Question: Where is Tummy Zip located?
Answer: Tummy Zip is located in Parkdale, a Bayside suburb of Melbourne, Australia. Click HERE to see a map.
Question: I am a private person so I was wondering, at the Group Program, do I have to show my tummy to the other participants?
Answer: No! I understand from personal experience that for many of us, having your tummy "on display" is a frightening thought! Therefore during the program when I measure and assess each client, it is done privately in a separate consulting room.
-IN THIS SECTION YOU CAN READ FAQ ABOUT SPLINTING & EXERCISE-
QUESTIONS ABOUT SPLINTING:
“The Diastasis Rehab® Splint is the only abdominal binder designed to help close a diastasis recti. By approximating (pulling together) the muscles this splint helps heal the connective tissue and helps my clients feel their muscles working better when they are doing the exercises.” - Luanne Sforza , Physical Therapist (NYC)
Click link below to view video demonstration:
Question: How does the splint work?
Answer: Wearing the splint brings the abdominal muscles closer together, so the starting position of the muscles are thus closer together when the transverse muscle is engaged. Your abdominals (including your transverse muscle) are working with everything you do. It is thus important to engage the transverse muscle during all your activities of daily living and when exercising. You will learn to do this at our Tummy Zip 6WTT programs. Wearing a splint also puts the weakened connective tissue in a better position for healing. So the more you wear the splint, the faster you will close your diastasis.
Question: Where do I measure to get the correct size for the splint?
Answer: With your abdominal muscles relaxed, you measure the circumference of your tummy (in inches) with the tape measure at the belly button level. If you are closer to the smaller size, go with that size.
Question: How do I know which size splint to order?
Answer: Once you have your tummy measurement in inches as above, splint sizes are as follows:
Small: 24" - 28" (61cm - 72cm)
Medium: 29" - 35" (73cm - 90cm)
Large: 36" - 45" (91cm - 116cm)
Extra Large: 46" - 54" (117cm - 137cm)
As explained above, if you are closer to the smaller size go with that size.
Question: How often should I wear the splint?
Answer: All the time - 24 hours a day! (Remove only when showering.) If you have a diastasis, your abdominals are damaged/broken. As with a broken bone in a cast, it is essential that you wear your splint all the time, even when sleeping, to assist and support the healing of your abdominals.
Question: I don’t have much of a diastasis, but I still have a "belly bulge", can you help me?
Answer: Yes! Even though there may not be a diastasis... most mums (& also some men and women), still have a very weak stretched out inner core muscles including the pelvic floor, back, abdominals and postural muscles that contribute to weakness, belly bulge and malfuntion. By conditioning the inner core correctly and effectively, clients can regain their core strength, shape and function again.
Question: The splint is rolling up. Am I doing something wrong?
Answer: No. This is a difficult area to wear something due to the movements in this area. With a larger tummy it will roll up easier. So wearing two splints will help keep it in place better. However, when it rolls up, it is a great opportunity to take it off and put it on again and really pull those muscles together. The more you pull them together the better the healing process. So even if it does not roll up on you, you should take it off and put in on again as it does loosen up when wearing it for a while.
Question: Can I wear the splint when I sleep?
Answer: Yes, sleeping is a very important time to wear the splint. Your body does not move much while you sleep so it is the perfect time to heal the connective tissue. The more you wear it the faster the connective tissue will heal.
Question: When putting on the splint, should I wear it where my diastasis is the largest?
Answer: No. It is only worn at the waist. You have bones on the top of your waist with your ribcage, and bones on the bottom with your pelvis. It is only in the middle where there are no bones should the splint be worn so you can really pull the muscles together. After you strengthen your transverse in week four we recommend to wear the splint and also hold another splint (scarf) when doing the seated exercises. When holding the splint you can hold it at the top (under ribs) for a set, in the middle for a set and then the bottom (around pelvis) for a set.
Question: When I wear the splint, my tummy protrudes out the bottom. Am I wearing it wrong?
Answer: No. This will happen with the bigger tummies. It is recommended to wear two splints when this happens.
Question: Will it work if I wear it a bit looser?
Answer: It will work but not as well. The closer together the muscles are pulled, the better it will work.
Question: Do I have to wear a splint for the diastasis to heal?
Answer: Yes. You must wear a splint to heal the connective tissue. If you do not want to buy mine, please make your own! Wearing the splint is only one of the four steps of the Tupler Technique®. All four steps must be followed to heal your diastasis.
Question: Can I close my diastasis by just wearing the splint?
Answer: No. Wearing a splint is just one of the four steps of the Tupler Technique® program. You must do ALL four steps to close your diastasis. The purpose of the splint is to approximate (pull together) the separated muscles. Doing the exercises brings blood flow to the connective tissue, helping it to heal. Also when the muscles are closer together, it will make the exercises more effective.
Question: Can I wear the splint during pregnancy?
Answer: Yes, if you have a large diastasis (4 fingers or larger), it is recommended. Click here to see the "How to put on the Diastasis Rehab Splint™ During Pregnancy" instructional video.
Question: Can I wear the splint during labor?
Answer: If you have a large diastasis, it is recommended. Splinting the muscles and keeping them close together while pushing, keeps the cervix of the uterus in the proper alignment with the vagina, assisting in an easier delivery.
Question: How soon after delivery can I wear the splint?
Answer: You can wear a splint within 24 hours of giving birth. If you have had a Caesarean delivery, it is recommended to wait until the scar is healed (around six weeks), as wearing a splint will pull on the scar. However, no matter how you gave birth, you can begin the Tupler Technique® exercises straight away.
Question: What happens if the splint becomes too big?
Answer: There are three reasons why the splint may become too big:
- When putting on the splint you are pulling on the fabric to bring each half of the muscle together. This continuous pulling on the fabric will stretch the fabric and make it longer.
- As your diastasis closes, your waist will become smaller and the splint will become too big for you.
- Women will need to wear a large splint if they use it right after giving birth. It takes six weeks for the uterus to go back to its normal size after delivery. So after six weeks the splint will become too big for you.
So if you are between two sizes, go with the smaller size as the splint will get stretched out and you will become smaller. If the smaller size does not fit initially you can always add a piece of loop Velcro to the back piece of Velcro making it longer.
Question: What is the difference between a splint and a girdle or other abdominal binders or body shaping garments?
Answer: The purpose of the splint is approximation (pulling together) the two separated muscles. The purpose of a girdle, abdominal binders and body shaping garments is compression (pulling back) of the abdominal muscles.
Question: Can I wear the girdle, abdominal binder or body shaping garments with the splint?
Answer: Yes - wearing body shaping garments such as shaping underwear, pregnancy recovery shorts or compression shorts or tights are recommended. It is important to wear something under the Diastasis Rehab Splint™ to hold it in place better. We recommend a camisole or fitted singlet/t shirt. However, with a larger “mummy tummy,” I recommend wearing two splints. Put the first one on lower and then the second one on top of that putting the bottom of it about two inches from the top of the lower splint.
Question: What is double splinting?
Answer: The purpose of splinting is to approximate (pull together) the muscles & hold them in that position. There are two ways to splint. Wearing a splint and holding another splint (scarf) at the same time while doing the seated and back lying exercises. Double splinting is started in week 4 of the program after the transverse muscle is strengthened.
Question: If I use a splint, can I do regular types of abdominal exercises (crunches), to work the outermost abdominals?
Answer: NO - Absolutely not! The purpose of the splint is just to align the outer abdominal muscles together…..not to engage the transverse. If you do regular abdominal exercises (i.e. crunches) where it is impossible to hold the transverse in, you can make the diastasis larger.
QUESTIONS ABOUT EXERCISE:
Question: I do not have a diastasis. Will the Tupler Technique® exercises help me with toning my core muscles? Or is this technique only for correcting a diastasis?
Answer: The Tupler Technique® exercises are an excellent and extremely effective technique for toning and strengthening your core muscles - even if you do not have a diastasis!
Question: How does one effectively breathe abdominally (belly breathing) while doing the Tupler Technique® seated exercises?
Answer: When doing the seated Tupler Technique® exercises we always start and end with a belly breath. However, it is not possible to belly breathe while doing the exercises with holding the transverse at 5th floor. You must chest breathe. That is why it is so important to count out loud. This forces you to breathe. If you do not count out loud you will then put pressure on both your abdominal and pelvic floor muscles.
Question: Once I close my diastasis by doing your program, can I go back to doing crunches?
Answer: NO! Crunches create a diastasis or make a diastasis larger if you have one. A diastasis is caused by a forward forceful movement on the outermost abdominal muscles (rectus abdominis). When the shoulders come off the floor it is impossible to engage the transverse muscle. If you cannot engage the transverse muscle then it is going forward forcefully making the diastasis larger or creating one. Besides working the muscles in the wrong direction they also work the discs of the spine in the wrong direction. Solution to safely increase the intensity of your abdominal work: when doing the head lifts, bring your feet away from the buttocks. This brings the small of the back off the floor. The higher the small of the back is off the floor, the more challenging it is to use your abdominals to put it on the floor.
Question: When I do my seated elevators and transverse contractions, I feel it in my upper back and between my shoulder blades. Am I doing something wrong?
Answer: This is common when you first start doing the exercises. If a muscle is weak it will ask another muscle to help. In this case, it is your shoulders. So when you feel it in your shoulders just relax them. Also make sure your head is not forward when doing the exercises. Think of bringing the chin back as you are doing the exercises. When the head is forward it rounds the shoulders and then you will feel it there while doing the exercises.
Question: I have a question, or more like a concern. I'm worried that all my hard work with the exercises will be for nothing if I ever move the wrong way. I'm trying to make sure I get out of bed properly, sneeze, and pick up my baby properly. However, I'm not sure with all that I do in my day that it all comes out perfect. Is it really that easy to un-do all the progress from the exercises?
Answer: We use our abdominal muscles with everything we do. A forceful forward movement makes the diastasis larger. However, some forward forceful movements are worse than others. A jack knife and a roll back are the worst and will undo your hard work. So you need to be especially careful not to do these things as they will undo all your hard work.
Question: Can I do push-ups and planks if I have a diastasis?
Answer: In a hands and knees position, gravity puts all the weight of the organs on the already weakened connective tissue. Engaging the muscles in this position will not take the weight off the connective tissue. So planks and push-ups should be done against the wall where there is no pressure on the connective tissue and gravity makes it easier to engage the transverse muscle.
Question: When can I start the Tupler Technique® exercises after birth?
Answer: You can start them within 24 hours of giving birth. A great time to do them is while you are feeding the baby. The sooner you start them the faster your diastasis will close.
Question: When can I start in the Tupler Technique® exercises in pregnancy?
Answer: The sooner the better. If you have any nausea, wait till it passes. If you start early in your pregnancy the exercises will be easier to do and you will prevent your diastasis from getting larger. You may even make it smaller!
Question: Can I start the Tupler Technique® exercises late in my pregnancy?
Answer: Yes. You can start them late in your pregnancy. It will be harder to do them later in your pregnancy but they will still be helpful.
Question: Can I get pregnant again with a diastasis?
Answer: It is recommended to make your diastasis smaller before getting pregnant again, however, if you do get pregnant and have a diastasis, you need to start doing the exercises right away to keep the diastasis from getting larger. You may even want to wear a splint during your pregnancy.
Question: Can the Tupler Technique® exercises help me during my pregnancy if I know I will be having a Caesarean delivery? Can I do them after I have had a Caesarean?
Answer: Yes. Stronger abdominal muscles will help with your recovery. Also, strengthening your abdominals during pregnancy will give you the “muscle memory” to make it easier to do the exercises after the birth. After a Caesarean birth, it is important to engage the transverse muscle as a forward forceful pressure on the stitches can undo the stitches. It will be a bit uncomfortable as you will feel a little pulling on the stitches. Once the stitches have healed you will want to mobilize the scar. Tissues are meant to move freely. With a scar it will stick to the underlying layer of tissue. Your job is to pull the top layer away from the layer underneath it.
Question: How do I perform the Tupler Technique® exercises while I exercise on a treadmill, elliptical, exercise bike, rowing machine, etc?
Answer: When you are doing aerobic exercises it is important that you belly breathe to get as much oxygen as possible. Remember to expand and fill the lungs up with air as your bring the muscles forward and then bring the belly back to the spine on the exhale part of the breath. You will be working the transverse if you use the transverse on the exhale part of the breath.
Question: Will the Tupler Technique® exercises help with low back pain?
Answer: Yes. One of the functions of the recti muscle is to support the back. When the muscles separate it weakens the support for the back and causes back problems. When you engage the transverse it shortens the recti (outermost muscle) from the middle and makes the diastasis smaller. Also when you engage the transverse muscle you are also working the lumbar multifidus muscle. Working this muscle also helps with low back pain.
Question: How do I take classes that encourage ab work such as crunches?
Answer: Very carefully! You cannot do crunches or any back lying exercises with your shoulders off the floor. You must tell the instructor that you have a diastasis recti and you must do your abdominal work differently. At the Tummy Zip 6WTT Programs, we teach you how to modify such exercises and incorporate "diastasis friendly" exercises into your program.
Question: Once I close my diastasis can I do sit-ups, crunches or the Pilates 100’s?
Answer: No - these exercises are extremely damaging and will undo all your hard work. On a scale of 1 to 10 of dangerous exercises, these are an absolute 10. So the good news is .... you never need to do another sit-up or crunch ever again!! The reason is because it is physically impossible to bring the transverse to the spine and hold it there when doing these exercises. Working the core means bringing the transverse to the spine and holding it there. If you can’t do that with any exercise then you will be making the diastasis larger (if you have one) or creating one if you don’t have one. So these exercises must be avoided at all costs.
Question: I get very winded when doing the seated Tupler Technique® exercises. Am I doing something wrong?
Answer: It is very important to count out loud. If you do not count, you will not be breathing and if you are not breathing you will not be using your abdominal muscles correctly. Also, if you are getting winded, it will help if you do the exercises at a slower pace.
Question: Is it necessary to space out the exercises throughout the day or can I do them in one daily session?
Answer: We recommend that you space them out during the day initially as the muscle will get fatigued if you do too many at once. Once the muscle is fatigued, you will not be able to do the exercises effectively. Once the muscle is strengthened you can do more each time you do them during the day.
Question: Please advise me on whether the Tupler Technique® can help my prolapsed uterus or if I should discontinue it so I don't make it worse.
Answer: If you have a prolapse, the Tupler Technique® will prevent it from getting worse. When you engage the transverse, it prevents further pulling on the ligaments of your organs; (i.e. uterus, bladder.) You must remember to count out loud when you do the exercises. Not counting out loud will negatively affect your pelvic floor.
Question: Who is Julie Tupler?
Answer: The Tupler Technique® was created by Julie Tupler, a Registered Nurse, childbirth educator and certified fitness instructor. Julie developed the Maternal Fitness® Program in 1990 and for the past 23 years has been teaching and developing the Tupler Technique® Program. This program is supported by research conducted by Columbia University's Department of Physical Therapy.
America's Dr. Oz calls her an expert on diastasis recti. New York Magazine calls her the guru for pregnant women. She has been featured on many U.S. national television programs such as the Today Show, as well as in many fitness, medical, and women’s health magazines. Elle Macpherson credits the Tupler Technique® for a 20 minute delivery and her fast recovery and wrote the forward for Julie’s "Lose Your Mummy Tummy" book.
Julie has developed a substantial and loyal client base including many celebrities. She has written two bestselling books, ("Maternal Fitness" & "Lose Your Mummy Tummy"), produced DVDs of the same name and developed the Diastasis Rehab Splint™. She is on the advisory board of Fit Pregnancy, Women’s Health Foundation and the Women’s Sports Foundation. Julie is a frequent speaker at medical and fitness conferences.