Hello, I am Hannah Epps from Farnham Pilates. I have been attending Pilates classes for over 15 years then trained locally in the Pilates OCR Level 3 and have been teaching for 11 years keeping many of my clients over this time. I specialize in back pain, postnatal, posture analysis and love helping clients relieve pain and walk out of my class taller!! I have two children aged 12 and 10, so I am postnatal, but not a new mummy!
I am now working from my own personalised pilates studio with reformers and small specialist mat classes ! I really believe in morning exercises and stretches we all need to move more so please refer to my website for more information or videos, I’m happy to help so ask me anything , I’d love to hear from you and I’m passionate about helping mums with body issues because many can be solved!
Back to you and your body-
Do you have back ache or weak core and need to improve your posture, get a toned tummy and support your back more? Also are you worried your tummy muscles do you think they are still separated called rectus diastasis?
– Tests to check if you have a weak core
- Niggles, injuries, aches especially in morning or after sitting
If You are constantly suffering from niggles and injuries.
Your Biomechanics are not correct or the body is out of alignment and that causes lots of common aches or injuries. Over- pronating, hips twisting – particularly more on one side – and rotating of the trunk are all examples of the body not being strong enough to stabilise itself which can then lead to niggles. Believe it or not strength and conditioning, and in particular core work, can solve the root cause and prevent reoccurring injury.
- Tiredness or flagging walking or running
If You find yourself slowing down yet you can still talk to the person next to you this is an indication that your general strength and conditioning and core are weak and you are unable to maintain strong form consistently.
For more tips on improving your stamina or energy levels do more cardio work and squats, look a your diet especially post natally make sure you are having enough vit b and try increase short fast runs or walks.
- Bad posture
Towards the end of a long walk or run you might feel your body sinking lower into the ground, leaning forwards and you begin to heel strike more. Core strength aids posture as it holds your spine and pelvis in the correct position allowing you to run ‘tall’ with ‘high hips’. The stronger your core the longer you are going to be able to maintain your perfect posture meaning you are less likely to lose pace, sit on your hips, lean back and therefore heel strike more.
Read more on good posture on my web site – www.farmhampilates.com
The main problem can also be that your every day posture may be bad when sitting or standing? Are you tucking your tail bone under?
Simple core exercises, especially from classes such as Pilates, are perfect for strengthening and correcting every day posture. The better your day-to-day posture is when sitting or standing – the more this will naturally transfer into your every day posture and movement, making you a stronger and more efficient.
- Lower back pain
If you suffer with lower back pain, you need to do more core exercises and do a lot of stretching. Exercises such as the shoulder bridge and superman and stretches like hamstring stretch after sitting. (email me for more information- email@example.com)
Core strength is key to supporting the spine thus holding you in perfect position. If your core strength or posture is lacking one of the most common symptoms is lower back pain.
Weak Pelvic floor
Do you have problems with bladder control? Urge Incontinence when you jump sneeze or need to go to the loo “now” indicates a weak pelvic floor and bad posture. You need to work on your pelvic floor and transversus abdominals and incorporate functional exercises like squats daily.
The most important one a weak tummy can be from breathing incorrectly
There are various reasons your tummy muscles are weak post natally, it can be due to incorrect breathing (belly breathing)
Breathing – we do it involuntarily 25,000+ times a day, it helps to try ‘lateral breathing’.
This is where you take an in breath through the nose and send the air into the lungs, right into your ribcage.
Try this –
Align yourself in standing or seated with your feet hip-distance, your pelvis in neutral, your shoulders down, and place your hands on your ribcage with your third fingers touching at the centre of your ribs.
Take a nice deep breath in through the nose and allow the air to slowly expand and fill up your lungs in the ribcage (not the abdomen).
Imagine you’re creating a little space in between each rib as the air comes into the thoracic (ribcage) cavity.
Try and get your third fingers to separate or move apart from one another on this wide in breath.
Now, breathe out through the mouth slowly, as though you’re blowing out through a straw, letting your third fingers touch once again.
Repeat this 4 or 5 times.
DON’T let the chest rise, the rib cage lift (it’s widening laterally, not lifting) or your shoulders to come up towards your ears.
Could you do it? thats great ! Now, that we’ve got the basics of breathing covered, how are you feeling now? Perhaps more open through the back? Did you keep your shoulders relaxed?
WHY breathing is such an important part of a Pre/Postnatal Specialists’ repertoire, so you can pass this on to your clients:
- Labour – generally speaking, when we work a muscle doing exercise, we breathe out on the exertion. The same simple rule applies during labour – breathe out against contraction, without screwing up your face. Do a quick Google search for ‘purple pushing’ – that’ll educate you about what I’m talking about there.
- Increased pressure – Breathing into the thoracic (ribcage) cavity helps decrease a pregnant ladies chances of building up unwanted pressure in the abdominal cavity. This happens a lot during pregnancy due to poor postural alignment and is incidentally one of the main causes of abdominal separation or diastasis recti.
- Abdominal separation – Leading on from the point above about increased pressure in the abdomen during pregnancy, you’ll be interested to note that breathing laterally.
- Decreases pressure on the pelvic floor – If you weren’t aware, 66% of women with abdominal separation also have pelvic floor dysfunction. So, the more you breathe into your ribcage, the less pressure therefore is placed on the pelvic floor. Dispersing built up pressure upwards into the thoracic cavity is much healthier than pushing it downwards into the pelvic cavity.
- Great for stress relief / releasing tension – Breathing correctly in through the nose and out through the mouth using the techniques explained above, also helps focus you on relieving stress and releasing tension after a long, hard day at the office. Sometimes, it’s good to breathe in correct alignment. it takes patience and repetition to perfect at meditation.
Simple exercises like superman can help you to engage your core.
Please be aware if you have any pain trying these tips please go back to dr or talk to health visit
If the answer is yes to any of the above and you are local to me in Farnham, Surrey then you need to join the 6 weeks core abdominal programme – there are only 2 more spaces –
We start Monday the 10th October and 7th November at 9am for your abdominal assessment and personalised programme. It is designed for you as a very personal service and with my 12 years of pilates teaching I really want to help you improve your posture, core muscles and body mobility and alignment.
Link to abdominal programme – http://farnhampilates.com/online-abdominal-strengthening-course
If you are interested please complete the medical assessment let me know any details of back or tummy problems – http://farnhampilates.com/classes/par-q-form
Join now at a reduced price of £55 for the assessment and weekly videos will be sent to you! This will go up in January. Quote from last group in July –
“Hannah’s pilates abs programme has been great. The instructions on the video are very clear and as each one is just 10-15 mins I’ve found it very easy to fit into my day – usually in the morning after a run! I’ve probably done 3-4 sessions each. Week and have noticed a difference in my core strength and tummy tone. Thanks so much Hannah !”
C. Brown farnham
Yummy tummy programme for new mums with diastasis rectus.