Here is a portion of my workout from using one cable. Time efficiency is my game, especially as a mom. Shown in this video is glute bridge lifts for glute shaping and core conditioning. When you lie down, take a big inhale than exhale and pull that navel in toward the spin, it should feel like you are zipping up from your pelvic floor to your navel. Once you feel "zipped up," contract the core. Hold that contraction the entire time as you raise and lower the hips while keeping your pelvic floor stabilized. Meanwhile, keep the inner thighs engaged the entire time as well. Imagine you are squeezing a ball or block in between your thighs. It will burn in a good way. The last rep, hold at the top with the contraction in abs and legs for 18 breaths.
Core Conditioning Does Not Mean More Crunches
One thing I have learned since having a baby via C-Section, is the importance of reestablishing my pelvic floor and transverse abdominis muscles. I am still not fully put back together, but each day I get stronger. I went from not even being able to correctly breathe in my diaphragm to now doing warm up back squats at 110 pounds in just three months of consistent training and breath work.
One thing men and women should know is that the way to a stronger core is not by doing more crunches. If you are a postnatal woman (be it 5 months or 5 years) you should go through a proper evaluation of diastasis recti first and foremost. Many people (men and women) have some level of abdominal separation. Women who have been pregnant, however, can have the severity of it increase after pregnancy. This is why breath work and establishing a new connection with the core is so important. If you do not know how to check for diastasis recti please reach out to your local health professional or email me about the specialist I trained with for rehabbing this condition.
Through my postnatal experience and training, I have learned the way to a stronger core is knowing how to breathe properly, engage the with the muscles mentally, having good posture, and having all those aspects supporting each other to help your body become stronger. When people who fail to do these things when lifting, they end up injured.
I have done ZERO crunches or sit-ups since having my baby and my abdomen is pretty flat and becoming more defined each week. How is this possible? First, around 5 weeks postpartum I exclusively did breath work. I did this for several weeks. In fact, I did exercises like the video above to reestablish a connection with my core. That was all I did until I was cleared to exercise. To me, that was my foundational work of getting me put back together. I did this work right in my living room, next to my baby.
Once, I was cleared to exercise, I continued doing exercises which encouraged the engagement of my TVA muscles. When I would lift (which started VERY light or body weight resistance), I made sure to have insane mind-muscle connection. I concentrated HARD and I took my time. If my breath was off, or my posture was poor, I immediately stopped and tried again. It was humbling. At times it was frustrating and sometimes it hurt. But it was surely worth the patience and thoughtfulness. I never compromised proper form for my ego. I always would make sure that my core was engaged throughout an entire movement while breathing long and light, soft and smooth. If you have ever taken my yoga classes, you have heard me say that millions of times. I feel this new approach to training, is only going to make me a better trainer and athlete.
I had said a while back that I wanted to share with you ways to truly engage your core beyond crunches and sit-ups. Periodically, I plan to drop off more tools for you to add to your workout routines so you can be your strongest and healthiest version. I plan to provide for you floor based movements that can be done in your own living room and traditional lifting videos that may or may not require a gym.
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I am a new mother who has her hands full! I juggle not just my coaching business, but I am also a full time educator. I also teach yoga in the Bay Area, and I mentor first generation college students.