ABDOMINAL CONING …have you heard about it but struggle to know exactly what it is and what it looks like ? Here’s a tip that might help… When you see abdominal coning (don’t freak out) instead use this as information from your body that the movement you are doing during pregnancy or at any stage of motherhood is not optimal.
Below is am image of what abdominal coning looks like – I personally call it the “core toblerone” as it looks a bit like one of those triangle shaped chocolate bars !
Abdominal Coning and Diastasis Recti
Abdominal coning signifies that your linea alba, the mid line of the core is not activating effectively. Repetitive strain on this area can cause or make Diastasis Recti worse. This can happen during all types of movement (not only with traditional core based exercises such as sit ups or crunches) it can happen for example, pushing a heavy loaded pram or as per the image below doing a leg press
Not sure exactly what Diastasis Recti is ? Grab my complimentary infographic here
Core coning does not mean DON’T MOVE
As mentioned abdominal coning or doming is simply feedback from your body so listen to it and adjust as needed. As per the tips below :
- Check your posture – alignment affects how the core activates and spreads load
- How heavy is the weight you are lifting, pushing and pulling – is it optimal for your energy levels …if you are tired your core muscles will also be tired (especially if recovering from birth) !
- Are you breathing as you move – its all about pressure control. I explain this right here in my Instagram Page Video all about the CORE CANNISTER
Micro adjustments when you move can make a BIG difference to the strain you your core …as its all CONNECTED !
Don’t just default to Diastasis “SAFE” exercises
For too long, women have been told to “avoid” certain exercises if they have an injury based DR or Diastasis Recti. And while I strongly believe that your foundation must be reset before jumping back into typical core based moves, or intense forms of exercise like running. I also strongly advise mamas of all ages and stages to get into the habit of asking “does this support me” and steer clear of terminology that limits them from PROGRESSING through movement effectively & INTUITIVELY !
It’s time as women we move forward and shift away from only performing “diastasis safe” exercises and LEARN TO, choose exercises that allow us to optimize our OWN core and pelvic floor function
In terms of healing and re-strengthening a core with injury based DR (or other core / pelvic floor concerns), try to focus on
- How do you connect to your core ?
- Do you understand how pressure inside your core is managed ? Grab my complimentary CORE BREATHING infographic as a fabulous place to start
- Tune into your own ENERGY management if you are tired / depleted your muscles including core / pelvic floor will be as well ! Never think a workout should be harder or go for longer to “get results” #outdated and more on that here
- Learning how to optimise movement + whole core control …beyond just the 6pack – I can teach you how to do this with my BFABMETHOD which is use in my 1:1 coaching, group sessions and online programs
Connect to your WHOLE body better
Regardless if you are 6 weeks, 6 months or 6 plus years post birth NOW is best time to connect to your body better which will instill a better understanding about efficiency in ALL exercises.
Begin today with simply asking yourself ‘DOES THIS SUPPORT ME ?” and become mindful of your movements, rather than just getting the reps done or going through the motions
This, will not only begin to address any or all core and pelvic floor injuries, but will also help you to tune in to when your body is ready to progress into more challenging exercises.
- How do you breathe and how does it assist you with your core and pelvic floor function, as the diaphragm is connected to the core.
- How do you engage your core and pelvic floor? Do they fire simultaneously in both exercise and reflexive states?
- Can you connect to both the lengthening and contracting phases of your pelvic floor?
- Are you aware of your WHOLE core connection beyond just the 6 pack ?
- During core moves are you managing your intra-abdominal pressure ?
- Discovering this means when you progress to more amplified moves and know HOW to address the above appropriately, then YES you will feel SAFE to be in that specific move.
It is simple – make these adjustments and see no coning, then the move is great ! Still see coning – then maybe it is time to find an alternative move or modify further or connect with a certified trainer who can guide you.
P.S It’s time to quit doubting your strength + your ability to move forward…just like Sara who got back to heavy lifting after a 4 finger ab separation & Clare who now comfortably planks !! (check them out here)
Dahlas Fletcher is one of Australia’s most respected and successful certified and experienced Pregnancy and Female Fitness Trainers. Her goal is to help you be the happiest, most fabulous version of yourself, inside and out.