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Virtual Women's Health & Fitness Workshop

What the heck is a virtual workshop? It is a flexible way to gain valuable information about Women’s Health & Fitness without having to leave your house.

Join Dr. Megan Rome, Physical Therapist & myself Pregnancy & Postpartum Athleticism Coach on Saturday, March 9th at 10am from your phone or computer for a virtual workshop.

Dr. Rome will start things off by discussing what the pelvic floor is and the muscles associated with the pelvic floor. From there, she’ll talk about some of the common symptoms you may be experiencing and is not limited to pregnant & postpartum moms. Women who have never had babies & even men can experience the below:

 ·      Prolapse

·      Diastasis Recti

·      Incontinence

Next, I’ll take you through ways to help manage, monitor, & resolve symptoms through movement. You won’t be sitting the whole time; we’ll be getting up & moving! A few things I will teach you are:

 ·      How to engage the pelvic floor & core

·      Postural awareness

·      Breathing techniques

·      How to connect the dots with functional movements

The software is user friendly & no logins are required. Once you have purchased the workshop, you will receive a link on March 8th to join. Simply click the link on March 9th at 10am & you’re in! You have the option to be seen or stay behind the scenes. There will be a comment box to ask questions throughout the virtual workshop and we will also save time at the end for additional Q & A. Now until February 24th you can save $5 when you sign-up. Use promo code: SALE at check out.

Still unsure if this is for you? Below are a few questions I’ve been asked that may help you decide.

1.     Do you have to be a mom or someone who is experiencing the above symptoms to sign-up for the virtual workshop? No, you do not have to be a mom or be experiencing the symptoms above. Women who have never had babies and men can join in.

2.     I’m a fitness instructor and I train pregnant & postpartum women. Can I join? Yes, you can join. This virtual workshop will provide a general guide of where to start and symptoms to look for. After the workshop, I highly suggest investing in your coaching and gain more education on pregnant and postpartum athletes. Brianna Battles has a great course for coaches- Become a Pregnancy & Postpartum Athleticism Coach .

3.     I’m not good with technology. Is the software user friendly? Yes, the software we’ll be using is Zoom. No logins required. You will be sent a link on March 8th, simply click the link on March 9th at 10am and you’re all set. There is a demo video below on how to navigate Zoom.

4.     I don’t want to be seen. Can I turn off my video screen? No, problem. There is an option to turn your video screen off.

5.     I don’t exercise, but I’m having problems with some of the symptoms above. Can I still join? Yes, 100%! You do not have to be someone who works out regularly to join in.

Still unsure? Please reach out and I can answer any additional questions you may have. We hope to see you there!

 

What is Prolapse?!

Prolapse is the descent of the pelvic organs towards the vaginal opening. Along with other pelvic floor dysfunctions, prolapse can be scary and uncomfortable to talk but it shouldn’t be. There are several different types of Prolapse and different degrees- ranging from 0 to 4. Some of the signs and symptoms to look for are:

·      Pressure

·      Heaviness in the vagina

·      Excess tissue or a bulge

·      Leaking of bodily fluids

·      Inability to retain a tampon

·      Pain

The first thing you should do if you think you may have a prolapse is to NOT resort to doctor google, but to seek out a Pelvic Floor Physical Therapist for an assessment- Find one here. Second step is to find a Pregnancy and Postpartum Athleticism Coach in your area- find one here. If there isn’t a coach in your area reach out, I offer 1-on-1 coaching and group coaching remotely.

Having a prolapse isn’t black and white and there is no such thing as “safe” and “unsafe” exercises for prolapse or any other pelvic floor dysfunction. With the help of a physical therapist and a fitness coach with continuing education working with these types of symptoms can help you build strength, awareness, confidence, hope, longevity, and so much more! If you’ve been told you can never lift heavy weights again or you should never run again get a second or even third opinion. The end goal is to get you to a place where you know how to monitor and manage your symptoms and do the things that make you happy.

 

‘Tis the season for travel and busy schedules.

Below are 4 workouts you can do from anywhere! Feel free to grab a resistance band, kettlebell, dumbbells, or an odd object to add to the mix!

  1. AMRAP 10 (As many rounds as possible in 10 minutes):

    5 Burpees

    15 Jump Squats

    20 step-ups

  2. AMRAP 7:

    20 Mountain climbers

    20 reverse lunges

    20 Sit-ups

  3. 4 rounds for time:

    400m run

    40 jump squats

  4. AMRAP 12:

    16 Tricep dips

    20 Bulgarian split squats (10 per side)

    30 hops over an object

Moms in Training online programs offer workouts you can do from anywhere! There’s an option for women at every stage of life. There are a million ways to talk yourself out of working out especially when traveling & trust me I get it, but don’t let space or equipment be an excuse.

October is National Pregnancy and Infant Loss Awareness Month.

In 1988, President Ronald Reagan proclaimed October as National Pregnancy and Infant Loss Awareness month. He had some very powerful words to say on the subject…

“When a child loses his parent, he is called an orphan. When a spouse loses her or his partner, they are called a widow or widower. When parents lose their child, there isn’t a word to describe them. This month recognizes the loss so many parents experience across the United States and around the world. It is also meant to inform and provide resources for parents who have lost children due to miscarriage, ectopic pregnancy, molar pregnancy, stillbirths, birth defects, SIDS, and other causes.”

I have kept pretty quiet about our story on starting a family, but I have read several stories of others that have suffered infant loss and it gave me courage and inspiration to share our story.


October 2015 started our journey of trying to have a baby. For those of you that know me, you know that I am a planner. Little did we know, this “plan” was out of our control. Surprisingly, January 3rd, 2016 I took a pregnancy test and it was positive. We were SO excited!! I wanted to tell everyone right away, and we did tell close friends and family. We immediately bought the go-to book, “What to Expect when Expecting”. Of course, I was reading about all the signs and symptoms, minus feeling fatigued, I felt great (which in my mind was a red flag). Unfortunately, a short couple of weeks later I had a miscarriage. I’ll never forget that feeling of confusion, pain, uncertainty, fear, and sadness that came over me. I was coaching the 5:30pm class on a Friday night at DRiV and it took everything I had to stay calm for an hour. Immediately after class, I ran into the yoga room and called my doctor. He advised me that I was having a miscarriage and with empathy said there was nothing he could do for me. He said we could go to the emergency room for an ultrasound, but reiterated again, my body was already going through the process. It took months before we felt “ready” to try again. In that timeframe, I researched everything under the sun. I kept quiet for the most part about our loss, minus the few friends and family members we had already told. By the way two things you should never say to someone going through a loss or infertility is: “When are you two going to start a family?” or “At least you can get pregnant!” You have no clue what’s going on in their lives. Fast forward to April 2016, we got a positive pregnancy test again. This time around was different. We wanted to be excited, but at the same time there was a lot of uncertainty and fear there. We made it to our first appointment at 6 weeks and again I was having little to no symptoms. My doctor could tell that I was extremely nervous, so he did an ultrasound to check on the baby. We got to hear the heartbeat this time and it was the biggest relief and sweetest thing we’ve ever heard.  We instantly started crying tears of joy, fear, and sadness all in one. Fast forward, two weeks later my doctor wanted to do a repeat ultrasound and sadly there was no heartbeat, so there we were again. This go around things ended with a D&C. Now two miscarriages down, I started to reach out to friends that I knew went through similar situations to find hope and answers. As I always say “everyone’s journey is different”, but listening to their stories gave me the hope and guidance I needed at the time. Jared and I both went through all kinds of blood work, I got my tubes checked, the whole nine yards and yet everything came back normal and still no answer or baby. December 2016, the week of Christmas we got a positive result from a pregnancy test for the third time, but like before I had little to no symptoms and was more scared than happy. We made it to our first ultrasound and again got to hear the sweetest sound ever (besides hearing Saylor cry for the very first time, I don’t think there is a better sound in the world!) Our doctor sounded way more confident about this pregnancy, which gave us hope. The whole first trimester I was a nervous wreck and all I could think about was if he or she was going to make it…… and we did! I thought that I would calm down after the first trimester, but I didn’t. I was pretty much a ball of nerves the whole time. I wanted to make sure that I did everything I was supposed to do by the book, so that I couldn’t say “what if” or “I should have done that”. We now have a sweet one-year old baby girl named Saylor.

One in four pregnancies will end in a miscarriage, and to be honest the thought of having a miscarriage or having an issue trying to conceive never crossed my mind as I thought about life with a child. It is a very private life experience and something couples don’t like to talk about, but I think it is time we change that. I hope that sharing my story gives you hope, guidance, relief, or whatever it is that you are seeking and know that you are not alone in this!


Tips on how to engage the pelvic floor

Pelvic floor? What is that? Do I even care? Well you should! Before I started taking educational courses on women’s health and fitness I had no clue how big of a role the pelvic floor plays in everyday movement. You should care because in daily life tasks and in exercising it is important.  Once you begin to understand how the pelvic floor works, you can implement strategies that will improve your overall function.  One of the strategies I use and also instruct my clients to use is the Piston Strategy.  Julie Wiebe is a Pelvic Floor physical therapist who has created the diaphragm/Pelvic Floor Piston Science that I’ll talk about below.

“permission to use copyright image from Pelvic Guru, LLC”

“permission to use copyright image from Pelvic Guru, LLC”

Quick overview of the pelvic floor muscles.

Pelvic floor muscles are the layer of muscles that support the pelvic organs and span the bottom of the pelvis. You can think of it has two halves- front and back. The back half being the anus and front half being the vaginal/urethral opening (for women). When thinking about engaging the pelvic floor you probably think of a “Kegel”, but it goes beyond just learning how to “engage/tighten/squeeze/hold” the pelvic floor. we also need to learn how to relax the muscles. The pelvic floor works in conjunction with the diaphragm and the transverse abdominis to create a balance in breathing, engaging, relaxing, moving, & beyond. transverse abdominis

Julie Wiebe’s Pelvic Floor Piston

The Pelvic Floor Piston Strategy promotes a balanced team working together to create a strong system as a whole. Leaking? Feel like a tampon is falling out? When holding your breath do you feel pressure downward? Does your belly push out? These are things that we can manage when optimizing our team. “A partnership of muscles acting together in a task is optimally what we want to create”- Julie Wiebe.

The Strategy

With your team you want to create a balanced breath- Diaphragm, Pelvic Floor, and Transverse Abs

How?  

·      Inhale- diaphragm descends, transverse abs & PF lengthen/relax

·      Exhale- diaphragm ascends, transverse abs & PF gentle engage/shorten   

Where do you start?

Find a Pelvic Floor physical therapist who can give you individualized cues that work for you. In addition to pelvic floor engagement comes body alignment and working to improve your tendencies. The overall goal is to manage pressure & to eliminate symptoms.  Please know the video below is not the only way to learn how to engage the pelvic floor but a good place to start!

I hope that you find this #Protip helpful, please reach out with any questions and/or if you would like more guidance during your pregnancy & Postpartum journey.

Want to learn more behind the Piston Strategy?

References/Resources:

Julie Wiebe Doctor in Pelvic Floor Physical Therapy

https://www.juliewiebept.com/product/the-pelvic-floor-piston-foundation-for-fitness-2/

When should you stop doing overhead movements during pregnancy and when can you add them back in postpartum?

There is no hard timeline- Do you have a strategy in place that will support the task symptom free? I sound like a broken record, but every woman’s journey is different. Dialing in your breathing and body alignment is key during this chapter. You already have a growing baby adding additional weight and tension to your midline and pelvic floor. Let’s not add to it by putting additional weight and pressure on those areas when it’s not needed. And is it really worth the risk? Working with me during your pregnancy to dial in strategies will help set-up you for your postpartum chapter.

Signs to look for

  • Coning/doming/tugging/pulling of the midline

  • Ribs flaring up- Causing additional pressure on the midline

  • Pelvic pain/pressure

  • Leaking urine

  • Diastasis Recti/Healing DR Postpartum

Scaling options for overhead movements

  • Floor press

  • Seated overhead press- monitoring your alignment

  • Incline push-ups

  • Static overhead holds- again monitoring your alignment

Coaching reminders

  • Ribs stacked over hips, weight midfoot, butt untucked

  •  Breathing option 1- Inhale (relax) then start your exhale (lift &engage), as you continue to exhale (lift &engage) through the full range of motion.

  • Breathing option 2- Inhale at the start of the movement (relax), then exhale through the hard part of the movement (lift &engage).

Together we’ll work on YOUR timeline to keep you working out safely during and after pregnancy.

-Coach K

Time is on your side

Our baby turned 1 this month! Her first year of life has been one heck of a ride. There were more breakdowns than I can count & so many “I don’t know WTH I am doing” moments but guess what?! WE survived!

At 1 year postpartum, Do I feel like my “pre-baby” body is back? No. Is that a bad thing? Of course not. I have my body that has gone through change. I am slowly building up my strength, endurance, and most of all my confidence inside & outside the gym. I didn’t give myself a strict timeline of when I was going to do certain movements (everyone’s timeline will be different). There were a few things I waited to add in (running, jumping, midline exercises, etc). For the most part, I went off of how I was feeling that day (sleep deprived? Fatigued? Un-motivated?) and if I could do the movement with a strategy that was going to support the task. Yes, there were times when I was frustrated & felt like I wasn’t progressing. The first 6 months felt like years to me and I just wanted to be myself again and do whatever I wanted to in the gym. It wasn’t until about 4 months postpartum that things started to click for me & my point of view changed. If I could go back and tell my newly postpartum self to slow down and take it all in…. I would

Now, that a year has come and gone, I find myself happy and sad at the same time. I’m happy that Saylor is happy and healthy after 1 year, but I’m missing the late night snuggles and naps on my chest. People like to hand out their advice often to pregnant & postpartum moms, so I’ll just add to it

Try to be patient, bond with your baby, trust the process, & your body. Time is on your side for recovery, even if you think it’s not. Slow down, enjoy the journey. Before you know it this time will be gone.

 

-Coach K 

IMG_0035.jpg

Diastasis recti

Diastasis Recti is a mouthful, so I’m just going to call it “DR” for short. DR is the separation of the sides at the center of the abdomen and thinning of the fascia between these sides (the separation of the 6 pack muscles for short). This is a hot topic, but stay calm It’s normal to have a separation of the midline during pregnancy. Your body is compensating for your growing baby. It’s also normal to have a separation post-baby. Your abdomen may never fully close post baby and that’s okay too, as long as there is a strategy in place & your fascia is responding well. (it’s not just about the width).  This pro-tip on DR is not to scare you, but to inform you.

Where to start?

First step, find a Pelvic Floor Physical Therapist (PFPT) that will listen to your story & goals (it may take a few PFPTs to find the right fit for you). Second step, find a trainer who can help you work towards your goals & that has continuing education working with pregnant & postpartum women. Third step, Connect the dots and implement strategies that work for you. It’s not what you are doing, it’s how you are doing it. There isn’t one way to breathe or one way you should stand & move. Everyone is different & so is your timeline. 

How do I check for DR?

  1. Lay flat on your back with feet flat on the ground
  2. Slightly tucking your chin to your chest, slightly lift your head off the ground, keeping your shoulders on the ground. **This is NOT a crunch, just a head lift
  3. Starting just below the sternum in the middle of your chest, take three fingers (horizontally) and walk them down the midline all the way to the pubic bone.
  4. You are feeling for how many fingers you can fit between your mid-section, how deep your fingers can go, & what your mid-section feels like. Is it soft like your cheek? Or hard like the tip of your nose?   
  5.  It’s great to give yourself a baseline and know how to check for DR, but I highly suggest finding a PFPT in your area for an evaluation.

Recap, it's not just about the gap. The way your fascia responds (tissue between the 6 pack muscles) is important to! Try to not obsess over DR & with the right guidance, try doing something different in your training.

“You have to stress, to progress”- Antony Lo.

-Coach K

 

Short on time? Here are three workouts to try at home.

Time is precious these days and some days I look at the clock and say, “Where did my day go”? “I feel like I didn’t get anything done!”

Some days getting to the gym is tough, but I make it a priority to get something in at home even if it’s just for 30 minutes or less. I keep it simple and short. I do AMRAP’s (as many reps/rounds as possible) this allows me to stay on a timeline. I also keep the movements simple. I give myself 5 to 7 minutes to warm-up, 7 to 15 minutes for the workout, & 2 to 5 minutes for a cool down. Have a fussy baby that just wants to be held? Include your baby in the workout! An easy way to add a little extra weight for goblet squats, goblet lunges, presses, & more! Get creative! Here are three workouts to try at home when you’re short on time:

1) AMRAP 7:

20 step-ups (Grab a box, coffee table, chair, etc as long as it’s safe go for it!)

10 burpees

2) AMRAP 12:

20 Lunges (Grab a dumbbell, a detergent container, etc to add a little weight)

5 Push-ups

15 Squats

3) AMRAP 10:

10 presses holding your baby

10 squats holding your baby

10 Good mornings holding your baby

If you would like more guidance for at home workouts, my online program Through in 30 is a great program to balance a busy schedule. Have questions? Please reach out! 

https://app.sugarwod.com/marketplace/moms-in-training/Bw5PliFdVJ

-Coach K

Scaling Tips During Pregnancy & Postpartum

While going through my own pregnancy and postpartum journey, I quickly realized how much information was out there around fitness for expecting and new moms. After furthering my education and becoming a Pregnancy & Postpartum Athleticism coach I’ve gained a whole new mindset on what matters most during this stage of life; safely training during pregnancy, mindset, strategy, and preparing your body for the postpartum journey.  I often tell my Moms in Training, “Train to train another day!” What are you gaining from doing pull-ups at 30-weeks pregnant? A coning abdomen and a more significant separation of the midline postpartum? Maybe, maybe not, but it’s not worth the risk.

There are numerous scaling modifications for the movements we do inside the gym, at our home gyms, and in our everyday life. The questions I get asked the most are when to scale barbell movements, pull-ups, and loading? I wish there were an exact answer I could give, but every woman and pregnancy are different.

I’ve put together some questions you can ask yourself that help you know when it’s time to start scaling the above movements. Please understand that these are just a few of the possible signs and you should always consult with your doctor.

Barbell movements:

During my own workout, I am constantly working on making my bar path better, but once my belly started to grow I hung up the barbell and got comfy with dumbbells and a kettlebell. I found that by compensating for a growing belly I was beginning to develop bad habits and It wasn’t worth the risk for me.

  • Has your baby made enough gains to throw off your bar path in a snatch?
  • Are you hitting your belly with the barbell? (Obviously, one I know! ☺)
  • Do you compensate form and pull the bar around your belly?
  • Do you feel pain, discomfort, pressure, or feel heaviness in the pelvis?
  • Are you leaking urine?

Pull-ups:

Pull-ups can put stress on your mid-section. How much is too much?

  • Is your belly coning or does it have a doming shape during pull-ups?
  • Do you feel a pulling, stretching, or ripping sensation in the midline?

Overhead barbell movements:

Overhead movements can also put stress on a prenatal or postpartum woman. Make sure you're not ignoring any of these signs.

  • Is your belly coning or does it have a doming shape when putting a barbell overhead?
  • Do you feel a tugging or pulling sensation of the midline?
  • Is your rib cage flared up/overextended?
  • Do you feel pain, discomfort, pressure, or heaviness in the pelvis?
  • Are you leaking urine?

My goal is to help as many moms as possible with their journey. I’m super excited to be partnered with SugarWOD to Train, Educate & Empower MOMS everywhere! If you would like more guidance for your own journey, please reach out I’d be happy to help you!

-Coach Kaylee

If you’re a pregnant woman or a coach training pregnant women, check out Moms In Training for programming resources for pregnant women.