Week 3 Post Abdominoplasty: Movements to rebuild your core
Twenty-one days ago today I had a full abdominoplasty. I am just about 75% pain-free with improving function. I have had a few hurdles this week, both mentally and physically. The skin breakdown in the center of the incision, which is apparently pretty normal, is healing and not at all painful. There is an inflamed and swollen area to the right side of the middle that the surgeon said is a mild, superficial infection that will clear on its own without antibiotics. Curiously, with soft tissue work on the quad, the swelling is reduced by 80%!
Around mid-week, I started to question my decision. But, all of that dissolved when I refocused, metals reviewed all of the interventions that I pursued, and came full circle to the years of consistent effort I put forward. I now am confident that my future goals are in alignment with my decision!
So here is where I am on day 21 of this journey!
The focus of my work currently is... To focus on improving my breath mechanics. My goal is to use a full rib breath by breathing into the front and back of the rib cage using progressively deeper breaths. I did not realize until taking my band off how many deeply ingrained holding patterns I had. I was so used to contracting my abdominal wall at rest for so long that I catch myself doing that even now. So, the breath work is key!
My band reduction strategy... I need to wean myself off my band and slowly get used to loading my abdominal wall. With it on, I have a false sense of stability, which is NOT good for me because it is very easy for me to overdo!
Nutrition focus is on protein and lots of cooked and pureed vegetables. I am really enjoying these supplements:
My daily sequence includes:
30-40 minute movement session with hydration 45-50 minute walk with gait tweaks (side step, backwards walking, crossover gait) 10-15 minute movement bites throughout the day
The following exercises are either added onto the list from week two or increased.
UPRIGHT CORE LOAD WITH EYE AND BREATH DRIVER
The purpose of this exercise is to begin to slightly load the tissue of the abdominal wall with a slight angle to gravity. This exercise combines the bottom upload of a foot position tweak with the top download of breath using the breathing exerciser. The eye driver changes the position of the tissue in the cervical spine, which feels great with breath. This exercise also safely loads the pelvic floor through breath and the variable foot positions.
The next progression is to add in a pelvic driver to this combo.
PELVICORE HIP FLEXED POSITION WITH EYE AND HAND DRIVER
This exercise is a progression from week two by adding in the hand and eye driver. The added stimulus with the variable hand driver again begins to load the core with the initial range hand reach. The inhale occurs when the hands reach up to head height so the intra-abdominal pressure load occurs with the hands moving away from the body.
The next progression is for the reach to move more towards mid range.
3D SQUATS WITH BREATH AND EYE DRIVER
This pattern is all about breath and moving through space with the variable foot position, therefore the variable input to the hips and pelvic floor. Each rep loads the abdominal wall along with the hips in a safe range using the breathing exerciser. It also helps increase mobility through the hips.
The next progression is to add initial range hand reaches! This further challenges the core.
ON GROUND PELVICORE BREATH AND EYE DRIVER
This pattern is a BIG win for me! Today is the first day I added on ground movement because I wanted to be a able to safely maneuver from the ground to standing. The Pelvicore adds a subconscious load to the pelvic floor via the resisted internal and external rotation. This pattern benefits the core and pelvic floor as a stable pelvic floor sets the foundation for a functional core.
My next progression is to work my way down to a flat surface.
ON GROUND PELVICORE BRIDGE
This pattern also feels really great to my hips. I took out the breathing exerciser as it was too much for me to handle and manage pressure.
The next progression with the Pelvicore is to change foot position and add the breathing exerciser.
ON GROUND PELVICORE HAND REACH MATRIX WITH BREATH
This exercise is the unground version of the seated hand reach matrix from week 2. I am maintaining a light internal rotation on the Pelvicore while reaching to mid range and inhaling with the breathing exerciser. It felt stable and well within my threshold!
The next progression is to add the eye driver, and variable foot position and then add in the bridge.
All of these exercises are based off of the Principles of Applied Functional Science from the brilliant functional mind of my mentor Christina Christie as well as Gary Gray and Dave Tiberio. Learn more about Applied Functional Science at the Gray Institute.