Hi guys,  Kris from Custom Fitness here, your personal trainer in Amarillo. Before we get into today’s topic, I want to know what you think Custom Fitness is. We obviously provide customized exercise, nutrition and lifestyle modifications to meet the needs of our clients. We work with most adults and just about any kind of goal. But did you know there’s another part to Custom Fitness? We have another part to what we do called Amarillo Fit Mama. We work with pre and postnatal women (before and after pregnancy). Custom Fitness works with clients all the way up until they deliver, then Amarillo Fit Mama takes over to get them back into ship-shape. Many pregnant women have benefited from their time with us by doing prenatal yoga to prenatal resistance training and more.  I bring this up because today’s blog is targeted at our Amarillo Fit Mama crowd. Moms out there, do you know what Diastasis is?  If you look down at your stomach and see “the Matron’s Apron” or “the mommy tummy”, you may have it. It looks like the lower part of your abdomen is in a relaxed outward state. No matter what you try, you just can’t get it to tone the way you want it to.  Maybe it looks like you’ve gained weight, but you never actually did.  Today we are tackling this trouble spot. If you have questions about today’s blog or would like more info about what Amarillo Fit Mama can do for your pregnancy, give us a call: 806-322-3188.

For a lot of moms they struggle with Diastasis.  I can’t speak for all moms and I obviously don’t know your specific situation unless you are a client of mine, but if this sounds like you, talk with your Ob/Gyn about it. Diastasis is where the abdominal wall has separated from itself during pregnancy.  If you are not a mom, and you still struggle with your lower pooch, it could be a variety of reasons such as heredity or significant weight gain to significant weight loss and back.  

Think about like a six pack. Looking at someone’s stomach who has abs, you will notice a straight line down the middle (Y-Axis) that separates the “pack”. That line is a connective tissue.  

It works a lot like the elastic waistband in your favorite Thanksgiving pants. It can stretch, but if extended too far the elastic will stretch out and unable to return to it’s once taut form.  Your abs begin by being pretty close together. As your stomach grows, they stretch apart until they relax open. If your abdomen only stretches a short distance, it’s not problem for the abs to rebound. It is when the abs are stretching too far where the issue shows up and the tone look disappears in your stomach.

This is not hopeless!  There are lots of things we can do for this. I’ve been a personal trainer in Amarillo for seventeen years. After I gave birth, I, too, struggled with getting my abs back for about two years.  I researched exercises and found several solutions. My form of diastasis was a bit more severe than most of the clients we work with, but if your diastasis turns out to be about two to two and a half finger widths wide, there are a lot of corrective exercises that will help reactivate your core instead of just toning it up.

You go back to the gym after having kids, and think “I’m going to get back in shape, lose all this baby fat. This is going to be great!” The crappy thing is that no matter how hard you try, sometimes you still just don’t look like you’re back in shape. That can be really frustrating for a lot of moms.  It comes down to the fact they haven’t learned to reactivate their core and they haven’t been able to navigate the Diastasis issue and because of that they are unable to find success. In tomorrow’s post I’ll show you some exercises that you should do and should not do, if you are one of the mom’s struggling with Diastasis.

Checking for Diastasis is pretty easy. Check out YouTube where they walk you through the test. Typically you start off on your back and pull your upper body into a crunch position.  Keep in mind, you don’t want to be doing that test on a daily or weekly basis to check it. You want to investigate how the body is holding the abs in rather than just prodding around in the abdominal cavity.  If you’d like to have a professional check that, I’d be happy to have you in for a consultation where I can relay how much damage is present and how to fix it.

Some people have more serious forms of Diastasis (ex. More than 4 finger widths, extremely deep, full separation from the ribs to the pelvis, etc). I am an honest person. I will tell you if exercises can fix your situation or if the stretched connective tissue is beyond your control and surgery is warranted. An assessment is the first step to seeing where your abs are at and what can be done to get the body you want back in action. If your protruding stomach is a real struggle for you, let’s set up a consultation to see if your problem is Diastasis or something else entirely.

Another postpartum issue, moms run into is going back to work out and expecting their stomachs to just know how to do those exercises again. Remember, while you were pregnant, your muscle fibers and your nerve cells were stretched out. Now your brain and your body aren’t communicating in the same way they were before. It’s tough to get the two on the same page again. You have relearn how to reactivate the core by engaging the pelvic floor through the abdomen and into the back. Your core is everything between your ribs and hips, front and back. Pilates can be a great help for helping your mind and body gel once more. Look for a good instructor who will lead you through the reactivation process and keep your form and technique where they should be. Your body is rebuilding itself. It is necessary to know which exercises to do and which to avoid, to keep your body safe and on the road to a stronger you.

As a reminder, registration is now open for the final session of Down Size in 2017. If you have 20 pounds or 15 inches to lose before Christmas, this is for you. The program starts October 30th. Spaces are running out!  We only accept 20 participants per session to keep our programs personable. This way we know who you are, what you need, and making sure that you get everything you need from it. Not to mention, if you end up losing 15 inches during the 6 weeks, you get 100% of your money back.  If this sounds like something you might be up for, get in touch with our office and we’ll set you up with an application.

If you would like more help with your prenatal or postnatal situation or would like to come in for a Diastasis assessment, give our office a call at 806-322-3188 or e-mail us at info@customfitness.biz. At Custom Fitness, we are YOUR personal trainers in Amarillo. I’ll see you tomorrow for some tips on how to take control of Diastasis.