Connect With Your Core Again
Connect > Train > Load
Your muscle won’t get stronger unless your brain connects to it first.
I remember the first time I saw a personal trainer 3 months postpartum. He had me try a sit up and I felt so distraught and disconnected from my body. Like those muscles weren’t there anymore. I wish I had someone then to come along side me and explain, “Those muscles are there. Here’s how you connect with them again. No matter your goals after baby, you are capable!” As moms we quickly push ourselves to get back in shape or else we don’t feel complete. It can be frustrating to feel like you are putting in all this work but not seeing any results. You can be left feeling ashamed and stuck in your body. As a physical therapist it is my goal to help you connect with your body. This connection will ward off injury and empower you to make the next right step in your health journey.
Find the Connection
Whether you are a postpartum mom who feels disconnected with her body or a middle aged female dealing with persistent pain, you first need to learn how to breathe well. Breathing is the foundation for connecting the brain to the body. Whatever you are trying to strengthen, that muscle won’t get stronger unless your brain connects to it first. This connection is the primary point that is often missed. Most postural pain and mid back stiffness can be due to a lack of connection with the deep core stabilizers. This means over performing with the upper abdominals leading to a shallow breathing pattern and restricted rib cage. Have you noticed when you try to do crunches and get a doming affect in your abdomen (when your abdomen pushes out)? Doing more and more ab work will just lead to more muscle imbalance and create more dysfunction. Breathing properly will improve the mobility in your rib cage and make it easier to connect to your deep core stabilizers. The diaphragm is one of those stabilizers and using it aides the connection into your pelvic floor, lower abdomen (transverse abdominus), and deep back muscles (multifidus). Start to connect with your breath then connect your breath with your pelvic floor. This will improve upon the intra-abdominal pressure and create better balance. Once the connection happens, then you can learn how to train and load the whole kinetic chain for a stronger, smarter movement system. If you are wondering whether you can benefit from a program like this, keep reading below. If you want to get started on your breath / core connection now, try the following exercises.
3 Steps to a Stronger Core
Who needs a core connection?
Do you have knee pain with exercising? Do you have leakage with sneezing/coughing/running/jumping? Have you been diagnosed with a Diastasis Recti? Do you have chronic neck or back pain? Do you feel stiff and stuck in your body? Do you have trouble maintaining good posture? Have you been unable to return to running/sports due to injury? Do you have really tight hip flexors? If you answered yes to any of the above then you need to connect with your core again!
Here is an example from a patient who came to me because she leaked every time she ran and jumped. She wanted to be able to run again and to feel confident in her workout without having to run to the bathroom each time. She stated she was frustrated that kegels didn’t work and she felt like there was no hope. Helping her connect to her core and offering her strategies for her high impact sports has allowed her to run and jump without leaking in just a few visits.
She was so excited to feel confident in her workout again!!
Connecting your breath to your movement is where the magic happens.
Don’t chase your symptoms, get the remedy!