I posted a video last week of myself doing a pull-up drop set on Instagram and Facebook (find me @getmomstrong). If you don’t follow, please do! I post tips and exercises that I am too lazy to put on the blog, so you’ll get more mom strong than you already are if you follow along there!
Pull-ups were one of the last of my “fundamental” exercises to come back after the twins. I just couldn’t do a pull without arching my lower back, jutting out my ribs, and causing doming of my abdomen. That worsens a diastasis recti, y’all! Son of a gun. It was so frustrating. My rock star physical therapist advised that I take a step back. Way back. “Eccentric. Eccentric. Eccentric,” she advised. What does that mean? It means starting at the top of the pull-up movement and practicing lowering yourself down slowly. I did this in front of a mirror and would stop the movement as soon as my core protruded. I’d regroup, engage that core, and start at the top.
Crossfitting mamas–give up that kip. Practice strict, mindful pull-ups until you know for certain you can keep your core intact through the whole movement. As for me, I don’t kip anymore. I simply can’t keep my core engaged as I am arching my back in the kip swing.
It takes a crap ton of patience. It sucks. But you know what? I’m stronger now than I was before. I know how to use my transverse abdominis like a boss. My pelvic floor physical therapist told me this would be the case. She told me that if I took a step back and learned to do a pull-up with proper form, I’d improve. I did. I have.
Diana, this elusive PT I’m always talking about, paid me a visit at my home gym earlier this week. We are participating in a cool study that teaches new moms proper posture and then evaluates their pelvic health through a comprehensive survey (more on this later!). Obviously, we are hoping that women report better pelvic health and fewer complications postpartum. It would be so great to make pelvic floor physical therapy the status quo for new moms, wouldn’t it?!! Anyway, we got our nerd on and made a number of videos to help you gain strength and improve your core.
Check out this video. Please let me know if you have questions. Are there any exercises you’d like us to demonstrate? Shoot me an email or leave a comment!