Your stomach after pregnancy needs time to heal and restore, and then some weeks of corrective exercise if you want it to lie flat and strong again. But when it’s fixed, can you stop exercising it?’
Well, Yes and no. The process of learning to use the transverse abdominis and pelvic floor muscles of your stomach after pregnancy properly starts out feeling slightly odd, but soon becomes an unconscious, more natural and functional way of moving.
But you still have to keep moving and using it correctly if you want it to stay that way.
You have to keep ‘using it correctly’. Not ‘keep doing separate core exercises’. Hence the yes and no answer.
In the first few weeks of MUTU, you may wonder how you ever even breathed previously without instruction ;) …Your pelvic floor is relevant to lifting your child… You’re doing 10 minutes of daily exercises which are waking muscles that have forgotten what to do… and even the way you roll out of bed takes conscious thought… How’d that all get so complicated?
The reason is, when you did that whole pregnancy and childbirth thing… your stomach muscles got a little less good at doing what they were supposed to do.
They got all shifted about and stretched out and changed and then they just kind of sat there.
It happens to the best of us. And its why when you lose the baby weight, you don’t automatically get a flat tummy.
But the human body learns and after a few weeks of daily exercises the weird feeling doesn’t feel so weird anymore.
You find that not only do you *really use* your abdominal muscles, holding them flat and strong (and together) whenever you lift or walk, but your posture is better too and any back pain you had before starts to subside.
This is your most important deep core muscle, your transverse abdominis, doing its job. Stabilizing you, supporting you and holding your body how it was designed to be held.
You progress the repair of your stomach after pregnancy at your own pace through MUTU Core Phases 1-4:
*Finding* the right muscles first…
Then *engaging* (using) them…
Then *strengthening* them.
You have to go through this process, because you can’t strengthen a muscle your brain isn’t talking to.
But you CAN stop doing the separate daily core exercises once you reach Phase 4 of MUTU Core. I.e. when you have achieved full core strength and stability. You won’t need them anymore because your core has learnt how to do its job.
This is generally at around the 8-12 week mark or before, but sometimes you will need to keep going with daily Core a little longer – it all depends on your starting point.
But if you want that muscle to keep on holding your stomach in and doing its job, you have to keep on using it. Using this muscle during everything from walking to working out to sitting straight becomes more and more unconscious, as your body learns and remembers.
NOT ‘pulling it in’ tensing your shoulders, or ‘sucking in’, NOT ‘tucking your tailbone’ or your pelvis… not even ‘a separate core workout’ anymore, just using your body right.
8-12 weeks is a sensible, productive period of time to see real changes in your body when you follow the MUTU guidelines and workouts. But it’s not a magic number, nor does it suggest that at week 12 you go right back where you started… if you followed the process (full details of MUTU System online training, here), you’re looking down at a darn sight stronger, flatter tummy than you started with. Don’t stop doing what works!