Go to the following web link to watch Julie Tupler’s webinar entitled “Diastasis Dos and Don’ts” in which she advises how to maintain the positive results achieved by following the Diastasis Rehab programme: http://www.diastasisrehab.com/webinars.
Once I close my diastasis by doing your programme can I go back to doing crunches?
NO. Crunches create a diastasis or make a diastasis larger if you have one. A diastasis is caused by a forward forceful movement on the outermost abdominal muscles (rectus abdominis). When the shoulders come off the floor it is impossible to engage the transverse muscle. If you cannot engage the transverse muscle then it is going forward forcefully making the diastasis larger or creating one. Besides working the muscles in the wrong direction they also work the discs of the spine in the wrong direction. Solution to safely increase the intensity of your abdominal work: When doing the head lifts, bring your feet away from the buttocks which brings the small of the back off the floor. The higher the small of the back is off the floor, the harder it is to use your abdominals to put it on the floor.
How can you effectively breathe abdominally (belly breathing) while doing the Tupler Technique® seated exercises?
When doing the seated Tupler Technique® exercises we always start and end with a belly breath. However, it is not possible to belly breathe while doing the exercises holding the transverse at 5th floor. You must chest breathe. That is why it is so important to count out loud. This forces you to breathe. If you don’t count out loud you will then put pressure on both your abdominal and pelvic floor muscles.
When I do my seated elevators and transverse contractions, I feel it in my upper back and between my shoulder blades. Am I doing something wrong?
This is common when you first start doing the exercises. If a muscle is weak it will ask another muscle to help. In this case, it is your shoulders. So when you feel it in your shoulders just relax them. Also make sure your head is not forward when doing the exercises. Think of bringing the chin back as you are doing the exercises. When the head is forward it rounds the shoulders and then you will feel it there while doing the exercises.
Will the seated Tupler Technique® exercises help me with toning my transverse abdominals even if I have a small diastasis? Or is this technique only for correcting a large diastasis?
The Tupler Technique® is a great exercise for toning even if you do not have a diastasis.
I have a question, or more like a concern. I’m worried that all my hard work with the exercises will be for nothing if I ever move in the wrong way. I’m trying to make sure I get out of bed properly, sneeze, and pick up my baby properly. However, I’m not sure with all that I do in my day that I do it all perfectly as you advise. Is it really that easy to un-do all the progress from the exercises?
We use our abdominal muscles with everything we do. A forceful forward movement makes the diastasis larger. However, some forward forceful movements are worse than others. A jack knife and a roll back are the worst and will undo your hard work. So you need to be especially careful not to do these things as they will undo all your hard work.
Can I do pushups and planks if I have a diastasis?
In a hands and knees position gravity put all the weight of the organs on the already weakened connective tissue. Engaging the muscles in this position will not take the weight off the connective tissue. So planks and pushups should be done against the wall where there is no pressure on the connective tissue and gravity makes it easier to engage the transverse muscle.
When can I start the Tupler Technique® exercises after birth?
You can start them within 24 hours of giving birth. A great time to do them is while you are feeding the baby. The sooner you start them the faster your diastasis will close.
When can I start in the Tupler Technique® exercises in pregnancy?
The sooner the better. Wait till the nausea passes. If you start early in your pregnancy the exercises will be easier to do and you will prevent your diastasis from getting larger. You may even make it smaller!
Can I start the Tupler Technique® exercises late in my pregnancy?
Yes. You can start them late in your pregnancy. It will be harder to do them later in your pregnancy but they will still be helpful.
How do I perform the Tupler Technique® exercises while I exercise on a treadmill, elliptical, rowing machine?
When you are doing aerobic exercises it is important that you belly breathe to get as much oxygen as possible. Remember to expand and fill the lungs up with air as your bring the muscles forward and then bring the belly back to the spine on the exhale part of the breath. You will be working the transverse if you use the transverse on the exhale part of the breath
Will the Tupler Technique® exercises help with low back pain?
Yes. One of the functions of the recti muscle is to support the back. When the muscles separate it weakens the support for the back and causes back problems. When you engage the transverse is shortens the recti (outermost muscle) from the middle and makes the diastasis smaller. Also when you engage the transverse muscle you are also working the lumbar multifidus muscle running down your spine. Working this muscle also helps with low back pain.
How do I take classes that encourage ab work such as crunches?
Very carefully! You cannot do crunches or any back lying exercises with your shoulders off the floor. You must tell the instructor that you have a diastasis recti and you must do your abdominal work differently.
Can I get pregnant again with a diastasis?
It is recommended to make your diastasis smaller before getting pregnant again, however, if you do get pregnant and have a diastasis, you need to start doing the exercises right away to keep the diastasis from getting larger. You may even want to wear a splint during your pregnancy.
Once I close my diastasis can I do sit-ups, crunches or the Pilates 100’s?
No. It is physically impossible to bring the transverse to the spine and hold it there when doing these exercises. Working the core means bringing the transverse to the spine and holding it there. If you can’t do that with any exercise then you will be making the diastasis larger (if you have one) or creating one if you don’t have one.
I get very winded when doing the seated Tupler Technique® exercises. Am I doing something wrong?
It is very important to count out loud. If you do not count, you will not be breathing and if you are not breathing you will not be using your abdominal muscles correctly. Also, when getting winded, do the exercises at a slower pace.
Can the Tupler Technique® exercises help me during my pregnancy if I know I will be having a c-section. Can I do them after I have a c-section?
Yes. Stronger abdominal muscles will help with your recovery. Also, strengthening your abdominals during pregnancy will give you the “muscle memory” to make it easier to do the exercises after the birth. After a c-section birth it is important to engage the transverse muscle as a forward forceful pressure on the stitches can undo the stitches. It will be a bit uncomfortable as you will feel a little pulling on the stitches. Once the stitches have healed you will want to mobilize the scar. Tissues are meant to move freely. With a scar it will stick to the underlying layer of tissue. Your job is to pull the top layer away from the layer underneath it.
Is it necessary to space out the exercises throughout the day or can I do them in one daily session?
We recommend that you space them out during the day initially as the muscle will get fatigued if you do too many at once. Once the muscle is fatigued, you will not be able to do the exercises effectively. Once the muscle is strengthened you can do more each time you do them during the day.
Please advise me on whether the Tupler Technique® can help my prolapsed uterus or if I should discontinue it so I don’t make it worse.
If you have a prolapse, the Tupler Technique® will prevent it from getting worse. When you engage the transverse, it prevents further pulling on the ligaments of your organs. (i.e. uterus, bladder) You must remember to count out loud when you do the exercises. Not counting out loud will negatively affect your pelvic floor.