I started working with a new client last week, Claire. Claire loves tennis, but she was struggling due to her diastasis recti and incontinence. Her symptoms would get worse when she played tennis, particularly when serving the ball and fast changes of direction. Claire's in her forties and has been struggling with her tummy and pelvic floor for over ten years. She came across my website and decided that enough was enough and invested in my coaching programme to reduce her symptoms so that she can get back to doing what she loves without having to change her knickers every game.
For those who don't know what a diastasis is, it's a separation of your six pack muscles which usually happens during pregnancy as your belly expands to house your baby, but men get it too - you'll have seen them, those fellas who look like they're pregnant because the weight that they're carrying is behind the muscles.
My process for helping someone heal their diastasis is similar to the process involved in healing a weak pelvic floor that leaks under pressure. I explain more in the video above (if it's not there yet it's because it's still uploading). This post is obviously very general, whereas my work with Claire is individualised to her specific goals, body type and movement patterns. However the process is all about teaching the necessary steps to restore her core and pelvic floor.
Step 1 is to make sure that you know the difference between engaging, bulging and bracing. If you have a diastasis, then bulging and bracing are going to keep pulling the abs apart. Engaging the abdominals properly keeps the gap closed even as you're moving about. Then it comes down to paying attention to which option your body plumps for every time you pick something heavy up, bend over, squat down, go to the toilet, do a sit up or any exercise really. Once you know your strategy then you can make the changes needed.
Step 2 is to offload the pressure from the abs and pelvic floor. How you sit, stand and move about creates an increase in the pressure in your abdominal cavity which in turn puts pressure out and down. If you've got a weakness in the muscles of your tum, or your pelvic floor, then the pressure wins, the muscles lose and you get leakage or a bulge of your organs through the space between your abs. What this means is that the gap never gets chance to narrow and your pelvic floor never gets chance to strengthen.
Steps 3 onwards are tailored towards someone's specific goals, looking at lifestyle factors and so on. For Claire she wants to play tennis so it's my job to get her doing that without leaking or making her gap worse. Next week we'll be working on ways of breathing that actually help her pelvic floor work with her rather than against her and which encourage the space between her abs to strengthen.
If you think you have a diastasis (or know you do), if you're worried about it, how it looks, feels, if you don't like showing your belly because you think it looks horrible and flabby now, if you're tired of wetting yourself when you play the sports or do the things you love in life, don't want to end up wearing Tena pads day in day out, know that there is help out there. I coach a simple step by step process for eliminating or reducing symptoms of leaking, prolapse and diastasis that you can incorporate into your life RIGHT NOW! There is no quick fix, you do have to put the time and effort in to help your body heal, but it is possible. I'll keep you posted on Claire's progress as we continue through our 12 week programme.
Any questions, want to pick my brain? Book a FREE Discovery Coaching call with me here. This is an opportunity to ask questions, get some clarity and start your journey to stronger, drier, injury free running. No obligation, no sales, just a video chinwag via Zoom wherever you are in the world.
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