The whole point of core exercises are to work your core muscles! But so many times, cheater muscles kick in during core work. So, instead of activating your deep core during dead bugs or bridges or clams or squats, something else like your back or your hip flexors or obliques or other muscles will kick in and your core continues to stay weak.
Core exercises only work if you’re using your abs! This is one of the biggest problems I see with postpartum moms – they are doing the right exercises, but have so many different cheater muscles that their core doesn’t get a change to work and get strong.
But, don’t worry! I have a solution for you! Did you know there’s one movement that almost always delivers a sure-fire deep core (TVA) workout? Here it is: side planks. Side planks are excellent for the entire body, and due to the position of your body in the side plank, it’s very easy to use the right muscles and get your abs strong! And here’s even better news: even doing a modification of the side plank will still activate your core! So there are only a few things to keep in mind when doing a side plank, and it will deliver a very nice workout for your deep TVA muscles and help your diastasis to heal:
- Keep your ribs in line with your pelvis, don’t fold over yourself forward or arch your back and thrust your ribs forward. Nice long line through your core.
- Keep your head in line with your chin tucked and not jutting out.
- Exhale and engage your abs, keeping them nice and tight, and high up away from the ground, low back ever-so-slightly rounded to turn on the deepest abs.
Here’s a quick video to show you how to do an elevated side plank as the first progression into full side planks on the floor. This is an excellent place to start if you’re just starting your core healing journey. Once you can do these elevated planks for 1 minute on each side, you can move down to the floor for side planks, following the same guidelines. Questions? I’d love to answer them! You can contact me here.