Operation FUPA BE GONE is in full effect!
Recently I have been working out the most consistent I’ve probably ever worked out. It’s been a gradual build up of sorts actually. But we can get to that later. In the process of me losing weight, healing my diastasis recti and officially losing my MOM GUT aka the almighty FUPA has become the ULTIMATE goal!!
What is DIASTASIS RECTI?
In the event you don’t know what diastasis recti is, it’s the medical term for when your abdominal muscles separate causing your stomach to bubble or hang below the waistline. Creating what may resemble a “pouch”. It’s super normal and typically happens due to pregnancy or gaining weight.
While trying to find the right ways for me to lose weight and tone up, I wanted to be mindful of how to heal my DR without needing a tummy tuck when it’s all said and done since I’m petrified of having surgery. As I looked into how to strengthen my core when dealing with abdominal separation, I realized I had been going about getting rid of my fupa ALL WRONG!
I feel like when you are looking to tone your core and lose belly fat, your first instinct is to do crunches or planks. Without knowing, when dealing with DR doing those types of exercises are actually worsening that separation. So yes you may feel tight, but essentially your core will still be weak; it will be hard if not impossible for you to achieve abdominal definition. While the goal may not be to get a 6 pack, I’m sure you don’t want to cause anymore damage so here are a list of things I have learned in the process of healing and toning my MOM GUT!
Now quick disclaimer… keep in mind I AM NOT a trainer.. just a full on nerd. These are things that I learned that directly correlate with where I am in my fitness + wellness journey. If we are in like places, I really feel like this information will be useful!
1. Sweatbands Are Our Friends But Only When Worn Correctly
Disclaimer: if you grab this band I may get a band myself from Amazon LOL! Full affiliate marketing disclosure here!
I am completely obsessed with my SWEET SWEAT sweat band. its overlaps for an extra snug fit as you trim those inches. It’s literally perfect. Now when I first got it though I’m not even going to lie to you, I would wear it as tight as I could stand it. Talk about a flag on play!
Your sweat band should fit snug like a hug (BARS!!) but not like a corset! Corsets and postpartum garments are definitely helpful when healing your DR however if you are not able to ACTIVATE your core while you’re working out, you will be suffocating your self for no reason! Once I started wearing my sweatband right, I immediately could tell the difference in how my stomach was slimming and toning due to me being able to activate my core during my whole workout.
Which leads us to the next thing…
2. Activating Your Core Through Breath Work Is Not Only Easy It’s Therapeutic
Now is it just me, or when you hear the term activating your core you envision being able to pull out an extension chord from your back, pluging yourself up and waiting till your belly is all charged up like a Tesla? No it’s just me.. welll that’s fine! HAHA!
One of the main things I learned about healing your diastasis recti the right way is having the ability to activate your core while your working out and when you are out living your best life. One super effective way I learned how to activate my core was through a breathing technique called VACUUM BREATHING! It’s super simple! There are a few different breathing techniques that help you activate your core. This one is just my preference!
Intentional breath work engages the deepest part of your core (your transverse abdominal muscles) while also strengthening your pelvic floor muscles (which is also a pivotal component of getting rid of le fupa). Lets not even mention the mental health aspect! I freaking STAN breath work!
I do this throughout my whole workout. Whether I’m doing the stairs or I’m strength training! I also encourage you to do this technique while you are stationary so you can train yourself to be able to do it while you are walking, running or just simply out and about! Here is a video of how you can do it! This video goes into depth of different breathing exercises that help engage your core!
Literally I do my breathing activities everywhere. It’s like me clearing my mind, tightening my core and strengthening my pelvic floor muscles all at the same damn time and I’m so here for it!
3. Walking Is Lit.. But Running Just Might Not Be It
BARSSSS! Seriously, after I press publish I need to take my behind to the stu because I am on FIRE HAHA!
Cardio is one of the biggest components to my journey so far. For me I have found walking on an incline for atleast 20-30 minutes at a descent speed (at least 2.8.. 3.2 if you’re about that life) has allowed me to trim the fat and begin to sculpt my core better than I ever have due to me being able to be intentional about activating my core and engaging my pelvic floor muscles. Once I trained myself to tighten my core (the right way) even when running adding that piece into my workout was insurmountable! HOWEVER I had to build up to that point. Running with a weak pelvic floor can cause more trauma to that muscle while also worsening your diastasis recti. So just like wearing your sweat band incorrectly. You will lose weight, but you will not be losing that fupa no time soon.
Now that you’re more mindful, if it hurts to run. DON’T! Walk on an incline of 10 or more ( I do 12) at a pace of 2.8+ (I do 3.2) and just really focus on your breathing and activating those key muscles (pelvic floor and transverse abdominal core). As you strengthen those you can do more, but just know you are still kicking ass starting with a nice brisk walk!!
4. LOW IMPACT Core Workouts Are Where It’s At SIS!!
Last but definitely not least! This is the real kicker right here, shortay! What are the first workouts you think of when trying to tone your core muscles. Crunches? Planks? Mountain climbers? When trying to heal the separation of your abdominal muscles, these will actually get you further and further from your goal.
True Story: I was working with a trainer in training HAHA! Her body was crazy! Seriously Goals on top of mother freaking GOALS! She advised me to do 100 core reps broken down in however many sets a day. She didn’t specify what to do so I got to it like I did before having kids. Your girl was hitting like 100 crunches and 2 minutes of planking a day until I noticed that not only was I not toning up, my belly was hanging a little more. At the time I didn’t think to look up what I needed to do for my specific body issues other than what I should eat. Which really set me back but HEY I lived and learned so I could share with you!
Shout out to Google and Pinterest, though. Other than bugging my fitness friends, I have been relying on Pinterest and Google to craft my workout plan! Here are some of my favorite low impact core workouts that I’m currently doing!
I started a Pinterest board to help save useful tips as well! Hopefully if you made it to this point you are filled up with so much knowledge that you feel ready to fight your fupa with me! Comment your fitness and wellness goals below; let me know if your apart of Operation FUPA Be Gone with me!