Ladies, every good postpartum program SHOULD be built around:
•breath and alignment work
•trunk/core strength and stabilization
What you see in this video above is a simple 4 move foundation stabilizing routine. What you don’t see here, however - is my zipped up brace.
What’s a zipped up brace?
A zipped up brace IS NOT pulling your navel in toward your spine (God I wish this terrible cue would DIE) but is when you connect your exhale with the contraction of your pelvic floor muscles and your transverse abs in addition to the rest of your core muscles.
Yep - there are a few you need to be aware of for this besides your washboard abs (or rectus abdominis, if I’m being proper).
- Transverse abdominis
- Pelvic floor muscles
and the good ol’
It may seem like a lot of muscles to remember to turn on at once, but It’s really not all that hard.
Let me explain how.
This red beautiful mass of muscle in the image is the diaphragm.
If you can visualize your diaphragm and understand that it descends with your inhale and ascends with your exhale, then you can learn to sync it up with the contraction and relaxation of your pelvic floor.
Your pelvic floor muscles keep your lower organs from dropping low and/or falling out; your bladder, rectum, uterus, and the almighty vagina.
Now let’s put terms to function.
Imagine you’re in the bathroom about to empty your bowels when your husband BUSTS into the room because he rubbed hot sauce in his eye and needs to flush it! If you were in the process of pushing...it pretty much stopped mid-stream.
That stopping of the bowel movement was because you contracted your anus. We will refer to this area as the back passage of the pelvic floor.
Imagine the same scenario except for this time you’re peeing. The stop mid-stream is you contracting your urethra. We’ll refer to this area as well as your vagina as the front passage of the pelvic floor.
Now. Close your eyes and bring your attention down to your lady parts.
Step 1: Take a belly breath in and relax your front and back passages. You’ll feel it most in your front passage, almost like a downward pressure from within.
Step 2: Breath out and “zip up” or contract both passages
Step 3: Bring together your hip bones – which is another way of saying contract your transverse abdominals.
If you place 2 fingers between your navel and hip bone and cough, the muscle jumping up at you is your transverse abdominal contracting.
Altogether the cue sequence sounds like this: Breath in, breath out, back, front, together, and lift.
Perform this little sequence right before you lift, and you, my friend, will have locked down your pelvic floor and established a zipped up brace.