How do I know when I am ready to move on to the next Core Phase?
Everyone starts on Core 1, which is a 12 minute, once daily, core workout. You will purposely find Core 1 featured in Modules 1, 2 and 3. This is because Core 1 is the foundation to build on throughout the rest of the program. Core 1 will help you find those pelvic floor and core muscles you *want* to be working. The Core phases build in challenge as you progress through the program so taking your time, consistency and getting confident in Core 1 is of utmost importance.
After focusing on Core 1 throughout modules 1-3, your mid line should have firmed to some degree and some reconnection must have been established for you to move on. This is RELATIVE! You must feel and see improvement (which may be very small at this stage) from YOUR starting point, before moving to the next module.
If you’re not sure if you’re ready, try a couple of moves from the next Core workout. But don’t leave the Core workout you’re on, don’t skip any exercise, or instruction, until there is noticeable improvement in the stability and strength of your core musculature, as well as abdominal mid line firmness. You can mix up a couple of Core workouts if you have completed through at least module 3 and feel some improvement, but you may find you feel comfortable with some moves and not others. Continue with the moves you feel comfortable with and either sub out or modify the moves you don’t feel quite ready for. You can find modifications outlined in the ‘Diving Deeper’ videos found in the Connect Chat section of your program HERE.
SIGNS THAT YOU’RE NOT YET READY TO MOVE ONTO THE NEXT CORE PHASE:
- If you experience pelvic or lower back pain during or after the exercises
- If you feel unstable in the core or like you’re ‘falling-out at the front’ when you perform any exercise
- If your body shakes or trembles during any move or hold
- If there is bulging, straining, protrusion or doming anywhere on or from within your abdomen or pelvic floor when you exercise
- If you ever leak urine or fecal matter when doing any of the exercises.
Everyone’s starting point, circumstances, genetics (and a million other things) are different. Provided you’re seeing improvement, not only in the gap itself but also in the firmness of the midline, when you reach a new module that also includes the next level of Core phase, try a few of the exercises from that next Core video. If a move feels unstable or unsupported, back up. Below are the general guidelines for when to progress… But listen to your body. Try it, experiment, and mix up moves from your Core workouts… do what feels right for you. If you feel stable and think you are ready for the next Core phase then try it! If you try it and find you are not quite ready, back up or again try some of the modifications. You have lots of options to find what feels right for you and your body.
For those who need numbers read on below...
Don’t leave Core 1 until you have progressed through Modules 1-3 (that is at least 3 weeks) where Core 1 is the main focus. If you reach the end of Module 3 and you still feel you have a weak and unstable core with any symptoms listed above such as: doming, bulging, pain, then, stay in Module 3 with Core 1 for a little longer. Give it another week and see how you feel. Keep checking in with yourself until you feel you are ready for that next level. If you have progressed appropriately through Modules 1-3 and you feel your function and stability have improved and you are not experiencing any red flag symptoms, move ahead to Module 4 and Core phase 2! We focus more on core function and stability vs just the size of the gap when gauging progress- wanna know more about that?.. check this out.
Don’t leave Core 2 until you have progressed appropriately through Modules 4-6 (this usually takes at least 3 weeks). If at the end of Module 6 you are still finding you have a soft / unsupported mid line connective tissue & or pelvic floor weakness (sudden urgency or any leaking when rushing to the toilet - whether it’s urine or fecal or both), give yourself more time on Module 6 and focusing on Core 2. Give yourself another week and check in again - do you feel some improvements now? If so and you feel confident your core and pelvic floor are ready for the next challenge, move on to Module 7 and Core 3!
Don’t leave Core 3 until you have progressed appropriately through Modules 7-9 (that is at least 3 weeks). In Modules 8 and 9 you will find the option to mix it up between Core 3 and the previous Core workouts - use this as a chance to see how different Core 1 and 2 feel vs when you first did them. Do they feel easier? Do you feel more confident in those Core phases now? Take a moment to realize how far you have come! Once you have progressed through Module 9 check in with yourself - do you feel confident and strong doing Core 3? Do you feel ready for the next challenge of Core 4? If so, move ahead to Module 10! If you find you are not ready, no worries! Remember to progress at your own pace, stay on Module 9 and spend some more time with Core 3. Keep checking in with yourself and know that as you listen to your body and progress when you FEEL ready, that is when true healing can take place!
Bear in mind that the numbers are a guide, each mama will progress at a different pace. We encourage mamas to do their very best to be consistent in their core work, daily core is ideal. The more consistent you can be the more consistent you will find your strength returning and healing taking place. But, we are mamas juggling a lot of roles and in various seasons of life, and sometimes things just get in the way. MUTU is not supposed to be rigid or prescriptive, but fit in with your busy life. If you find you are not reaching that ideal daily core, realise that what you are doing IS making a positive impact! If you reach the end of a module and you were able to get the majority of the module work done and you feel ready to move on, please do. If you didn’t get the majority of the daily core work done, stay on that module a little longer to reach that majority.
There is a balance of ‘perfection’ vs ‘progress’ to find and if you are ever unsure head right over to your Connect forum HERE and pop a question in there - Nicole and the rest of Team MUTU are on hand to guide you.