WNiF Magazine - Summer 2017 Edition | Page 19

I believe this exercise is the foundation of the post natal woman and can re-habilitate her pelvic floor. • When your client is ready, ask her to take a natural breath in, then breathe all the way out and draw in and up through her front passage. (I use the very glamorous analogy of asking her to imagine she has a tampon inserted and she is gently trying to squeeze it in and up when talking about this pelvic floor activation) • Once you feel she has got her pelvic floor contraction right you can move on to add TA activation • Ask her to take her natural breath in and as she breathes out she can gently draw her pelvic fl oor in and up away from the hand laying across her hip bone to hip bone, drawing toward her tailbone to activate her TA It’s important to remember this is a gentle movement—no big ‘tensing’ or ‘bracing’ of the abdominals. There is no external way you can truly know your client is most effectively activating her Pelvic Floor and TA without her seeing a WHP. your client’s back muscles and stretch out her chest—pair it with a chest stretch for the best effect. A cobra can be performed lying or standing but for post-natal mums I chose a standing cobra, as many women will experience tender or sore breasts. How to correctly teach the cobra stretch: • Ask your client to stand with her feet hip width apart and a slight bend in her kneess • Ensure the chest is up, shoulders down and she has an awareness through her PF and TA • She has a neutral spine tip and her hands are resting on her knees • Ask her to tip at her hips until fingers are on her knees • Then lead with the thumbs drawing her shoulders back and down taking arms out to the sides 2. Cobra Almost every new mum complains of upper back and trap tiredness or pain, along with a tightness through her chest muscles. This is caused by a constant need to carry and feed her new baby, leaving many women in a rounded position for hours on end. A cobra stretch can simultaneously help to strengthen WHAT’S NEW IN FITNESS - SUMMER 2017 19