are just waiting to throw you over, is a great idea. Try sitting down and leaning back almost to the floor, hold a weighted ball in one hand and drop it to the side of your body. As you catch it again as bounces back up you should feel your core fire on! If you’ve got someone to train with try having them throw the same ball to either side of you at different heights and you try to catch it!
The other area to focus on has to be the legs! Squats and lunges are the order of the day here! Work on building as much endurance as possible with relatively low weights and high repetitions. Finally as you fatigue towards the end of your sessions loose the weights and try to hold a squat at different depths to replicate that burning feeling at the end of a long run!
If this has got you thinking and you want to know more then get in touch!
Happy training guys!
David
@Varietyfitness
Fitness professional, Pilates and Yoga studio owner, sports therapist and nutritionist. Love anything fitness related #Pilates #yoga #Macclesfield