The dreaded “mum bum” : Squats are not enough.
“Mum bum” begins in pregnancy; when the centre of gravity shifts and takes the posture with it. Trying to offset the pregnancy weight, women push the hips forward and tuck the tailbone under. After pregnancy, it can be hard for the body to reset itself back to a more aligned position.
Because the most obvious sign of this altered posture is the bum, or lack thereof, most women think the answer to fixing it is bum exercises – squats, lunges, etc. The reality is that what needs to be corrected first is more structural – the alignment of the spine and pelvis, your breathing and the placement of the diaphragm and ribs. Then you can work on the butt muscles.
Think of your skeletal structure – everything hangs off your spine, including your ribs and pelvis, with lots of space and room to move between the bones. If you were to push all that forward from the ribs to the pelvis – as happens in pregnancy – your spine curves, the ribs jut forward and the pelvis tips. This movement takes the diaphragm, which sits like a bell under the ribs, as well as the muscles around the hips, pelvis and spine, with it.
A more appropriate approach is to do exercises that work to re-align and strengthen everything affected by the pregnancy – breathing, posture and the affected areas. The added bonus is that this approach will also strengthen the core and pelvic floor muscles, helping with any incontinence, diastasis, or low back pain that may also be a result of pregnancy. And yes, it will help fix mum-bum.
Sandra Brunner is a STOTT-certified Pilates instructor with over ten years teaching experience and the owner of Go Pilates. Sandra has augmented her Pilates training with numerous courses in Pelvic floor wellness, Thom Myers Anatomy Trains and Craniosacral Therapy. Her passion for women’s health and wellness led Sandra to develop and produce a DVD, “The Princess and the Pee”, to help women dealing with incontinence.
Sandra lives in Leslieville and teaches private and semi-private sessions out of her studio at Adelaide and Jarvis, as well as mom and baby classes at Toronto Yoga Mamas. You can reach Sandra via her website, www.gopilates.ca, or follow her on Facebook or Twitter.