Question on relaxing belly


So I have two questions.

Should we still try to strengthen ab muscles via sits ups or similar poses with the acute angle or no?

Also, when relaxing the belly is there any gentle pushing in that direction? I am very sensitive and find that I'm sucking in to keep from feeling as if things will slide or get worse and also tense apparently as I'm rarely relaxed in that area. Also very thin and somehow that makes it difficult for me to coordinate. Or maybe it's just that I'm so weak in general.


Trying to make peace

Hi Ang - no situps please, I don't know of a prolapse-friendly way to do that! Try WW Yoga 3rd wheel if you are looking for maximum safe workout of those muscles. And stay in posture all the time - your abs get a good workout from that. Keep belly relaxed and chest pulled up strongly. Never suck in the belly and there is no need to "push" anything out. Learning to relax the belly all the time is probably the biggest hurdle in this work, but you will never get any farther until you can do that. - Surviving

Hi ang4111,
Thank you for your question. some further thoughts:
When in an upright position (standing, sitting, kneeling...) try to make the WW posture your 'default posture'. It's not possible to be in WW posture the whole time, but make it your normal posture and that it is the exception not the rule that you're not in it. This takes time and patience. However in time, and with the support of appropriate exercise (informed by the website/WW dvd's/ practitioner input etc), it can become an easy and unconscious posture. However many women have had a life-time of another posture/s and so it makes sense that it takes time to re-educate and train the body. However we're in no hurry as we have the rest of our lives to develop this!

So - you need to stand equally balanced on your feet (on the heels and on the balls of your feet below the big and small toes), your legs are straight and not bowed, your chest is lifted on the inhale and maintained there on the exhale, (this naturally draws the abdomen up and in a little), your head is slightly tucked in so the crown of your head is at the top and your chest and back are both open and broad/neither rounded or squeezed, your arms are by your sides (not front or back). With these things in place your abdomen and pelvis are in correct alignment. You relax the abdomen. Good posture is healthy and visually slimming, as your abdomen is drawn in and up a little. However there will be a natural abdominal and lumbar curves. Women are meant to be curvaceous. To pull the abdomen in pushes the internal organs back and down as well as flatten the lumbar curve - all of which can contribute to prolapse &/or can make an existing prolpase worse. It also disturbs good posture and alignment and will therefore create complications elsewhere.

As Surviving60 says the wheel of yoga 3 demonstrates how to do sit ups safely, as well as barefoot running. So this might be a good dvd for you. In sit ups you lie on your back with legs straight up at right angles to the body. Then using a baton with arms overhead and touching the floor, you sit up on an inhale and return on an exhale. You can go from side to side or straight up to the legs.

I thoroughly recommend the WW book and dvd's for information and resources.
Wishing you all the best,

For me, the term "sit-up" refers to a move where you are coming up from a lying position to a sitting one, and back down. This is to be avoided of course, but I think Ang and WWUK are talking about the same exercise....what I would call more of a modified crunch with the legs held at 90 degrees and the breathing sequence very important.

Ang, I see that you have a desire to target your abs and that you are also having trouble relaxing the belly. Please please please concentrate on the critical elements of posture. Every exercise Christine shows us, is assumed to be done in posture. If you tense up your belly, then even Christine's moves aren't going to do what they are supposed to be doing. Don't push....pull up the chest instead. - Surviving

I'm having a really tough time. I feel so weak most of the time in the back and pelvis and can't seem to keep it soft and strong (if that makes sense). Everything feels like an effort and I'm uncomfortable. I'll have to contact the teacher near me as somebody suggested before. My body is just not a place I want to be anymore. It's become a constant struggle. I'm just very unhappy right now. I thought the sit ups might make me feel a bit of strength where I have such a feeling of no control. I will re-read and study the posture elements. And focus on relaxing ... I'm going to get the 3rd wheel. I have the other DVD and book. Thanks so much for your very detailed and informative responses. I appreciate it.

A safe gentle way to begin to strengthen your stomach and lumbar curve is to diaphragm breathe in a more exaggerated way. So that you go slow with a deep in-breath that allows the tummy to swell like a balloon and then a slow out-breath that brings the stomach muscles in deep with it. You can try ten of these lying down and see how you go. They are slow and deep diaphragm breaths, nothing forced but definitely more exaggerated than the usual breathing. Then follow this up with the yoga which Surviving has suggested and give yourself a little time. Strength will surely come, but the journey will be tiring, so do not despair in the beginning, go easy on yourself start once a day, then twice then three times; be kind but persistent. In a month or two's time you will not look back for your legs and back with WWposture are also strengthening.

Thank you for the advice. This is definitely difficult for me. So focussing on the breathe will be a great start and then I will move into more. I had been doing very well I thought and then something's gone awry. And I'm also wondering if something else is going on with me or maybe it's worsening? Is the normal placement of the cervix about a finger length in? Or does this mean it's sliding down? I know everybody is different but in general?

Thanks so much

Yes, you are right everyone is different and the position of your own cervix changes according to the menstrual cycle and age , but I would think a finger's length in is a good rough guess. As Wiki points out "After menstruation and directly under the influence of estrogen, the cervix undergoes a series of changes in position and texture. During most of the menstrual cycle, the cervix remains firm, like the tip of the nose, and is positioned low and closed. However, as a woman approaches ovulation, the cervix becomes softer, more similar to the lips, and rises and opens in response to the high levels of estrogen present at ovulation." Also, there are times when prolapse appears to be worsening, but it is not to be feared as it can bounce back at this early stage especially if you are able to take quick remedial steps. You could look to any unusual physical movements you may have recently adopted a new car seat, new exercise and so on, or a change in diet or a recent bout of constipation where you have had to strain, an uncomfortably full bladder which has delayed in emptying, some food which has caused an upset or allergic response. Any of these could put strain onto prolapsed pelvic organs as they are all connected and in close proximity. It might be an idea if at all possibly to put your legs up for ten minutes or so during the day as well as the gentle breathing, a small beginning to ladies' yoga and walking and posture.

Ang, I have 'celes, which tend to help keep the uterus in a fairly good position. I never really paid attention to where my cervix was in my younger days. But being post-meno after 2 births and now prolapse, my cervix is close enough to feel with a finger, but I think that's pretty darn good! - Surviving

Sorry for the late thank you. I found your replies to be very helpful. Especially about the foot placement and sits ups. I am continually resisting a knee jerk reaction to be in fear. So that was perceptive ... We do have days when we need to trust and not let fear get the better of us. I do anyway. Thanks again so much.