Being a personal trainer and helping clients with prolapse get back to the exercise they love is not your usual in the fitness space. But it’s THE thing that I love doing. You see, personal training doesn’t have to be about pushing someone past their physical limit. Or, standing over them as they exercise counting those reps.
It’s about a movement-based approach to helping women with prolapse, get back to their active lives.
So, here are 4 elements (I call them the 4C’s) that I use in my strength and pelvic health business.
The first C is connection
So, what do I mean by this? I use the term ‘connection’ to illustrate a number of tools (not rules!) that we can use to improve pelvic floor connection (the ease which someone can locate and use their core and pelvic floor muscles). In this, I would include; breathing, tension, pressure management and alignment. I see these as finding a way to get moving which reduces symptoms and/or helps people feel safer and more secure.
The second C is Capacity
For me, the idea of capacity (how much can your body do) is at the very centre of a movement based approach. Plus, it’s the part that most closely aligns with fitness coaching or personal training.
Building capacity comes from incorporating progressive overload. It’s ok if you’ve never heard this term before, I’ll explain. This is gradually building up the challenge to the body and pelvic floor because our bodies are ADAPTIVE. Meaning we can train and retrain, build strength, build tolerance to impact. In-fact, whatever it si you need to get back to doing the training you love.
The third C is Confidence
We all want to feel confident to do something! However, a prolapse diagnosis can massively affect the confidence you have in your body. Even if (and prior to diagnosis) you were super strong, capable, and confident.
The easiest way to get confident at doing something is to…well, do it! But this can feel really challenging if you’re symptomatic. Or you’ve been told NOT to do the activities you love. So, we take the idea of connection, and a better understanding of how your body works and create a programme that gradually builds.
It’s a great way of demonstrating to yourself (and your overprotective brain) that this is ok! That, it is ok to lift weights. Or that running does not cause your insides to fall out.
Clients that are able to visualise what they want to be capable of (even if they don’t know how they might get there) often achieve awesome results.
The final C is Compassion
I’m always unsure whether to put this C first, or last! Because, I truly believe that it is 100 times harder to make progression if we are mean to ourselves. Or our inner chatter is always negative. So, always compassion for where you are, and for where you’ve been (and often the progress between these 2 points).