Is Your FitPro BS’ing You?

Wow! Over the weekend I got to get my popcorn out and play spectator to an amazing interaction on Instagram. Antony Lo (@physiodetective) is an amazing physio (physical therapist to us in the US) who works primarily with female athletes recovering from pelvic floor and other core dysfunction. He is not a pelvic floor PT, but similar to me - a physio trained in the musculoskeletal system who applies that knowledge to help athletes return to play. Now, don't get me wrong - Antony's experience and knowledge far outshines mine and I personally love learn from him. He's known to post controversial questions on social media to get a conversation and debate going, and I think they rock. He's put me in my place a few times and I love him for it - it helps me grow.

The experience of the weekend was a bit different. Antony shared screenshots of a dialogue that he engaged in with a woman (pre/post natal trainer) who was advertising her diastasis recti program. The conversation started in with a comment about the insulting use of "front butt" in the trainer's post. To get to the point, the trainer was posting false claims regarding how her program could heal diastasis recti, and when confronted about it by my friend Antony and others, she deleted any comments questioning her program and claims, and carried on with her promotion. You can read the original posts and comments here (many other women headed over to the profile to comment and not only have their comments deleted, but were blocked by the trainer).

So why am I telling you this?

Really because I just want to make you aware. This situation isn't that uncommon and I personally have had clients more hurt by these kinds of FitPros than helped, and we've had to work through the additional damage that they uninformed program promote. Online courses are very popular right now, and who doesn't want to look at a woman with a smokin' hot body promising that her program of simple daily exercise will get you the same result. Sign me up! We all are drawn to that combination of visuals and promises that hit home on those things about ourselves that we don't like. Front butt? Gosh. Just rip my heart out.

I'd love to tell the women who I work with that my CoreStrong program would totally remove the "mummy tummy" and get them swimsuit ready in 9 weeks. If I could do that, I'd be rolling in it right now. But the thing is, that a good online program for diastasis recti and pelvic floor disorder isn't going to promise six-pack abs. Sure, you will hopefully see a reduction on that belly at the end of it, but the goal of a program like this is to restore function.

And here's the thing that many online program won't tell you - not every diastais recti situation can be "healed" by exercise alone. Why not? Because sometimes you do need surgery to restore the tissue integrity of the area. And sometimes the skin has literally stretched past its elastic threshold and isn't going to be taut again no matter how many core exercises or how much skin-tightening cream or wraps you apply. It's just our biology. Sometimes we do need surgery after we've gone through all of the physical therapy and reconditioning just to put tissues in a place where they can be functional again. And that's OK. If you want to read about an amazing journey with this, check out my friend Brianna Battles blog. She is an amazing pre/post natal fitness specialist and athlete, but her road to recovery from diastasis recti did end in surgery. You can read more here.

So what's the point of this?

I really just want you to be aware and to check in with yourself when you follow FitPros online and are drawn into their messages. Not all are bad, in fact, many are really great and inspiring. But, when we're talking about rehab know that many personal trainers are not trained in this area. They are not allied health professionals, like Athletic Trainer and Physical Therapist. And most pre/post natal certification programs do not go into detail about recovery and modifications for diastsis recti and pelvic floor disorder. I think that original training that I did had a page on it - and that was the pre/post natal training. General personal training has none on women's health and almost nothing on injury prevention and recovery (with the exception of the CSCS credential). And frankly my degree in Athletic Training didn't touch on this at all. I've had to engage in hundred of hours of additional coursework to learn about core dysfunction and women's health, just to be able to skim the surface of how to recover from these conditions. This is only one of the reasons that I try to work closely with Pelvic Floor Physical Therapists - to learn from them about the intricities of healing and the manual therapy that is neccessary, and then applying the appropriate progressions of corrective exercises and functional training to bring a woman safely back to participating in her favorites activities. It's a delicate balance.

Want to start getting healthy again? Is your core functional and you want to start working on aesthetic and performance goals? If so, then please go book an appointment with a personal trainer. However, if you're experiencing dysfuction (diastasis recti, pelvic floor disorcer, incontinence, or even joint injuries), please find a program that is truly appropriate for your needs and will help you actually meet your goals without setback.

If you're looking for an online program to help you overcome diastasis recti and pelvic floor disorder that focuses on FUNCTION, while taking your performance and aesthetic needs into account, please consider my CoreStrong Online Program.

I don't make any overreaching promises. It's not an easy quick fix, but if you invest the time and do the work, you will get results that allow you to move forward toward reclaiming an active lifestyle and unleashing that women you know you are!

And if you question any of the claims that I post, let me know. I promise to have civil conversation with you about it and not simply delete what I don't like. You can count on me to be real with that.

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