Are you wearing the tightest yoga pants in all the land? You might want to think twice if you are concerned about core and pelvic floor recovery.
Many women struggle with complete recovery of their core and pelvic floor after having a baby. There is no time limit on recovery but I find the first 6 months to a year to be very vulnerable to outside influences (like a tight waistband).
When it comes to clothes, there is often that difficult period where you’re not in maternity stuff, but you are not quite back into your regular pants and when you pull them on, they are just a little snug around the waistband and that can have a big impact on your recovery.
Of course, most yoga pants are just tight no matter where you are postpartum! I tried to find a pair a few weeks ago and all the waistbands were super tight.
“I got my tight pants, tight pants on.”
I don’t know about you, but I’m in my “activewear” pretty much 24-7. 🙂 I’m also pretty sure it’s a prerequisite for grocery shopping at Whole Foods. LOL. Pants without spandex? Do they even make those anymore? So, since we’re all wearing them all the time, let’s make sure we have the best fit.
How tight is too tight?
Do your pants leave a mark? Can you easily slip your fingers between the waistband and your waist? Does it feel like your pants rest softly on your fingers or do they feel a little snug?
If they feel snug, then that’s putting pressure on your core and pelvic floor as well.
Here are a few things to consider if your pants are giving you a bit of a squeeze.
Pressure on the core from tight pants often responds in one of two ways.
#1. Drawing in. The stimulus on your waist makes you constantly hold your belly button in because it’s cueing your core.
Why would constantly drawing in your belly all day be a bad thing?
It can make your pelvic floor muscles tight which makes them weak and ineffective over time making you more prone to leaks and decreased prolapse healing.
For core and diastasis recovery, it decreases the natural firing of the abdominals and shuts down your deep breathing, which in turn prevents diastasis healing.
Whew! Who knew that tight pants could have such an influence? Honestly, I didn’t before I had kids. It took me noticing the decrease in recovery on the days I wore pants with a tighter waistband. It was an aha moment. I’m amazed by the amount I’ve learned from having to heal my own pelvic floor issues. Sometimes personal experience does go a long way.
#2. Pushing Out. If you don’t have a tendency to draw in, you are probably in the pushing out camp or a combo of both. That tight waistband can give your body a cue to push out, especially during movement. I also see this a lot with baby carriers that strap around the waist.
Pushing out, even a tiny bit, puts pressure down on your pelvic floor which really increases your risk of prolapse and leaks.
Having a tight waistband is a constant stimulus to the brain telling your core muscles to “do something”. Our bodies have a natural eb and flow to them and when we give something a constant stimulus, like tight pants, it does not handle it well.
Another great example of this is tight bra straps. They become so uncomfortable, making your neck and upper back super tight if you leave on that tight bra for too long. Ever get home and just want to take off your bra? Then you know what I’m talking about. Those tight pants are doing exactly the same thing, except instead of giving your neck feedback it’s affecting your core and pelvic floor.
So, join me and FREE THE WAIST! Let’s loosen those tight pants and allow your body to fully recover.
Are you a rehab or fitness professional that wants to learn more about helping your clients fully recover from pelvic floor issues and diastasis?
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Dr. Sarah Duvall, PT, DPT, CPT and the CES Team have helped thousands of women create the strength and stability needed to overcome common and not-so-common pelvic floor issues.