While most of us have heard the term “mummy tummy”, and a lot of us have experienced it – the overhanging belly that remains after having a baby – not many of us know that the reason why it happens and that there’s actually something you can do about it!
After I had my second baby in under 2 years, I discovered that I had something called “diastasis recti”. Yeah, what’s that you say? Sounds bad! And for some it really can be bad. It also doesn’t just occur after pregnancy, but can happen to those who have gained a lot of weight for any reason. Basically, your abs are separated into 3 major muscles – the Transverse abdominus and obliques (the lovely outer abdominal muscles everyone seems to like to tone :D) and the Rectus Abdominus.
When you’re pregnant and that beautiful baby belly is growing, the rectus abdominus muscles are pushed apart. For many they are able to mostly go back into position – but often with multiple pregnancies (and close together) those muscles become stretched out like a rubber band and are less and less able to retain their original shape. This can be very frustrating as it can also lead to back problems – your abs support a lot and when they are weak or injured you can really feel it all over.
Enter MuTu System! Designed by Wendy Powell, who has done years and years of research. she provides you with every bit of the science and understanding for why this happens AND gives you the tools to do something about it! I have heard testimonies from moms who have 13 finger width separation restored down to 1! And this many, many years after they were finished having children! Personally, my separations were about 2-3 finger widths, and the science makes sense that the muscles will never be totally and completely brought back together, but the abdominals will be strengthened, your back pain will be relieved, and you’ll notice that mummy tummy shrinking and disappearing!
After my third, I tried a few different methods to get rid of the diastasis. They involved wearing a wrap or binder, and though it felt ok for the first week, by the third I was ready to tear the thing off and burn it! Not to mention the exercises I had to do were spread out over the day, and I just wanted to get it over with once and for all! I ended up giving up, frustrated and figuring I’d just have to live with the overhang.
FINALLY, a year and a half after my daughter was born, a friend told me about MuTu. At the time the videos were e-mailed to you and there was a daily restoration exercise, along with added cardio. If you have ab separation, you are NOT supposed to do a lot of different exercises. Crunches are OUT, and also totally unnecessary. Your body needs to move differently to enable your abs to heal and a lot of exercises put extra strain on them and actually FORCE the muscles further apart, creating even more separation. Wendy explains why to avoid a lot of exercises AND she provides you with so many other options that are way more effective.
During my 2nd and 3rd pregnancies I had a LOT of back pain. During my 4th, after having used MuTu to restore my ab muscles, I noticed I had VERY little lower back pain! And I believe this has everything to do with my abs helping to support my back because they were strengthened by the exercises. Now, after my 4th, I’m using MuTu again and find that already within the first few weeks my ab muscles are restored and the separation almost completely gone!
Currently there are 2 main programs you gain access to when you sign up for MuTu – an 8 week Focus program that focuses mainly on restoring your abs and a 12 week program that focuses on abs with cardio. The videos are real time so you can use them as you work out, and the explanations and demonstrations are easy to follow. The program also includes food changes to make and suggestions on meals, gives you access to a great Facebook encouragement group AND MutuMama Club with great post-restored abdominal exercises and cardio options.
So how do you know if you have diastasis recti? It’s quite simple to diagnose! Lie on your back, raising your head slightly, and place your fingers above and below your belly button. You’ll feel a gap there that your fingers go down into. To measure the separation, place your fingers across your stomach. Also notice if you can feel your “abdominal wall” below the gap. Yes, it’s a little freaky when you discover the separation. But now you know there’s something you can do about it!
So go, run, check it out and start getting back those ab muscles! I want to hear all about it when you start using it so be sure to comment back here!