In a previous blog, I listed a number of exercises that WON’T fix abdominal separation.
One of the movements I would’ve most definitely AVOIDED in my early days of training pre/postnatal clients was ROTATION.
Maybe you still do, and that’s fine. They’re your clients. It’s their welfare. I get it.
It’s just that in the whole grand scheme of rehabilitating a diastasis, I can tell you now…
…you will absolutely, most definitely, want to add some unloaded, non-dynamic, static hold, twisting movements into your clients’ program, to help release out the oblique muscles.
‘Release’ and ‘stretch’ are 2 separate things, in my language you see.
One’s active. The other’s passive. I’ll let you decide which one’s which.
Avoiding any one movement in the lifestyle that new mums lead is just not practical, is it?
I see this a bit like blacklisting, if I’m honest.
Ok, ok, sit ups – sure.
But surely, you advise your clients to NOT do these as part of their workouts, don’t you?
But you know, they are going to moments where your clients’ find themselves, at 2 in the morning, in a sit up position, as their baby wakes up again for the umpteenth time needing boob, eh?
They’re doing this once. They’re in control of their own bodies and you can’t be with them all of the time.
Ok, so that’s forward flexion. Let’s get back to the rotation stuff.
Due to their attachments to the rectus sheaths, when the obliques and the upper part of the transverse abdominis contract, these muscles pull the halves of the rectus abdominis away from each other.
What happens when the obliques are tight and unyielding?
Well, they keep pulling that damn rectus abdominus muscle apart. That gap is going nowhere, unless you address the oblique elephant that’s in the room.
Confession time: how tight are you through the side body? I am not proud to say I’m pretty darn jacked up in this region myself.
Do I have diastasis recti? Not last time I checked, no (in fact, just last week I had a client check the difference between her distended tummy and mine and she confirmed it – I have no gap, so it must be true. Har, har!).
An added bonus of opening up the obliques also aids with our clients being able to breathe correctly.
You do encourage your pre/postnatal participants to learn how to breathe thoracically, don’t you?
Breathing is actually where I start with most clients, if I’m honest.
Got a chronic chest or belly breather in your midst? Try releasing out their obliques.
This in turn increases their capacity to breathe using their intercostal muscles, which then improves their core function, decreases pressure in their abdomen, takes it off the pelvic floor and stops the rectus dominating everything.
Can you see how this full-body approach works, and the knock-on effect is a better functioning core, human and skeletal unit as a whole?
I cover how to release the obliques and many more aspects, in the same fun, factual way in my Diastasis Detective ‘7 Steps To Fixing Abdominal Separation’ Online Teacher Training Program.
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