Updated: Jul 17
It's no secret that mom life requires a LOT of lifting. From holding crying babies, lifting carseats, and swinging toddlers around, moms need strength.
But it's so hard to build strength when you're dealing with prolapse. If every time you lift something or exert yourself, something feels like it's falling out of your vagina, it can lead to frustration and avoidance of lifting altogether.
Although I work extensively on breathing, posture, core strength and lifting mechanics to manage prolapse, one additional, little known piece to dealing with prolapse is good shoulder strength.
Think about it, if you have to hold a 20 pound toddler in one arm and cook dinner with the other, but you don't have very much strength in your shoulders, all of the force is going to go somewhere...
And more than likely that somewhere is down and out your vagina (or forward into your diastasis for that matter).
So how are you going to get stronger in your shoulders when you can't lift anything without feeling prolapse?
Here are a few tips!
Work out lying on your back
My first tip is to do some light weight strength training lying on your back. This can consist of free weights flys, press ups, tricep dips, bicep curls, and even lat pull downs.
Lying on your back takes out the need for you to also support your core, although good core support is still important. You shouldn't feel any symptoms of prolapse while lifting weights lying on your back, and if you do they are too heavy or you need some additional cueing.
Hit the most important muscles
Strengthening Serratus Anterior is the most important shoulder strengthening exercise to do for any mom. Serratus Anterior acts as a core stabilizer and a shoulder stabilizer, and is often tight and weak from rounded forward head and shoulder posture.
You can work on Serratus Anterior through exercises like the one below!
Lower Trapezius is next on the list of importance for shoulder stabilizing muscles. Lower Traps help to glide the shoulder blades down the back and reverse upper back rounding posture.
Try this exercise below to work on your Lower Traps.
If you find you have a lot of back arching when trying to work your lower traps, try lying on your back with your arms overhead, thumb side pressing into a foam roller as you breathe into your back, trying to get your back to touch the floor as shown below:
How To Progress Your Strength Training
Lifting kids is obviously way heavier than lying on your back pressing 3lb dumbells in the air, or breathing into your spine.
The good news is any increase in shoulder strength and function will help offload your prolapse.
But how do you move from the floor to function with a prolapse? It's going to take some change in your core function and a lot of core strength, but add that piece and your shoulder stability together and you are on your way to pull ups and weighted squats!
Upper body strength is really important for lifting heavy things. If you are dealing with prolapse it will be beneficial to you to gain some upper body strength, but you need to do it first in a way that doesn't aggravate your prolapse.
Once you have improved your core function however, you can start to lift heavier loads in upright positions, which will help train you for the demands of motherhood (or grandma-hood for that matter).
If you're still unsure what is safe for you or if you are struggling to gain core strength, book your session with us today!