When training your pre/postnatal clients in quadruped position (hands and knees/all fours), do you sometimes struggle getting them to keep their pelvis stable?
When you prompt them to ‘lift their right leg behind them’, do you find their pelvis automatically shifts over to the left to compensate?
Do you have to get ‘hands-on’ quite frequently to ‘hold’ their pelvis in place?
Often notice how their pelvis shifts to the right or the left, and no matter how many times you ‘coach’ and ‘cue’ them to NOT do this, it still happens?
I have a great little strategy to help you to get your clients to take ownership of their own pelvis! Sounds interesting, doesn’t it?
Do you struggle getting your pre/postnatal clients to understand shoulder stabilisation when performing hands and knees exercises in your classes?
Do you find yourself having to get ‘hands-on’ quite frequently to ‘hold’ their shoulders down, away from their ears when they do a simple ‘arm float’ to the front, or ‘opposite arm to leg’ movement from quadruped?
I’ve worked with over 1,000 pregnant and postnatal women, so let me share a very quick, simple, effective tip to help you:
a) keep your clients’ shoulders in the right position, and
b) aid your clients’ understanding of what the shoulders should fell like to be in the correct alignment
Watch this short 3 minute video I shot live on my Facebook Page, where I share one very tiny modification you can use which will assist you with both elements mentioned above.
Hi! I’m Claire Mockridge, an Ante/Postnatal Fitness Expert who’s worked with over 1,000 pre/postnatal women.
When it comes to training the pelvic floor muscles during pregnancy and after birth, I’m here to tell you, things in the ‘downstairs’ department in recent years have most definitely changed.
I use a full-body approach to rehabilitating pelvic floor dysfunction.
You can find out more about the techniques I use here.
When I see a new client with front or back bottom issues, the first thing I ask them to do as they enter my treatment room is take off their shoes.
I’ve welcomed over 1,000 pregnant and postnatal women into my pre/postnatal fitness and Pilates classes.
When I did my Level 3 Pre/Postnatal certificate (like a hundred years ago!) there really wasn’t a lot of emphasis on the exercise element of the qualification.
Yes, there were exercises demonstrated and listed in the written manual for sure.
I vividly remember walking away with a grand total of 3 safe abdominal exercises for pregnant women…
…and, the postnatal section of my instructor booklet consisted of 3 x A4 pages which consistenly stated ‘no adaptations / same as for pregnancy’ (can you believe it?!).
One observation was, there was certainly a lot more emphasis on learning the theory, than perfecting the practical and performing (which is sort of important for your confidence if nothing else, huh?).
I can remember spending hours putting a lesson plan together that ‘ticked all the boxes’ so to speak to pass the assessment, but when it came to the real wide world of teaching pre/postnatal – I really didn’t have a lot to go on.
Unless you’ve had your head in the sand, you’ll have noticed that there’s been a shift towards ‘functional’ training over the past few years.
Nothing new there.
So today I’m going to give you the tools to enable you to freshen up your standing exercises safely and effectively for your pre/postnatal clients.
Want to know how to test postnatal clients for abdominal separation?
Covered diastasis recti very very briefly on your Level 3 ante/postnatal qualification and really need a re-fresher
Really don’t feel confident in your abilities testing for any separation?
Watch this video below:
Diastasis Detective – Online Instructor Fixing Abdominal Separation CPD Program Opening Again in 2018!
Sign up NOW to the VIP priority list, and be one of the first instructors notified when the program goes LIVE!
In simple terms, the Rectus Abdominus (six-pack muscle) sometimes separates during pregnancy (see picture above) to accommodate growing baby bump.
It’s important to point out that abdominal separation happens in some, but not all pregnancies.
It’s vital though that if a client comes to you after birth (at any stage), presenting with abdominal separation, that you ensure you’re giving appropriate adaptations and modifications to not make the diastasis worse.
You’re in for a treat here…
I’m going to take you BEHIND THE SCENES at MockridgeHQ…
A little window into my soul as a Pre/Postnatal Expert, so to speak…
I’ll be sharing a list of client questions I’ve received so far this week….
…and I’m inviting you to come and rejoice in the celebrations I’ve encountered and hard times too.
Join me LIVE on Periscope the morning of THURSDAY 30 JULY 2015 where I’ll share this information with you.
I’ve been there and done it.
I’ve worked with over 1,000 pregnant and postnatal women.
My knowledge and skills when it comes to setting exercise programs for this specialist population is sound.
If you’re struggling to come up with fresh, new exercises for your pre/postnatal classes or personal training sesions – I can help.
Do you have a question about a particular stretch, the number of reps you should be doing or how intense exercise should be for your mums-to-be?
I can help.
Join me LIVE on Periscope the morning of FRIDAY 24 JULY 2015 where I’ll answer your questions.
When it comes to training the pelvic floor muscles, it’s vital that we take stock and think about the flexibility aspect of this musculature, particularly in relation to our pregnant clients.
With many of us sitting down for the majority of our day (not just pregnant clients here), and choosing this position for ‘comfort’, it’s starting to affect the very functions of our pelvic floor muscles.
How are you sitting right now reading this?
Are you sat with your feet flat on the floor, knees hip-distance with a neutral pelvis?
What’s ‘neutral’ in chair-sitting?
Well, that’s where your hip bones (ASIS = hip bones at the front of your pelvis) are directly above the pubic bone (PS = pubis symphysis)?
NB – If you place your hand in your lower back here, it should be ‘concave’, not ‘convex’.
Or, did you notice, you have a tendency to sit on your coccyx with your tailbone tucked under and your hip bones way backwards?
Flat arse syndrome, anyone?
Now, with this information in mind, think about the origin and insertion points of the pelvic floor.
When it comes to teaching pre and postnatal, and for me in particular Pilates instruction for these populations, I find things both simple and scary.
Well, once you know the limitations or boundaries of what’s safe and what’s not for the pre/postnatal client, it’s like there’s a simple line that you just don’t cross.
There are exercises you’ll feel comfortable teaching to your prenatal groups and other movements you’ll find are more appropriate for 1-2-1 situations.
Well, let me tell you a little story of one particular pregnancy Pilates course I instructed recently which had 12 participants booked on the 6-week course.
And, would you believe, 8 clients out of those 12 had these pre-existing injuries/issues:
- Client 1 – knee surgery – preventing her from being on her hands and knees
- Client 2 – pelvic girdle pain – affecting the SI joint (sacro-iliac joint)
- Client 3 – pelvic girdle pain – affecting the pubis symphysis (pubic bone)
- Client 4 – carpal tunnel syndrome – preventing her wrists to be in flexion
- Client 5 – sciatica – resulting in shooting pains from the glutes down the back of each leg when seated for long periods and requiring crutches to walk even short distances
- Client 6 – fourth grade placenta previa – requiring Doctor’s Consent before exercise
- Client 7 – hypermobility – requiring modifications throughout and the client to wear wrist splints
- Client 8 – suspected diastasis recti not rehabbed from previous pregnancy causing back pain and a significant lack of ‘core’ strength
As you can see – it was one tough session to teach, but, with a bit of tweaking here and there, I did actually manage it.
Please don’t let me put you off teaching pregnancy Pilates – I’m just giving you a window into my life as a Pre/Postnatal Fitness Expert who has the experience and know-how.
You can see from the list of injuries/medical conditions above, that it wasn’t an easy class to teach, but, I managed it.
There are some things you truly only learn from experience and dealing with pre-existing and pre/postnatal conditions is one of them.
So, what the heck did I manage to teach for a 6-week Pilates course to this seemingly ‘walking wounded’ set of pregnant clients?
Well, the first thing to do was analyse what EVERYONE present can do, and then start to make modifications around this.
Here’s a breakdown:
- Standing stuff (not surprisingly) was fine for all participants.
- Seated (on floor) positions were suitable for everyone in attendance.
- Side-lying exercises, keeping the range of movement smaller for those with PGP/sciatica was actually fairly simple to modify.
- Seated (chair-based) exercise was fine for all, with precautions for the client suffering with sciatica, depending on how she was feeling ‘on the day’.
- Hands and knees positions were possible for all but one client, so when instructed to step down to the floor, she sat on a chair instead and did arms or knee lift exercises. For those with wrist/PGP-type symptoms: 1) arm movements were given to those with PGP, and 2) knee lift movements prescribed for those with wrist problems and 3) wall press ups given to the lady who couldn’t kneel.
And, there you have it.
Not as hard as you think, eh?
All it takes is a bit of planning, preparation, and the realisation that standing work is not only more effective, but pretty much suitable for all pregnant clients.
You’ll notice only one client in the list had suspected diastasis recti (abdominal separation).
I’m happy to report that using my “7 Steps to Fixing Abdominal Separation” method I created myself, the exercise I did with her during pregnancy, really helped lessen her separation considerably AND give her a sense of core strength back.
If you’d like to specialise in abdominal separation rehab, you’ll be pleased to know my NEW ‘Diastasis Detective’ online instructor CPD program will be live again in 2018!
Be one of the first to know when the new programme is launched by signing up to my VIP list