What Are the Foundational Five?

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Photo Credit: Son of Groucho via Compfight cc

This is the best place to start your Fit2B journey. Maybe you are coming to these workouts having just had a baby. You feel sleep deprived and like you don’t fit in your own body anymore. Maybe you are more than a year post partum, like I was, and you realize that while you may or may not have lost all the baby weight, something isn’t right. For me, that something was diastasis recti, a separation of my abdominal muscles.

If your separation is larger than 2 fingers, these workouts will help you, but I also recommend that you check out abdominal rehab with The Tummy Team. I wish I had discovered it sooner, but ab rehab seemed like it was something for women who were bigger than I was or had multiples. Yes, the cost scared me too, but if you have a large abdominal separation, it is totally worth it. Now is the time to do the work. While ab rehab can benefit you at any time, the sooner you do it after your injury, whether it be via pregnancy, surgery or both, the better and faster your recover is likely to be.

Check out this video to help you figure out if you have diastasis recti. It is more common in women who have had babies, but it can happen to anyone, including men, regardless of how active you were before. In fact, athletes such as weight lifters or Cross Fit enthusiasts offer suffer from this conditions. I’ll leave the science of it up to Bethany Learn at Fit2B, but suffice to say, don’t assume that it can’t happen to you.

If you decide that abdominal rehab is not the right path for you, for whatever reason, then Fit2B Studio is the place you want to be and you will want to start with the Foundational Five.

If you were previously very active, you might find this a slow start, I know I did. If you have a large diastasis (2-3 fingers or more) you will probably want to splint. Fit2B does not sell splints, but some does recommend some. The Tummy Team also sells splints. I’ve used both the Scott splint sold by the Tummy Team and the ModBod splint recommended by Fit2B. (Check out my review here).

If you feel like these routines are just too simple for you, I encourage you to keep doing them anyway. Try to focus on quality rather than quantity of movement. Walking is a great choice to give you some cardio as you get started, but running is not recommended unless you splint, and even then it’s still not preferable until you get further into the program.

These were some of the few exercises that I felt safe doing while I was completing my 8 week core rehab with The Tummy Team. As transitioned out of it, I tried to do at least one of these 5-6 days a week, in addition to anything else I did. They are short, and therefore easier to fit into a busy mom day.

 

Basic Transverse & Mula Bandha

This is a go to sick day, blah day, don’t want to exercise day workout. It’s done sitting so it’s perfect if you’re just returning to exercise after having a baby, have never exercised before, or have balance issues.

 

Totally Transverse

This is still my favorite of the Foundational Five. Bethany gives a great core workout while also explaining a lot of what you need to know about how your transverse abdominus works. If I had to choose one workout from Fit2B to do every day, this would be it. This is also a free sample workout, so if you aren’t sure yet if Fit2B is right for you, then try this one on for size.

 

Align it Flat

At first I didn’t like this routine, but it has grown on me. This isn’t as difficult a workout as the others and it doesn’t feel like you are doing much. But, it is very important as far as helping you find correct alignment and figure out how to maintain it throughout your day. So you’ll be practicing engaging your core in lots of different positions, but not working your core quite as hard. For me, it’s a great reminder of many of the principals that I learned with the Tummy Team.

 

Mula Bandha

When I first did this workout I had no idea of Mula Bandha was. I was familiar with the concept of the pelvic floor but the only exercises I had ever heard about the Kegels. Well, this isn’t much like doing kegels at all and is much more effective. I’ll admit that I did struggle with it a bit in the beginning as I tried to learn how to access the proper muscle groups. This won’t feel like a super hard workout, because it will be providing more internal than external effects, but it is still well worth the investment in your pelvic floor and your core.

 

Totally Transverse II

A slightly, longer and more advanced workout than Totally Transverse, this workout assumes you understand the concept of working the core a little better and therefore Bethany spends less time explaining and does more actual exercise as a result.

 

I think that these workouts are an important part of any tummy safe exercise regimen. I used to think that when I moved on to more complicated workouts that I had outgrown these. But I think that I’m going to keep trying to do them regularly to help maintain all the hard work I’ve put into my core so far.

Next I’ll be reviewing The Week of Relaxation, for those times when you don’t want to stop exercising, but what you need more than anything is stress relief and relaxation. See you then.

 

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