I never paid much attention to my core when I was younger. Crunches were what I figured got you a strong core and permitted you to wear a two-piece with no shame or worry. Well, 3 pregnancies and very large babies have taken their toll on my core. Not having a strong core before babies certainly didn’t help.
After my first baby, I was diagnosed with diastasis recti, an abdominal separation common after pregnancy resulting in a weak core and pelvic floor muscles. At that time, my separation was about 3-4 fingers wide and my transverse abdominus (the ones that do the work you don’t see, not the vanity abs that everyone thinks is the be-all of a fit body) was virtually non-existent.
I consulted a pelvic floor specialist who helped me close the gap to about 2-2.5 fingers wide and lessen some of the back pain associated with my weak core. My separation stayed this way when I got pregnant with baby #2.
After my second son was born, I again had a wide separation but, armed with some of the basic tools, was able to again, close the gap to 2 fingers and eliminate most of the back pain I was experiencing. I still wasn’t able to close it completely and felt that I needed to do more to close the gap, regain the strength I wanted and lose the mommy pooch that was plaguing me, making me want to suck in my stomach all the dang time.
I discovered the MuTu system after exhaustively searching the internet for other options. It was a bit of a risk for me to spend money on something that had no guarantee of working and could possibly be a really smart marketing gimmick.
I decided to give it a try and purchased the focus plan, a 12 week plan of various exercises designed to strengthen and restore my core, pelvic floor and the surrounding areas. What I noticed right away was that the exercises were similar to some of the stuff I was doing already but took it a step further. In the first 2-3 weeks of doing the program before getting pregnant again (oops), I saw my gap close to 1.5 fingers.
After my daughter was born nearly a year ago, I’ve been doing my MuTu along with my regular core training and I’m very please with how strong I feel. I still have a bit of a poochy stomach BUT my back isn’t sore the way it used to be (when you have a 20+ pound baby that you’re constantly toting around, that’s saying something!). My gap is at most, one finger wide (down from 4.5). I feel stronger than I’ve ever felt before and that’s a great thing. I don’t expect to have a flat stomach ever again and I’m honestly ok with that because I’d much rather be strong with a bit of a belly than have strong outer abs but zero core to protect my back (among other things). This program seems to be the real deal, has lots of support and takes only about 15 minutes a day to do the exercises->about all the free time my kids give me (if I’m lucky).
The past months, I’ve gotten a bit lax with doing the exercises, which I was already getting a bit slack about continuing to do more than a couple of times per week anyway but they really are very easy to integrate into your regular workout routine because they are functional movements that we do in life (well…maybe not the peeing dog movement but you’ll get it when you try it yourself 🙂 ).