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Header image Abdominal Work

Here are some factors that we consider when programming and some signs to look for to tell if you are ready to move on to the next level.

When ladies first start classes our assessment form or telephone interview will capture “red flags” or areas we need to be mindful of. Someone who has the potential to have more vaginal wall laxity or bladder leakage needs a different strategy to someone else who has difficulty relaxing their pelvic floor muscles. Abdominal muscle separation, number of pregnancies, baby weights, exercise history, presence or history of pain and social factors plus many more all influence the approach that is taken to your abdominal wall rehabilitation. Having the opportunity to do a screening appointment then provides information on your baseline control, the state of your abdominal wall, rib cage movement, body awareness and a sense of your overall well-being. So many things going on in our heads for all the ladies in class!

There is not a set of exercises that are the right ones to do or a set that is blacklisted. Rather there is a place to start and to progress. OK so let’s look at the indicators for progressing the exercise:

  • Achieving the set number of repetitions with good control and technique
  • Capable of managing your breath (not breath-holding, good breathing pattern)
  • No bulging of your abdomen down the midline (Bulging can be abdominal contents pressing up into a diastasis/gap between the outer abdominal muscles. A broader bulging can also be a dominance of the rectus abdominal muscles (outermost layer or your abs that run up and down closest to the midline) with poor core contraction.
  • No involution in the midline of your tummy where the connective tissue may have been stretched.
  • Capable of maintaining a tensioned/flattened appearance to the abdomen indicating the deep abdominals are working.
  • Able to keep a gentle curve in your lower back (no arching up from the starting position) No sense of vaginal pressure either at the time you are exercising or later. (Sometimes the new exercise feels fine at the time but later in the day you may notice that there is some heaviness)

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