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Women’s health physiotherapist Lyz Evans has spoken out to warn other mums of the danger of crunches in pregnancy after seeing images of Michelle Bridges performing an exercise whilst pregnant.

Liz turned to Facebook to warn others against the exercise technique Michelle is photographed doing in this month’s New Idea.

“In this months issue of New Idea showing Michelle doing an abdominal crunch is unfortunately sending the WRONG message to all the pregnant mummas out there,” Evans wrote on the Women in Focus Physiotherapy Facebook page.

RECTUS ABDOMINUS DIASTASIS ALERT!!!We are a big fan of Michelle Bridges and the incredible advocate she is for all things health and fitness, BUT, this photo in this months issue of New Idea showing Michelle doing an abdominal crunch is unfortunately sending the WRONG message to all the pregnant mummas out there.  Like many women who have the best of intentions to stay fit in pregnancy, Michelle has fallen prey into the common trap of doing ‘ crunches’ to keep strong abdominals. Sadly, doing this in pregnancy puts undue stress on the linea alba which is the connective tissue between the two sides of the abdominal wall. Overloading the linea alba in pregnancy can result in ‘ Rectus Abdominus Diastasis’ – a condition affecting 66% of women in their third trimester.

If you look closely at Michelle’s tummy you will see a triangular shaped doming just above her belly button. This is a clear sign that the linea alba is most definitely being overloaded, and doing this repeatedly can result in permanent tearing of this very important fascia. Not only can this lead to low back pain due to a lack of abdominal support, but there is undoubtedly a strong link with urinary dysfunction.

So ladies please follow in @mishbridges footsteps and stay active in pregnancy but please DONT DO ABDOMINAL CRUNCHES, instead consult a good Womens Health Physio on pregnancy safe abdominal exercises. ‪#‎rectusabdominusdiastasis‬ ‪#‎womenshealth

Michelle Bridges

“She (Bridges) shouldn’t have been doing that exercise,” the Bondi clinic owner told AAP on Monday.

“The point of my post wasn’t to have a go at Michelle. I was trying to educate women and mothers.

“Putting excessive load on the linea alba is increasing her post natal risk of having ongoing lower back pain, having urinary incontinence and having ongoing pot belly tummy.”

“I think she has a responsibility to ensure she’s doing the correct exercises.”

There is no doubt that Michelle is a great role model to many women, but does she need to be more careful about the methods she might be encouraging others to try? SHARE your thoughts in the comments below.

 Main image source: Instagram
  • This article is from 2015. Any new content? It’s ok to share old info that is still important, but a little transparency goes a long way.

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  • Thank you for sharing your advice.

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  • I swear this must be the longest pregnancy EVER!!!

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  • An excellent role model she may be, however, perhaps Ms Bridges needs a reality check? This is insanely risky behavior for any pregnant woman. A healthy baby carried to term is more of a priority over maintaining bulging abs one would assume? Not to mention the urinary tract damage, gosh anyone whose experienced child birth knows how important those pelvic floor muscles are, there the exercises to be pumping out ladies! Anyhoo all the best to Michelle.

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  • Never thought about doing sit ups during pregnancy my baby came first I can lose weight after :)

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  • she’s nuts! I don’t know about anyone else but doing a blimmin sit up was the last thing on my mind when I was pregnant. Just sitting up on its own was a mission haha

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  • The second time this week I have seen Michelle embroiled in controversy. The other was an ad campaign she was doing for Woolies frozen foods. She called people who grew their own produce ‘freaks’ and claimed Woolies frozen meals are just as good for you. Really Michelle??? You have dropped in popularity in my eyes I’m afraid

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  • I think that it is definetly important for everyone to look after their wellbeing, however I feel Michelle Bridges has made a lot of risky choices in what she is promoting in relation to this. Between her unsafe exercises for pregnancy, to inadequate nutrition recipes for pregnancy and then the latest ad implying people growing their own veggies are freaks makes me think if she has become a little bit more focused on money and fame rather than genuinely wanting to help people maintain health and fitness.

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  • she was used to this lifestyle before she got pregnant so her body is used to it but hopefully she does take a step back and enjoys her pregnancy

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  • I wonder if Michelle sought instruction from her dr? I’m sure she isn’t meaning to be causing controversy. I guess she is just trying to promote the fact that with the right guidelines and medical clearances you can still exercise safely whilst being pregnant – which is of benefit to both mum and bub.

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  • Great to hear a voice of reason. I didn’t exercise at all during pregnancy because I was just so sick. I understand Michelle Bridges’ life is all about exercise and fitness, but surely she should heed the advice of experts on exercise during pregnancy.

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  • I think she should be careful of what message she is sending out.

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  • Crunches are hard enough do little alone when pregnant!


    • I am 100% with you – my mind is struggling to even get my head around normal crunches. The body well…another story. Crunches are tough!

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  • Not to worry I’m sure she’ll pick up an advertising contract with Tena when she’s done!

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  • Could not even imagine being able to do a crunch when pregnant!

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