Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Tummy Toning Tuesday: Step 3 of The Tupler Technique


Welcome back to Tummy Toning Tuesday!

Let's review the 4-Step Tupler Technique®  that rehabilitates a diastasis recti, or separation of the outermost abdominal muscles.

The 4-Step Tupler Technique® includes:

  1. Tupler Technique® Exercises (Elevator, Contracting & Headlifts)
  2. Splinting with the Diastasis Rehab Splint®
  3. Using your abdominals correctly with activities of daily living
  4. Getting up and down correctly

Today we are going to focus on step 3, but you may want to review Step 1 and Step 2 before you read today's post on how to use your abdominals correctly in daily living.

Step 3 - Using Abdominals Correctly 

When trying to heal (or prevent) a diastasis recti, it is essential to learn how to engage the transverse (inner abdominal muscle) during normal daily activities.  Strengthening the transverse muscle, also known as the core, also strengthens and protects the back and the pelvic floor, in addition to delivering a flatter stomach.

When your transverse muscle is very weak (as mine is), this is challenging!  However, it is absolutely necessary to learn to contract the transverse muscle throughout the day, especially when doing any movement that might put pressure on the abdominal area.  The key is to avoid any forceful, forward movement.

Because of the necessity of avoiding any forceful, forward movement, you will need to support your transverse muscle with your hand, if possible, before coughing, sneezing, bearing down, or lifting something heavy.  I understand that this is not always realistic! However, it is imperative that the transverse muscle be engaged before performing any of the above actions.  

Julie Tupler's motto is that your transverse muscle is your best friend!  She recommends being aware of your transverse muscle before engaging in any activity.  If you cannot do the activity and keep your transverse muscle engaged, you should refrain from that activity.

According to Julie Tupler, it is impossible to engage the transverse muscle when lying on your back with your head lifted off the floor; therefore, you should NEVER do sit ups, crunches or Pilates 100 moves!  No, never!  She also suggests avoiding any exercises or activities done in a hands and knees position, because it is extremely difficult to keep the transverse muscle engaged in such a position!  

Learning to use the abdominals correctly in normal, daily living includes supporting the abdominals during any forward, forceful movement, avoiding activities and positions that   can't be done with the transverse muscle engaged, contracting the belly button to the spine when exhaling, and keeping the transverse muscle engaged throughout the day.  

To see demonstrations of how to use your abdominals correctly in daily living, refer to the Lose Your Mummy Tummy DVD.  If you are curious about what kind of abdominal exercises are safe to do, click here to read Julie's answers to common questions.

My Journey

I've discovered that whenever I bend down to unload the dishwasher, get the crock pot out of the bottom cabinet, or pick something up off the floor, I tend to relax my abdominals and "just let it all hang out!"  So, it is taking a lot of focus and concentration for me to remember to engage my transverse muscle before any and all activities!  

How about you?  Do you engage your abdominals during routine activities of daily living??


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