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
“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.