Training the Postpartum Core: Heel Slides
I recently started teaching a couple postpartum fitness classes here in Denver. It's wonderful, I get to teach something I'm extremely passionate about, Finn gets to socialize with other babies, and I get to work with more mommas face-to-face.
For all of my workouts I have my clients complete a physical exercise readiness form and complete a quick screening. Mainly so I can get an idea of where they are at so I can modify the workouts so it's challenging and accommodating for all of my students.
It has been truly eye-opening.
I hope I'm preaching to the choir here, but recently the most common response I get to "have you been diagnosed with Diastasis Recti" is "What's that"??
My shock comes from two places. One, we seem to know more and talk more about it more than any time I've ever expereinced in my career. There's a flood of recent information, and people seem to be extremely vocal about it. I made the very wrong assumption that people were spreading the word. Two- I'm in friggin Denver! Denver/Boulder is like the happy birth capitol of these United States. There are more birth centers and prenatal wellness studios than I've ever seen, ever.
Anyway... now for one of my favorite exercises:
Heel slides are one of those super simple exercises you can do on your laziest days and is one of the most highly recommended things you can do if you do discover a diastasis. Reason being, they're so gentle. I will gladly write another post on why it's so important to START SLOW when you get your exercise clearance but I'll save it for now...
Follow along the video here:
A yoga mat
Plushy socks, a rag, or paper plate
Lay on your back and get nice and cozy
Place your hands above your belly button
Bring your heels towards your hips and (if using a plate or rag) place them on top with your heels flexed.
As you inhale, slide your left leg out in front of you.
*If this is your first time doing this and you have a diastasis over 2cm (or fingers), you can start by extending your heel out but stop when you start to feel any discomfort in your back, pressure in your abdominals, and especially if you can actually feel the gap widening or anything poking through
As you exhale, let your breath pull your heel back to the starting position
Feel your deep abdominal muscles gently contract while your low back stays nice and neutral
Keep your hips level and not rocking from side to side
Do it as slow as you can, always leading with the breath
Start by doing 10 on each side and progress by adding more repetitions or adding a swiss ball, like I am here:
Let me know what you think! For a super simple and easy to follow workout you can do at home once you're cleared for exercise, please click here:
It's only 15 minutes!