I've been on a journey to close my diastasis recti to lose my mummy tummy with the Tupler Technique! But it is so much more than that – it is helping to heal my chronic back pain and prevent the possibility of developing a hernia later on. It also helps with good posture, proper digestion and breathing. UPDATE – I switched to the MuTu technique. Read more below!
A Diastasis Wha-What?
If you have no clue what I'm talking about, this is not a venereal disease or some weird virus picked up in the jungle (smile). Head over to my first post to read all about it and then come back here for the update!
A Little Review
As we all know now, being pregnant does a number on our abdominal muscles. In my case, it caused the muscles to stay open after my third child and they haven't closed yet. I've been dealing with chronic back pain every single day for four years that no amount of yoga, boot camp, pilates chiropractic care or massage has managed to fix. They've all made it better, but I would still have pain every single day.
Update – I Switched to the MuTu Technique
I can no longer recommend the Tupler Technique. It was not for my personality AT ALL! It was very tedious and only focuses on the belly, not strengthening all the supporting muscles. After three weeks of doing it, I was starting to notice a difference in my “mummy tummy,” BUT I was going crazy from the tedious exercises. So, I switched to the MuTu technique! I did it for 16 weeks on and off and did notice a very nice change in the strength of my core and a flatter belly, but then I got preggo again! So, I haven't been able to fully finish. But I will go right back to it about six weeks after this baby is born. I LOVED the program – the videos are so helpful, friendly and the exercises are not tedious or hard to do. They are 15 minutes twice a day. They provide a members-only Facebook group that is the most supportive Facebook group I have ever been a part of! The women post pictures of their post-baby bodies, ask questions and get encouragement and advice and everyone cheers each other along. No body shaming whatsoever! The community has been my favorite part.
I bought the 12 Week Program – learn more here!
Hardly Any Back Pain and A Smaller Belly!
The good news is that after just three weeks of doing this exercise program and NO other exercise (I stopped all other exercise as that's what the program recommends), my back pain has all but disappeared! The only time I get pain now is after going to the chiropractor when everything's been moved around. I think that wearing the splint 24/7 (yes, even to sleep) helps tremendously and so has stopping all other forms of exercise. My abs were so weak that my back was bearing all the load and even yoga aggravated it! So, I need to stitch everything back up before I can return to work out. The program suggests that you do no other form of exercise for the first six weeks until your transverse muscle has strengthened.
As you can tell from the picture, the change in the size of my belly is very slight. When I look down, I have noticed more of a change. So, was gradual those first few weeks. However, my pants are not staying up without a belt – I think I've actually gone down another pant size. You can tell from the picture that my skin is firmed and the belly is less droopy. I can tell it's more toned than before. There is more of a noticeable difference from the front.
It Hasn't Been Easy
This program forces you to create a new habit, and that is never easy, my friends! You have to do the exercises three times a day every day, plus make sure you're lying down and sitting up properly (from the side and use contract the transverse muscle to support your torso). I have found it to be very difficult to lie down and sit up properly when I'm with my kids. For instance, I read stories to them in their beds before naptime and sometimes have to jump up really fast if one of the boys needs my help or is getting into trouble (oh, wait, that never happens!).
I was able to get to week three okay without cheating more than a few times – I did miss several of the middle of the day exercises because it's so hard to sit down and do it as all the kids run and jump up on me! The good news is, I'm noticing a good difference in the size of my belly so even though I haven't followed the program perfectly (but who does?), it is still making a big difference for my daily life (no pain is a big deal!) and how nice my abs are starting to look!
Stay tuned when I'll update you at week 6 and then for week 18!