As a new mother, you are likely wondering how you are going to drop the spare pounds you put on throughout maternity. The main problem area is the abdomen and for good reason.
Sit-ups or crunches are likely not the way to go and these kind of exercises may even cause damage to your stomach muscles or back. If we want to understand this, it is important that we understand how our abdominal muscles work.
The Rectus Abdominis Muscle Group
The Rectus Abdominis is the outer layer of muscles that support your back and internal organs. They are the muscles that create that six-pack look on the abdomen. During pregnancy, these muscles can seperate and stretch.
This seperation of the recti muscle is called Diastasis Recti. Because this muscle supports your back, this leads to back problems. Whenever the muscles separate, they are joined together by a thin layer of connecting tissue. The connecting tissue is all that remains to support the organs. The result is “Mommy tummy” and the organs do not get the indispensable muscle support to keep the organs in position.
Usually, this condition will become more serious after each pregnancy. There are some exercises that can help to repair the damage.
The Oblique Muscles
The Obliques are the centre layer of abdominal muscles. They are located on the sides of the body and they run diagonally. The recti muscle joins with them. Every time you bend forward you can cause more damage due to the shearing action between the Obliques and the Recti muscles which can cause further seperation.
Sports like tennis (above all the tennis serve) should be avoided as this can make the separation bigger.
Transverse Abdominal Muscle Group
The Rectus Abdominus muscle group is usually the main focus of tummy exercises. The Transverse Abdominal muscle is the bigger, interior muscle and it acts like a corset. It provides most of our core strength and supports our lower back. This muscle group is also connected to the Rectus muscle. One of the main uses of this muscle is for respiration. This muscle is the focus of the “Tupler Technique”.
Mummy tummy Symptoms
One of the signs is slouching and bad pose but this in itself is not prroof.
You will very likely have back problems and have trouble lifting objects. There will be a substantial liklihood that you also have a tummy pooch projecting. None of these symptoms are proof that you have Diastasis Recti.
There is a plain test that you can do to see if you are suffering from Diastasis Recti.
- Rest flat on the floor with your back on the floor.
- Make sure your knees are bent.
- Place your hand on your stomach with your fingers pointing towards your toes.
- You will be checking your stomach in three positions.
- belly button
- 3 inches above the belly button
- 3 inches below the belly button
- Lift your head of the floor and using your fingers, push down on each of the three positions.
- Keep your shoulders on the floor.
Use your fingers to check out if a hollow appears at any of the three positions. If this happens, you have Diastasis Recti. The condition is worse, the farther your fingers sink into the hollow.
If you have Diastasis Recti, do not do the following:
If you are diagnosed with Diastasis Recti, there are certain exercises that you should avoid.
Any exercises that require you to rest on your back and sit up
Lifting objects by bending at the waist
Wearing a front carrying child sling
You can find more information at:
Orbit Baby G2