It took me a long time to really get over my stubbornness about exercise.
Being extremely active and fit before baby, I naturally assumed that I would quickly return to that state very soon after baby. Boy was I wrong!
What happened instead was a sort of push-pull, tug-of-war game going on inside my head. On the one hand, I knew (I knew, I knew!) that I had to be patient with myself and respect my body’s healing timeline. But on the other hand, I’d catch myself getting a little too impatient with “testing” my perineum’s ability to tolerate various exercises and movements. I wanted so much to get back to “normal”!!
It was denial. I just couldn’t believe that I was really in this predicament where I couldn’t just resume all my old and familiar activities.
Now that it’s been a year+, I’ve finally reached the point where I realize that NOTHING is more important than keeping my symptoms to a minimum. Getting back to doing things like pull-ups and push-ups and planks, etc just is NOT worth the stress that those exercises place in/on my pelvic floor.
So– one very simple exercise that I love to do now is what I call the Wall Sit. It’s great for all the postural and extensor muscles of the head/neck, back and shoulders. It’s a wonderful stretch for the low back/pelvis, hamstrings, all the way down to the calves. Let’s just say it’s a great all over exercise!
THE WALL SIT
I use a blank wall in my house and sit with my butt as close to the wall as possible, with legs outstretched. I dorsiflex my ankles to 90 degrees.
I try to make contact with the wall as much as possible with my head, back and arms, while keeping my gaze forward. I depress my shoulders and retract my shoulder blades.
I start with elbows extended and palms facing forward kind of low on the wall (creating a ~45 degree angle) and then I gradually bring arms out to sides at a 90 degree angle (palms still forward).
As I sit, I focus on my breath and I hold the position for as long as I feel like. I also push into the wall at various points of contact for additional isometric resistance.
This is such a simple exercise but it’s very effective: I can feel almost every muscle in my body working. The wall sit is a meditative exercise that brings me strength and peace!
I am healed.