As a Mum I understand that excitement when you finally manage to attend an exercise class ALL BY YOURSELF. Having one hour to yourself, to actual listen to what the instructor is saying…bliss!
As a postnatal qualified instructor I would like to share with you my three top tips for checking whether an abdominal exercise is unsafe when attending a mainstream class.
It’s important for you to observe and understand what your tummy is supposed to look and feel like when you add weight to it in a certain way.
These tips will help you determine if an abdominal exercise is too difficult for you.
DOMING -This is the first clue that the abdominal exercise you have been given is too hard or intense for you, (it doesn’t matter how long ago you had your baby) when you execute the move your abdomen domes up.If you think about those times when you have sat up in bed without thinking about what you are doing, you are likely to see your middle, around your belly button push out.
Essentially what this means is you’re not using your core muscles to do the exercise, your back isn’t particularly supported and your six-pack muscles are taking the strain and doing the work instead.Your body is actually showing you it’s not doing the work properly by doming.
DOMS or DELAYED ONSET MUSCLE SORENESS Clue number 2! If you have finally returned back to your favourite gym-based class, and a few hours, or the next day you find yourself suffering with severe abdominal soreness after doing many sit ups/ plank style exercises. It could be because your abdominals are still not strong enough or you haven’t been checked for abdominal separation (diastasis recti).
It’s common to experience some slight muscle soreness when returning back to class, if you haven’t worked those muscles for some time. I know I did when I returned back to teaching! It’s important to understand if you can barely do your every day movements like lifting your toddler or baby without having to adapt in some way or another, it might be worth returning to this class when your abdominals are stronger.
BACK PAIN – Back pain more often than not is a fairly common symptom with pregnancy and being postnatal. If you find your lumbar spine in meltdown during a general fitness class, it can be down to any number of these things, intensity/ style/ number of reps being performed during the exercise are way to much for you.A huge red flag is also if you experience any pain whilst performing an exercise – it’s important you listen to this message from your body and stop immediately.It is important to understand the difference between a challenge and struggle for your body. Working through an alarming pain is just not worth it.
Before jumping back into a mainstream fitness class, why not attend one of our postnatal classes to learn how to modify and adapt abdominal exercises to suit you.
Did you know we also offer fitness and Pilates classes for everyone – not just pre/postnatal women?So, if you’ve had your baby a while ago…
…or you’re looking to continue your exercise journey focusing on exercising in a simple and effective way for your back, pelvic floor and abdominals…check out our Beginners Pilates classes, Beginners Yoga or Barre classes.