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Hey buddies! To The Core is a new segment I am trying out! I’m still working out the details, but I think you guys will like what’s in store….
Since finding out I had Diastasis Recti, I underwent a lot of experimentation with different techniques and methods to self-heal my condition. So much failures, but in the end… Success. And sucess makes failures tiny victories. In the early stages of my health+fitness journey, I noticed my waist and obliques actually getting wider, and that the gap between my abdominals was getting worse. Is this due to exercise? In a sense, yes. When researching DR, you here so much of “which exercises are safe for me to do?”, “planks are no good”, or “can I do things like hang, golf, or do yoga ever again?”. The answer is both simple and complex. If you do these things, YES, it can make your condition worse. But the underlying issue, ladies, is a lack of mobility! “bulky”, tight, stiff muscles….
….Don’t you know that if an athlete jumps right into their sport without first preparing and conditioning PRIOR AND FOLLOWING their intense movements AND ACTIVITY, the result is almost always injury. My stiff obliques were actually pulling my abdominals apart FURTHER, to compensate for the lack of mobility.
The fix? Loosening those muscles and creating softness and mobility throughout them – so that your abdominals are ABLE to tone and tighten, closing the gap, and returning to the position they are meant to be in – nice and tight against your sides!
Don’t have a foam roller? Use a toy ball, which is just as effective! (I’m using a thick, scrap cardboard tube… Get creative!)
// Oblique Stretches:
1. With a ball or foam roller, position the object into the notch of your waist. Simply lay there, or rock gently side to side or up and down just slightly. For 1-3 minutes.
**YES, it is supposed to hurt! These tight muscles have not been stretched or massaged in probably…. EVER. The pain disipates in one – three sessions and everything begins to feel very relaxing and therapeutic.
***try it while watching TV with the family!
2. After stretching one side, lay on your back and pull your leg across to the other side, while facing away in a gentle “side-lying twist” stretch.
**This should not hurt or pull… It’s just a nice stretch to top everything off.
3. Repeat Step 1 and 2 on the other side. . . . . . . . . . . . .
// Ab Stretches:
1. Lay on your stomach and slowly sink into an almost “upward dog” position, then flat on to your stomach – with the roller or ball beneath you and below your sternum, pushed against your upper ab muscles. Lay there for a minute or two, or until sore muscle pain eases.
2. Finish with a good but gentle upward dog stretch. Never do a full upward dog, which is actually quite intense.. Something you have to work up to doing over time.
**Again – Do NOT overstretch the muscles by being too gunho! Breath out with every movement through your mouth, so your diaphragm properly contracts your abs and keeps the core steady against the stretching. And slow and steady wins the race!