As my son becomes more active and works really hard to crawl [forward] I can see how similar movement patterns in babies are like those I use with my moms.
Most of us can picture the stages of gross motor development in infants. They start off as blobs not able to move much and when they do move they expend a tremendous amount of energy. Gradually being able to pick up their head, lift their arms and legs while on their back, push up while on their belly, roll, and so on.
There are similar movement patterns that we look for in all babies, but how they achieve those goals and how long it takes them may be slightly different for each baby.
Typically they can't move on to the next skill until they've mastered the one before. And even when the skill has been mastered, they may relapse a little when they are working on the next skill.
Babies have very little core strength to start with and need to build it up through movements that start in positions where gravity has no influence on their core. These positions are on their back, stomach and side.
Then they are able to gradually work into a sitting position. Then kneeling, hands and knees, and eventually standing. Standing takes the most amount of effort to stabilize the body against gravity before they start to move in a standing position. Even in each position babies pause to find stability and balance...like rocking on hands and knees before crawling.
There is a reason why babies work through different stages to find and build core strength. They have to create stability in the trunk before they gain mobility in the limbs. The further away an object from their center of gravity the harder it is to control. Think lever arms from physics - even a light object can feel heavy is you hold it away from your body.
Remember when you were a kid on a see-saw (teeter-tauter) and if you were evenly balanced with the opposite kid you would either have to had another kid which ever side was lighter or the heavier kid could move closer to the center.
We are hard wired to work on being stable around our center of gravity [belly button/low back area] then work outward.
This is why when your core is weak after having a baby reconnecting to your core LIKE a baby makes the most sense.
Finding balance through very little movement in positions that don't require work against gravity and working to more dynamic movement that require work against gravity.
The big difference between your body and baby is your body as the influence of years of other habits and patterns intertwined into the weak core. Tight muscles, poor posture, joint position, injured tissue [scarring], uncoordinated muscles etc.
These all influence how your body will reconnect.
So simply doing "core" exercises on your back may not be enough.
Recognizing the influencers, using props and modifying the movements to reduce the effect they have on your body, then working through the natural progression of movement will help you achieve the most connection to your core.
And just like your baby, it will take you time, you may relapse a little on a past movement when you move on the next step, you may get frustrated when you can't do what your mind is telling you to do and you'll be super excited when you do achieve your goal.
You may THINK lying on your back and doing breathing exercises or arm raises are super easy. But when you have to incorporate your alignment, good posture, stability and breath, it's not so easy at first.
So when you resume core exercise after having a baby, think of it this way, simple to complex movements are the way to go.
This is how I work with my clients and how the way I progress the core exercises in my almost complete 4th Trimester program in Expecting Pelvic Fitness.
If you're ready to start reconnecting to your core but don't know how to work through the different positions let's chat!
Or head over to Expecting Pelvic Fitness to learn more about the almost finished but still available to purchase 4th Trimester program!