Posture Correction and Pelvic Floor Activation

Today we’re going step-by-step through posture correction and pelvic floor activation. You can do this in pregnancy and postnatal.

We’ll begin by checking your posture.

Stand up, put your hands on your hips, and consider your pelvis position. During pregnancy many of us end up tiling the pelvis forward under the weight of the bump and compressing the lower back. This is called lordosis. Combined with pregnancy hormones including relaxin – which loosens the joints – it can be a major cause of lower back pain and last well into the postnatal period.

pre-and-postnatal-posture-correction

We are going to imagine our pelvis is a bucket of water, Try tiling your pelvis the other way and tipping water out the back. Now tilt forward. Tilt each way a few times and end in a comfortable, neutral position.

Pelvic-tilt-300x224
Now think about your shoulders. The hunched over position we get from breast feeding or working at a desk is called kyphosis – another posture problem that can cause back, shoulder and neck pain. Pull your shoulder blades back and down your back, lift your chest, chin in.

Good-posture-for-pelvic-floor-muscle-training-300x201

Now we are ready to find the right muscles and activate the pelvic floor.

One way to learn how to activate your pelvic floor is to stop midstream in urination, but this is no longer recommended, certainly not something to do regularly due to the risk of bladder infections. It can however help to imagine you are doing this.

Another great visualisation is to imagine sucking spaghetti into your vagina. Squeeze and lift. Engage the muscles, breathe, relax your shoulders. Now relax.

Next try to same thing with the back passage. Squeeze and lift. Maintain good posture. Relax.

Now let’s do both together. Imagine you are closing a zip, starting with the back passage and working round to the front. Squeeze, lift, hold.

That is the pelvic floor active! Now you are ready to do a full pelvic floor muscle training session, and kick-start your exercise programme.

Leading Community-based Exercise for New Mums

Feeling a bit fed-up is really common when we have a new baby. Do you ever feel these things apply to you?

“I never seem to have a moment to be a normal human being any more”

“I would eat a whole pack of biscuits and a large bar of choc to try and feel better”

“Sometimes I only get 5 mins of adult conversation a day”

“I feel guilty all the time for finding this difficult”

If so, have you considered setting up a walking group with Ready Steady Mums?

My Personal Story

Since I was pregnant with my eldest son (who is now three), we have moved house twice, I’ve changed jobs, and I’ve put blood sweat and tears into setting up Ready Steady Mums. And it struck me, during the recent conversations on our Facebook Community, just how common this life-turmoil is for new mums. I’m not the only one dealing with extraordinary amounts of change!!! We all need to put effort into having a life that works and that we want, for example by: making new friends; building a supportive community; adapting our intimate relationship to flourish within family life; looking after our bodies and minds.

When we moved out of Earlsfield I cried all the way to Oundle. I had just made my new set of like-minded mum friends, I was finding my feet as a new mother, I felt proud to be making a difference for other mums in our community through the exercise programmes and local groups offered by Ready Steady Mums (which was really starting to take off).

But the house was too small for two babies, and my husband had just got a new job near Cambridge, so we had to leave London behind. We ended up moving just two weeks before my due date for our second son….

It was a roller-coaster! I made some new friends in Oundle, I set up a Socialcise group and enjoyed getting back in shape after our second son was born. I hadn’t really settled in though, when we finally managed to buy the house we really wanted, a thatched cottage in a village near Cambridge. So we moved again! I found it quite hard to make friends here. I was a newcomer – already with two babies – and I had missed the friendships made by bonding over pregnancy. Again, thank goodness, I ended up making my best friends through Ready Steady Mums. We renovated our new house, I changed jobs, and I do finally feel settled.

That’s me. I don’t always get it right, but I’ve learnt a few lessons for “the new mother who’s life is changing beyond recognition”!

Community-based exercise can help us embrace and enjoy motherhood and, whilst it takes some effort, it’s worth it.

I can see that setting up local exercise groups with fellow mums as part of the Ready Steady mums Socialcise Programme has been one of the most enjoyable and fulfilling experiences of motherhood. My sons love running, tumbling and balancing and I’m proud to be a role-model for them being physically active. Sometimes Ready Steady Mums has been incredibly challenging and hard work, but other times I think it’s the most inspiring opportunity I have to impact on something I care about, and then it feels EFFORTLESS. I’m on a mission to support other mothers who want to set up Socialcise Groups so you can make a difference too.

At a recent talk I gave at the Medical Women’s Federation Conference I showed these two slides.

Far-reaching-benefits-of-exercise-300x224 Leadership-in-Motherhood-300x224

 

Think you’re not a leader? Think again. Become a Socialcise Group Leader.

Mothers as Leaders – Claire Gets it Right With Socialcise

Sometimes someone does something for you, that makes a real impact on your enjoyment of life. Making an impact for mums is what Socialcise Group Leaders are up to around the country, and that’s why we love them!

SGL Claire KB

Claire is up this week for a public display of affection by some of the mums in her Socialcise group. (sorry Claire)

Claire Kentish-Barnes has just led her 12th Socialcise session this week. Her group now includes all sorts of postnatal exercises from the Ready Steady Mums programmes to spice up their weekly walk. I went out with my camera and interviewed some of her group members to find out what it takes to make the difference Claire does for her community.

Top three things? Enthusiasm, patience, friendship. Here is a community leader with personality, humility and impact.

As for Claire herself, she is striking in her modesty. She’s just out there actively embracing motherhood. She’s motivated, having fun, and getting fit.

If you’d like to start up your own Socialcise Group the Ready Steady Mums team is here to support you all the way. You start with a walking group and you may or may not choose to incorporate other exercises later on. You can talk with a mum who’s done it before, and you’ll get leadership support and all the resources your need from us. Why not give it a go?

Your Date with Exercise: Fun For Busy Mums?

Remember the feeling? – Fitness is the thing. Our goal is inspiring and positive. Motivation is high. We are excited about our new exercise programme…

But now what if today, a week or so in, we haven’t stuck to our promises, we feel despondent and guilty, and we want to chuck in the towel?

We’ve all been there, and as mums we have an extra load of challenges to contend with like tiredness, busyness, and a postnatal body we might not be too happy with.

Well, I’ve got good news! You can get unstuck, and here’s how in two simple steps:

1. Firstly, focus on success. Celebrate the small victories, shout from the rooftops when you have a good session. Tell your friends and family and ask them to give you a cheer. On the flip-side, remember that missing a session – or even a whole week of sessions – doesn’t mean a thing. Get right back on the horse and remind yourself of your goal.

2. Secondly, armed with this unstoppable attitude to exercise, make a date with exercise. Book your sessions in your diary (and into the family diary, the babysitter’s diary, your supporters’ and cheerleaders’ diaries….) You need the structure there to make it a habit.

You know when you plan a holiday, a night out, a dinner party, or anything else fun? By focussing on success and making robust diary plans for exercise, you can to make your exercise as irresistible as those things!

Personally I like to train with friends, so I make an effort to get them excited too (aha now we see why Socialcise was born 🙂 ) I also enjoy wearing nice kit (aha that’s what all the prancing around in cool exercise kit in the videos is about 🙂 ) Whatever does it for you, get that in place so you can love your sessions and look forward to them.

Please come and share your success with your Facebook community when you turn your exercise routine into one of the most fun activities you have planned into your diary.

Happy training!

Katy x

 

This is supposed to be me "committing to my exercise plan". I'm not much of an actor, but you get the idea?!

This is supposed to be me “committing to my exercise plan”. I’m not much of an actor, but you get the idea?!