If you’re going to train mums to lift, then having a good understanding of which movements load the deep core in what way is fundamental. We know that plyometric exercise loads the pelvic floor because if the widespread problems women experience engaging in these activities. You could be forgiven for believing that doing lifting with these clients is “safer”.
Whilst that’s probably true, it is not the whole picture, and heavy lifting will contribute to pelvic floor dysfunctions if done without care to the core. Having said that, lifting is super important in a mother’s activities of daily life, and lifting safely will have an enormous impact on their quality of life and physical experience in being a mum (would you be a better mum if you were pain free and functional, or if you were leaking with a chronically sore lower back?).
In our Modern Pregnancy and Post Natal Exercise and Wellness Courses, you will learn a skill called “intrinsic core synergy” which is vital for women to utilise their WHOLE core – ultimately making them stronger and your training more effective! Intrinsic Core Synergy is just one step of what we call The Kegal Continuum – how to progress kegals to function while ensuring the health of the deep core.
Using the Kegal Continuum, we can easily progress our mama clients from lying on the floor Kegals (ie. what the physio gives them – if they’ve seen one), to a Clean and Press… and even better, you can follow the same logic in any lift. If you’re lifting with Core Awareness, and by this i do NOT mean bracing the abs, you will be truly lifting safely, and you’ll also get more out of your mama clients then you ever did before!
Here are the steps to a Clean and Press:
- Find the Pelvic Floor – preferably with the help of a Women’s Health Physio, as 50% of your clients will have the lift backwards.
- Teach intrinsic core synergy
- Progress to sitting, and then standing, whilst performing the breathe out and lift.
- Enhance the lift (or drop) by activating their co-contractors through hands and feet (“tensioning” using the Myofacial lines).
- Teach a squat – Synchronize the exhale on exertion.
- Teach an upright row – Synchronize the exhale on exertion.
- Teach a shoulder press – Synchronize the exhale on exertion, and watch for doming (especially if they have a diastasis)
- Teach the transition from a squat to the upright row, perhaps reducing your cuing of the deep core breath and allowing it to work automatically (if you’ve done your job right!).
- Teach the transition from the squat and row to catching the bar in a squat. I often cue the core breath in a different place (the catch) during this phase.
- Teach the transition from the “caught” squat to an over head press – watching for doming.
- Put it all together.
All of these skills are learned in our Modern Pregnancy and Modern Post Natal Exercise and Wellness Courses. Our next course is November 18th, with registrations closing on the 4th!