We have been counting down the days until Christmas by giving ourselves a special gift - the gift of a healthy core. As moms, we tend to overlook ourselves, particularly during the holidays. But we want you to take some time to keep yourself healthy and give yourself the strength for motherhood.
Most often when we hear the words “core muscles,” we automatically think of our abdominal muscles. But our core is actually made up of lots of different muscles that run the whole length of our trunk, from our diaphragm at the top to our pelvic floor at the bottom. And all of these muscles are very important to strengthen so we can perform the tasks of motherhood to the best of our ability. Also, during pregnancy and childbirth, the muscles of our core tend to get stretched and weakened which makes it even more important to strengthen them!
Here are 3 tips on how to strengthen through these important core muscles safely and effectively:
Know your body - Many women experience issues after their pregnancies, such as abdominal separation or pelvic floor weakening, but never realize it. If you feel like something might be off, talk to your doctor about it! See if working with a physical therapist might be a good step for you to get back to a healthy point. If you don’t know there is a problem, you may end up making the problem worse. One issue women can face after pregnancy is diastasis recti, or the separation of the abdominal muscles. Our instructors are trained in how to test for this and we would love to help you discover where your body is at!
Honor your body - Once you know what is going on in your body, honor what it is able to do RIGHT NOW. If you just had a baby, it’s important that you slowly work back up to where you were pre-pregnancy. If you have abdominal separation or pelvic floor issues, you might need to work through modifications for a time as your body heals. It’s ok if your workout looks different from the mom next to you as long as you are staying healthy!
Draw in rather than push out - When you are working through the core muscles, it is important to focus on drawing in those muscles rather than pushing them out. A cue we often use during class is to bring your bellybutton in towards your spine during any type of abdominal work. Keeping this in mind forces you to activate those muscles by drawing in rather than pushing out. If you do have any damage to your core, pushing out can cause further issues for you.
So much of what we do as mothers comes from our core so it is important that we are working from a place of strength, rather than weakness. Our goal is to strengthen you and support you IN your motherhood. If you want to learn more about this subject, make sure to head to our Facebook page and check out our 12 Days of Fit Core video series!