Fitness + Health + Wisdom + Wealth

Pregnant Clients – Lynda Lippin

Guest: Lynda Lippin

Podcast Release Date: 5/6/2021


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Steve Washuta: Welcome to the Trulyfit podcast. I’m your host, Steve Washuta, co-founder of Trulyfit and author of Fitness Business 101. On today’s podcast, we will be speaking with Lynda Lippin about pregnancy, pre-pregnancy, interpregnancy, and post-pregnancy dassies recti. We’re going to be speaking about pelvic health, all the things surrounding pregnancy, how you can help your clients out. Exercises to potentially stay away from, things to look at and understand the anatomical nuances of having a baby.

We have done this in the past, and we’ve had other podcasts surrounding this, but we’re going to continue to cover this topic because in the National Academy sports medicine Facebook forum, it’s probably a question that’s asked every single day, which means that people are still not comfortable with it.

We don’t learn a lot about it in our studies as personal trainers, so you have to have the day to day experience with it. Or you have to really do your own due diligence and read up on it. So today, Linda is going to be speaking with us about all things surrounding pregnancy. It is a good one with no further ado, here is Linda. Linda, welcome back to the Trulyfit podcast round two with us here, we had a great conversation last time and also have great conversations off-camera talking shop. So it’s good to reunite with a personal trainer and an instructor during these odd COVID times still not being able to see trainers all the time only seeing our clients.

Today though, in particular, we thought we would talk about dealing with pregnant clients, potentially about to be pregnant, post-pregnancy, and all the issues that are associated with that come along with pregnancy and how we deal with them.

I am going to throw to you Let’s talk a little bit about the I would say the common training techniques and tips and issues that are taught to us as trainers when we’re dealing with people who are either postpartum or currently pregnant.

Lynda Lippin: Okay, great. So realistically, when you’re dealing with somebody who’s currently pregnant, I go by how the pregnant clients feel. Some women are fine laying on their backs throughout their pregnancies, you know, the big issue with lying on your back is simply that the growing fetus starts to basically sit on top of your aorta and other organs and basically can make you a little uncomfortable and make you a little bit dizzy and make you a little bit nauseous. Now, again, it depends where the baby is, right? So for some women, it is not a problem.

They don’t have an issue with it up until their you know, final month. Some women just can’t. And then we have you know, triangle pillows and wedges and all kinds of ways that you can prop them up a little bit. They’re not lying all the way down. But again, if they’re fine with it, if they’re sleeping on their backs, if they’re doing that at home, it’s okay to have them in that position, you know, within a gym or, or within a studio. Most pregnant women are going to become uncomfortable on their stomachs, they just are, it doesn’t mean they can’t be on all fours.

It doesn’t mean you know, they can’t be in other positions where they are prone in relationship to the ground. But if you just think about it, if you’ve got like a basketball-sized thing happening in your abdomen, and then your boobs are getting bigger and they’re sore, laying on your stomach, just not going to be a great time. So again, you know, for simply having our pregnant clients get the best bang for the buck in the session.

Why put them into a position you know where it can be so uncomfortable or do you have to do so much pillow jamming and modifications to get them in it? When they can do plenty of things sitting, plenty of things standingl plenty of things lying on their sides, plenty of things, you know, in on all fours and in other positions. You know, we just give things up for a little while. the first trimester is usually not a lot of change, right? There’s not a lot of physical change, everything’s really internal.

The second and third trimester is where you start to see a lot of hypermobility happen. And I think what everyone has to remember is that pregnant women have a hormone it’s called relaxing.

It is called relaxing for a reason. It is basically meant so that your connective tissue can start to stretch enough basically to allow a big enough separation at your pubic This is to allow the baby to get through. So you’ve got a lot of movement in the SI joint, particularly and a lot of movement in the pubis, okay, so the pelvis becomes a little unstable and a little wonky, right.

But that relaxing also affects every joint. So these are those moments where suddenly sometimes your really stiff pregnant clients feel a little bit looser. And they kind of want to move more to bigger ranges of motion, which isn’t always the greatest thing to do. Because again, this is a temporary moment of hypermobility simply for a specific purpose, right. But you’ll see a lot of pregnant women with bad si issues, right, we see a lot of sacroiliac issues in in pregnant women during pregnancy.

After pregnancy. You can also see a lot of disc herniations happening during that time, because again, you know, we have connective tissue that is holding the vertebrae together. All of the connective tissue starts to overstretch. And I think it’s just kind of important, you know, to remember that. And then the final thing really, for me is not working to really not working adds so much, right? Because the ABS now have to expand.

They have to stretch, they have to get bigger. And what we’re trying to do is allow for those muscles to stretch out without getting any kind of overstretch or over-separation, right? So what we see happening in a lot of women, is what we call this is rec tie, right? And all that means is it’s an overstretch at the linea.

Alba, right, which is that line straight down through the front of the wreck, you can see it in the middle of the rectus abdominus. That’s what it’s what separates the six-pack. But it’s also where all of the abdominal muscles meet all of them.

Everything comes together at that linea Alba. So what happens is when you start to get some separation and overstretch in this to have the directive, the whole abdominal area becomes a little weakened. I always say it’s, you know, when you’re carrying like either a plastic trash bag, or a plastic grocery bag, we don’t see them as much anymore, but they still exist.

Sometimes you get an area of the bag that’s really overstretched and becomes a little clearer. You just know that that could go at any moment. And it could be bad. That’s essentially what is I asked this red tie it except it’s in your app.

Steve Washuta: Yeah, that’s a great visual and also fantastic anatomical information that you gave there. So thanks for that. And there’s a lot I can go from here and ask secondary questions. First, I want to mention that my wife is currently pregnant, she just started her third trimester. And starting in the second trimester, she had very bad SI joint issues, she’s got sciatica, basically. It doesn’t really matter what she does, I think because of their relaxing because of the issues going on, we can kind of fight now at this point. And by using the proper stretches to kind of soften it and make sure that she’s not in that much pain, but it’s still going to be there.

Unfortunately, and I don’t know if, on the front end, we could have done things to strengthen areas where it wouldn’t have been as bad. I don’t know. I mean, it’s in hindsight, but I do know that that’s that is an issue. And a lot of my pregnant clients that I’ve worked with, in the past do that same SI joint issue that you talked about, and having, having those back issues happen to be in you know, and you and I treat it the same way provided I’m also concerned and I understand what they’re going through as far as being able to lay in certain positions or not lay in certain positions, but I do treat it the same way.

Personally, as I do my other clients who have sciatica as far as the stretches that I do, sort of the crossover leg stretch, piriformis stretch, making sure you know the hamstrings aren’t too tight, and making sure things are kind of even on both sides.

We don’t have tight, you know, if we’re not tight in the front, either. So it’s you go through the same stretches, but I want to move back to what you just talked about because I think it’s very important just to reiterate that much like a client who comes off an ACL surgery or client who has back pain or client who has elbow pain, we all deal with pain differently. Our bodies all work slightly differently. And we have to know that when we’re working with pregnant clients like you said with someone who’s pregnant or post-pregnancy that there isn’t one clear blanket answer there’s not never put them supine, never put them prone never do this.

We have to look at them individually. See what their goals are. See how they respond is that babysitting high or low cut that Makes a difference on whether we’re putting them on their back or not and, and look at all the different avenues before making an overall prescription. So if your goal is to say, I’m going to write out on a piece of paper for all my pregnant clients, these are the things to do. And these are the things not to do. I think that’s a bad idea. You need to assess them individually.

Lynda Lippin: Exactly. Two years ago, when my friend Miriam finally got pregnant, she had been trying for a really long time, and she ended up having twins. Now, she’s probably well under five feet tall. She ended up I swear to you, she was bigger around than she was tall at some point during the pregnancy. But she had a diathesis regtime. Now, that wasn’t anyone’s issue of training or anything, that was simply an issue of being a tiny human, and then growing to fully human.

At the same time, there was nothing she could do about that. However, she’s been able to pretty much pull it back together. And I think it’s also important to note that along with that, you’re gonna get that tightness, right, because if you get overstretched abdominals, obviously, that’s going to get tighter.

When you have such an imbalance, you know, usually with pregnancy, the rib cage ends up shoving a little bit up and forward into a little bit more of kind of, of thoracic extension, any woman with a swayback, your sway back is going to be way accentuated during pregnancy, because it’s going to you’re going to default to the most comfortable kind of postural position.

But it also causes a lot of tightness and weirdness to the diaphragm, through the internal obliques and those muscles, right and into the pelvic floor and in the glutes. And that doesn’t mean that you know, that every woman needs like specific pelvic floor work some do when I send them to physical therapists, and you know, they get that works there.

We incorporate as much of it as we can in Pilates but basically, that whole area kind of, of the torso, you know, is affected, because as I always remind my pregnant clients, our whole breathing mechanism is essentially a closed system, right.

That is how we are able to kind of form that vacuum, as the lungs empty, that then forces everything to expand for the lungs to fill. All of this is kind of dependent on all of the muscles around the torso around that kind of canister, you know, that’s holding us together, that all of those muscles are functioning the way they should be.

And again, if you have a big overstretch happening in any place in that canister of your torso, that’s going to affect breathing, right, it’s going to affect intraabdominal pressure. It’s going to affect how our bodies deal with intraabdominal pressure. So intraabdominal pressure is simply the pressure that you get down into your abdomen, say when you inhale, right, you inhale, the diaphragm, start to expand, right, the lung starts to fill ribs can expand, the belly can expand pelvic floor drops, it allows all that expansion. But imagine that if you had if I asked to subtract tie, you know, say four fingers. So you’ve got that much space in between the two halves of your abdominals. And suddenly you’re attempting to get good deep breaths.

That’s going to be hard. It’s going to be even worse if you put yourself into a position that has already increased intraabdominal pressure. And this is where I kind of just get into these general things that especially at the beginning of having diathesis. And probably, you know, I would say late trimesters in pregnancy, you really want to look at avoiding one of those is any kind of abdominal crunch position. Any position where you’re in forward, basically forward thoracic flexion. Right, because as soon as you close those two have together you increase the intraabdominal pressure.

And what you’ll see right in Erectus, NA diathesis right? You will see literally a piece of tissue come up between the two halves at the linea all but you’ll literally see like a mountain peak, right or a dome. And that’s what you’re trying to avoid. Because what we’re trying to do is get that tissue to some kind of better 10 sale strains.

So that it can hold everything in when you increase intraabdominal pressure. So you know the positions and increase in abdominal pressure are closing in the front, ribs to hips, right? We also get increased intraabdominal pressure through the front of our abdomen when we’re in the prone position.

Now, that doesn’t mean we don’t do them for diathesis. Right? It just means you get to modify their work on all fours. And really just work on holding it together before you, you know, do anything bigger. Other positions and increased intraabdominal pressure, sure automatically are pressing things overhead. Right. So overhead presses, military presses, things like that are going to be an issue because again if you can’t hold it together in the front, that works going to go someplace it shouldn’t.

And it’s not just going to be in the shoulder. You know, I’ve had pregnant clients, post-pregnancy, seriously who have come to me after working with other trainers, both in Pilates and in the gym, and literally had their trainers say to them, well, if you were doing this properly, it would be fine for your diastasis. And, of course, my responses, but you’re with your trainer, who you’re basically paying to make sure you do things properly. So what is that said? I don’t even know what to say about that. And I was like, yeah, you know, just tell them you’re not doing overhead pressing or crunches until I get clearance. How about that? I’m like, and if they can’t figure out work to give you in a gym situation that doesn’t involve those two things, then I don’t quite know what you’re paying for.

Steve Washuta: Yeah, yeah, I echo those thoughts. I do think when we’re talking about pregnancy, it is important, though, for clients, or I should say, for trainers working with their eventual pregnant clients, to get them prepared also, right?

So if your client, you might not be tight enough with your client, to have them tell you that they’re trying to get pregnant, but if have that relationship, and they say “I’m in the works”, it’s important, then, if you’re a personal trainer, who doesn’t have a Pilates background, to start understanding breathing, and how you engage the smaller muscles because that’s going to help your client not only throughout the process, you know, sort of hug the baby rather than brace down and do all these proper things.

And also post-pregnancy, which we can talk about a little bit. I think it’s important, you know, while you’re lying in bed, and you’re and you’re laid up for weeks to do those small things to go through your breathing routines, right to make sure you still have kind of that neural activation of those smaller muscles in the pelvic floor and start to build that back up before you get into exercise.

But, you know, if you’re just a, unfortunately, a general personal trainer, sometimes you might not have that knowledge of breathing and engaging some of the smaller muscles. So to educate yourself in that area, whether that’s you getting a certification through Pilates, or just doing some sort of more in-depth research on breathing, I think it’s going to help your client through the entire process.

Lynda Lippin : Oh, definitely. You know, other things that clients can be working on prior. And you know, first trimester kind of rolling on, it’s a lot of pelvic stability, a lot of torso stabilization, a lot of differentiated movement as the hips, this is not the time to be tightening the ABS all the time, this is the time to work them but also keep them stretched out enough so that again.

We know what happens to super tight muscles when we try to suddenly stretch them It never goes well you know, all watched athletes and had friends to tour you know, bicep tendons and quad tendons and all kinds of fun things, partly by you know, trying to stretch something that was not ready to stretch. As we know, when our muscles you know, don’t want to stretch even though our and to preserve the bones, our bodies will pass the Senate. 

Steve Washuta : I think this it’s also a really good time during these processes to relay back to our pregnant clients and to remember that our job is long-term health and wellness to help our clients. It’s you know, it’s not just a six-week program to make your biceps defined. So, you know, by telling your client, it’s okay, we’re going to be taking two steps backward so that we can take three steps forwards, we’re going to learn to do the right things.

Ang you know what that I am worried about your long-term health, I want you a year from now after this baby to be better than you were before, and the only way we can get there is to teach you all the other things leading to it. It’s like leading into an event almost right the pregnancy is an event. You’re prepping for the event and you’re going to you know focus on the other things later on.

Lynda Lippin : Right I mean, cardiovascular stuff co2 mags, like all of that is super important. Endurance work is super important. You know, an upper body work right because they’re going to be carrying a baby literally holding carrying nothing holding Holding while doing other things, and it’s not like you’re just carrying, you know, the dead weight you’re carrying squirming, kicking, trying to do things. Wait. It’s a whole, it’s a whole different ballgame.

Steve Washuta : Yeah, and I would say postural alignment things too because a lot of women tend to, and I don’t wanna just say women, anybody, we all tend to do things one-sided, right. So it’s like, I always reach to the right to do this, I always carry the baby on the left side, that’s going to mess with your postural alignment, you’re going to be overworking underworking muscles, we know what happens, synergistic dominance, so on and so forth. So I think it’s important to keep them cognizant of that, you know, make sure that when you’re, when you’re holding the baby, you’re not always slouching down to the left and, or that you switch arms and to do all these things to get your client thinking like how we think to start thinking like a trainer.

Lynda Lippin : Right, and this is where, you know, if you’re thinking about the way people are holding things, seriously, working on, on cleans, it’s a good time to do that to work on just racking, picking up from the floor, it’s a good time to work squats and deadlifts. It’s a good time to work. Like, surrender squat kind of things, because people are going to be kneeling to give bags and things like that, and you need to be able to get back up and down from these positions. So some of the exercises that you know, that I’m throwing out are not necessarily typically what we would think about getting ready to get pregnant or, or you know, the already pregnant woman.

But again, think about the kinds of things that she’s going to have to be done while holding you know, squirming in 10 to 20 pounds objects, right. So you know, even in even in like the after the way that laws and the other probe and programs I’m involved in, like our joke is always and it’s not a joke if you don’t have a heavy enough weighted home, like a purse.

And you can do the goblet squats with pulse just like that. But you know, all of that work to kind of keep the hips going to keep the hips mobile, not working a lot on pelvic tilt.

What happens is, you know what, as the abdominals get overstretched, and things get weak, the pelvis naturally wants to start crawling under us. And that’s where also you can get a lot of issues in the sacroiliac joint from being in that consistent Pusteria.

pelvic tilt that’s kind of unsupported and just kind of locked in, the more work you can give women and literally letting their hat, their tail kind of hang behind them kind of tail up work, in terms of you know, bird dogs, and different things like that, that’s going to be fine for them. Side plank, all of that work is actually great.

You know, for people who can support it now, for things like running and stuff like that. It really just again, it’s going to depend on the woman, but if someone’s really, really super pregnant has, you know, is carrying large, for whatever reason, running all the time, it’s just not going to be so great again, for the pelvic floor and the diathesis. Because you’ve got the hypermobility. Now, you’re kind of bouncing up and down. And I’ve had, you know, several clients who have said, if somebody has said this to me, I would have cut the running down. Like I didn’t have to run that much while I was pregnant, I could have done something else. But they told me running was fine.

Steve Washuta : Yeah, and you know, you’re right.

Our job as trainers is to make sure we tell our pregnant clients, hey, if you don’t want to if you don’t think you can run, and you’re confused about what else you can do, as far as cardiovascular health is concerned, that’s what we do, right?

You guys can come to us as trainers, and we will make sure that we keep things creative in order for the client not to get bored. And that and that’s, I understand from their perspective, especially if you are a runner, and that is how you get your endorphins up.

Sometimes it’s hard to match that somebody who runs by day, you can try to match it on an elliptical, it’s not going to work, you have to run something else what I do with my clients personally, but you know, this, I have a background in kickboxing. So I’ll do a lot of boxing with my clients who are runners who then can’t run, whether they have a knee issue or they’re pregnant, they still get those endorphins out and it’s still sort of a very cardiovascular event. So you just you got to think on your feet and be creative.

Lynda Lippin: Right, exactly. And, you know, once the baby’s born, and you’re really kind of working, you know, the postnatal again, the biggest, you know, the biggest issue with the diathesis-stress type situation. And really for all women after giving birth is not faring down. Right. No Valsalva maneuvers happening. Not none of the holding the breath while pushing like none of those things that, you know, we might give for specific training reasons can happen. Right? It all has to be about those abdominals hugging in and pulling in and up. And I’m not always looking for women to close their diathesis. Right, like we talk in those terms.

The only way to fully heal a diathesis wreck tie is to have it sewn back together. Okay. The fact of the matter is, is that is not a surgery that is covered by health insurance, at least in the US, because they asked us to strike tie is considered part of the costs of pregnancy. Yeah, right. So you just got to set that up.

I have had pregnant clients who have had the money who have had, you know, the repair, but it’s considered cosmetic surgery. And, and it’s extremely expensive. But what I am looking for is, at first, the tissue in the linea, Alba with the diathesis, wreck tie feels very squishy and mushy, and soft, like you could literally feel like you just stick your fingers through.

Now, as women get stronger, and again, and they work in a safe, more kind of neutral pelvis, differentiated movement at the hip, with proper breathing, and again, avoiding positions where you’re automatically increasing insurance nominal pressure because we’re just trying to teach them had to do that. Right, as they as you start to see them being able to do that in like a squat or whatever, then you can start to look at, you know, putting them on their backs and doing the crunch or trying an overhead press or something. But what you’re looking for is for that peak not to happen to debayer down not to happen.

For those abdominals to really kind of stay pulled in and up. After a few weeks of doing that, you can literally feel the 10 cyl the tensile strength of the tissue change. Instead of just being kind of squishy and mercy, and yeah, and you know, soft, it feels more almost like a trampoline.

So that even if the two halves of the abdominals aren’t closed all the way.

And we see plenty of photos online of celebrities and athletes and other folks who have a clear separation, they have a diathesis. But you can see that the tissue in between is a pot, right? That’s really the best-case scenario, that’s what you’re looking for.

It’s kind of a functional diathesis is something that requires pretty, you know, relatively consistent like attention just in terms of making sure that you’re not bearing down making sure that you know, things are held together.

And working in that way, you’re going to help strengthen the sacroiliac joint Joint Working in that way, you’re going to help strengthen the abdominals in the pelvic floor. working that way, you’re going to help strengthen the abdominals and the back muscles in a place where you’re not overusing the back. And if you’re working, you know pretty much neutral pelvis, then you’re going to get some good strengthening in through that lumbar region anyway, which should help any disc herniation or anything else is going on.

Then you know, it usually takes like six to eight weeks of that kind of training of really leaving out the out, you know, traditional AB work leaving out the overhead pressing leaving out the big rotation, right, because if you just think about an overstretched plastic bag and filling it and then twisting it, it could clearly rip at any given moment. You know, avoiding that kind of bigger movements staying very controlled. And then once you can see that that thing is holding together. So you can be on all fours that thing is holding together maybe a plank, that thing holds together, then you can start to add, then you can start to add a heavier weight or squats or overhead presses. But again, without the bearing down.

Steve Washuta : Yeah, and I think there’s, you know, this is another whole conversation but there’s a big stigma, at least in the personal training community about using machines and I hate it because they’re there for a reason. We shouldn’t always use them. It’s important as personal trainers we understand and teach our clients to move in all directions typically are at a client who doesn’t have any issue I want them moving in all planes of motion.

We want them moving in functional movement patterns but machines are great for things when you have limitations due to injuries or potential injuries.

So things like pregnancy, right if you want to find a way to work your pregnant clients, and you can’t think of exercises without them engaging their core and you’re worried about them engaging their core too much. Well, you can put them on machines, you can use machines from time to time you. You have to use everything at your disposal in order to use those things. So it’s not just about being creative, if you want to get to your goal, sometimes you have to dumb it down and use sort of the easier, right functionalities.

Lynda Lippin: And even if you’re a trainer who typically does use, you know, free weights, barbells dumbbells, that could be the time that you put your client in the Smith, just for the just so that your client has the psychological knowledge, and then she lets go with that bar.

It’s not going to hit anything, it’s just going to sit there, you know, and it gives that structure and that sort of, you know, it’s the same thing when you close a kinetic chain, right, like, structure helps kind of calm the nervous system down a little bit, you kind of know what’s expected.

And, you know, I agree with you that there are times when we need to rein our clients in, I mean, if you’re watching your clients who have chest press, and she’s like, hypermobile enough, and all over the place that you can see, there’s get, like, way too much movement here.

And way too much, you know, the scapular movement that’s just kind of getting involved and just weird, and it doesn’t look right, there is no reason to not just go back to a machine chest press.

Yeah. all afraid of motion-controlled positions. And for a few weeks, it’s going to be fine.

Steve Washuta: Yeah, there are some times where you don’t, it’s perfectly but so if I’m watching my client do a squat. And he, I should say, not he or she, she, in this circumstance is concerned, let’s say post-pregnancy with not bearing down and things of that nature, right.

And we’re also focused on making sure there’s no need for valgus and making sure our knees aren’t poking over our toes, making sure she has a neutral spine, and all these other things, it may be too much.

But if I put her on a leg press machine, you know, in a safe manner, she can just focus on working those leg muscles and not have to worry about all those other things and still stay strong in this sort of post-injury because that’s essentially what it is, right? You were coming off, a lot of women are actually coming off in surgery, right, because this could be a C section.

But either way, this is trauma done to the body, there’s nerve damage, there is less ability to feel certain muscles in those areas. So you have to kind of start your way and build back up.

And for those of you who aren’t as familiar with a lot of the I should say, core parlance and the anatomical parlance, and really the breathing associated with those things, it’s time for you to get as associated with those things.

Because if you want to be able to tell your client, how to hug the baby, and how to not bear down, you have to also know how to do those things yourself, right, until you’ve done them, you’re able to relay that in all the different ways in which you need to because there’s going to be some clients, I’ve talked about this a lot, when your verbal cueing, you just don’t get it. So the only way you can continue to, to make sure they get it is to use other analogies, in other words, until they finally get it, but if you yourself don’t have experience with it, you’re not going to have the vocabulary, and the sort of the quick, the quick, creative way to give them other analogies.

Lynda Lippin: Right. And then you know, it’s also, you know, knowing that, you know, some days might be completely different, you know, you might have a day with when you just really, really tired, and the diathesis is popping like all the time because it’s the energy just isn’t there to have that focus.

And then maybe that’s a day when you focus more on glitching and sideline tip work and some five blankings and all of the other things that you can do that will help strengthen another also another place where machines can come in handy because again, it’s just getting that controlled environment, you know, just giving them a little bit more structure and, you know, so many training videos, so many of us now are kind of anti-structure and really just want to work, you know, fun functional exercise like all over the place.

But as we know, there are just some times when clients really do you know, need that structure and the stability of the equipment is you know what, like what we always say in Pilates right is that mat is the hardest for work. It’s just this I mean, you know to get as hard as the mat is on the apparatus you got to go like light spring and get really funky in your work and that’s when you’re doing the push-ups and the star and all that stuff. That is never stuff that we teach clients the first time they walk in the studio.

Steve Washuta: Yeah, you’re right and to go back to something you just said before, which is a great point that you have to check in with all of your clients but especially your pregnant clients prior to each appointment.

So you might have a particular workout that you already have set out for that day, whether it’s working, helping their dr clothes, or whatever else working on their legs, but when you check in with them If they give you any hesitation otherwise, and they’re giving you information that they’re not ready to do this today.

That something’s acting out that their back is hurting them, you have to be ready to change on a dime and go to something else and not be completely structured and saying, all we’re gonna do is try to help your Dr. out Yeah, you have to have other plans in mind.

Lynda Lippin: Definitely. And you know, and again, that’s, that’s why I always like to talk about just like kind of the general, you know, the rule is we’re just dealing with intraabdominal pressure, you’ve got to overstretch in the canister in the pressurized canister, and we have to deal with that overstretch before you can really, you know, have her navigate the intraabdominal pressure, that’s all this is, it’s just about how our bodies navigate through more pressure in the abdominal cavity.

And normally, we just don’t have to generally think about it. You know, that makes it really easy. But, you know, you can certainly take a client that has diastasis recti, and is having a bad back day, and still, give her work, that’s going to be fine for her diastasis recti, but is also going to help with the back pain. Or maybe you’ve just been doing a whole lot of pelvic stability and hip work, and she wakes up one morning and her shoulders out because she slept wrong. You know, and then you’re going to figure out how to deal with that.

Steve Washuta: I I feel like trainers who aren’t sure, with pregnant clients. who truly aren’t sure should refer those clients out.

Lynda Lippin: Couldn’t agree more.

Steve Washuta: I think we should all be training our clients in our zones of excellence, I think it’s only fair to ourselves, and it’s only fair to the client. If you’re not ready for stuff like this, learn it. And but while you’re in the process of learning it, uh, you know, trainers who can take these clients, and for the, for the young trainers out there, it’s only going to further your career as far as the networking is concerned.

Because when you have a pelvic floor specialist, an orthopedic doctor or a sports medicine doctor, when you have whatever podiatrist when you have all these people in your Rolodex and you’re able to send them out to the appropriate person, not only does your client go, Oh, this, this person is a well connected professional, they appreciate it because they know that you’re interconnected in the medical community.

But inevitably, those people will then trust that you’re that they’ll send people back to you, knowing that you trust experts, right, so so they will work with you and you will get nice URLs back tenfold. So don’t try to be all things to everybody. It’s good if you know this stuff already. But even sending them to somebody who you trust in the Pilates community to say, Hey, listen, my client needs to work a little bit more on their breathing small muscles, those sorts of things, not my expertise. Do you mind working with them for whatever, half-hour sessions a week to work on that? And then tell me what you did with them. And I’ll try to replicate some of those things. It’s important to build those networking opportunities in the community.

Lynda Lippin: Yeah. I really feel like, you know, going back to the last discussion you and I had, we were talking about imposter syndrome and all these issues that that trainers have, I think we do get we get scared to like refer clients to other trainers as if they’re just going to never come back to us or it’s never going, you know, to be a good thing.

And I was, you know, I was thinking and it’s probably a lot of it has to do with like the circles that I’ve traveled in my life, right. But I’ve watched I have a lot of clients who go to the dog pound here in New York City, right. And that was originally the trainers who train huge Hugh Jackman. Right. And they got Hugh, from Wolverine to dancing on Broadway multiple times, right? Wolverine dancing on Broadway. The Wolverine body does not do well dancing on Broadway.

There’s also the issue of getting people up to that size functionally, and getting them back down from that size functionally, without hurting them both metabolic literally, and, you know, muscle-wise. That’s not my specialty. Right? I don’t do that. Could I probably figure it out. Maybe if I had, like, not my specialty, but it doesn’t have to be? No, because there’s like this whole studio now of all the trainers who do that? Yeah, right. So literally what I have actors come to me or performers come to me and they’re like, Look, I got to get, you know, much bigger or much smaller.

For this particular role. I’m like, oh CDs guy like that’s what they do that what I do, I give you other things for you. But those guys have the Dogtown refer clients to me, I’ll define. Yeah, because what I do is different, right. But what I end, they also know what works, because all their clients who see me are doing great with everything. And vice versa, right. So we’ve got this No, like, once again, that know, like, and trust factor.

And I think, you know, it’s important for all of us to realize that we don’t need to work with every single client, we don’t need to have every single specialty. But if we’re going to do it, we need to do it really, really well. And really give it our best because, you know, we are realistically taking people through life major life events through transformative life events. And, and we needed to take that seriously.

Steve Washuta: There’s also a good, I guess you would call like a psychological component that it’s not purposeful, but it’s a, it’s a good benefit that that comes from this. When you send clients away, they naturally think, Oh, this person’s either so busy or so confident that they can just ship me out to someone else. And that in turn, gives you more cachet, so to speak, right? They’re like, Oh, wow, look at that trainer, they’re willing to ship me off to someone else.

Because in other industries, that doesn’t always happen, right? If you’re, I don’t know, you know, a hairdresser. Or if you’re somebody who’s like a construction person, you might not ship out these other things, because you’re afraid to lose that money. But in our industry, it’s more than that, right?

We’re not just creating a look, this isn’t just vanity, we’re worried about their long-term health and wellness. So we have to ship that out.

And again, all of these things, have these, this networking, sending people away and building that cachet that you’re that trainer who doesn’t mind sending people away, it will come back to you tenfold, build your business, better, long term.

Lynda Lippin: And doesn’t that happen anyway? I mean, haven’t we all had the experience of you know, say you go to a dermatologist, but you get a specific diagnosis.

And it’s something obvious, that that term could probably deal with. But they’re super busy, and they have a colleague down the street who deals with your specific issue.

So this one, you know, and they send you off? And it’s like, you know, why wouldn’t you want to go to the more specific person, does it mean, you’re never going to go back to your original dermatologist, you probably will for all of your other dermatology.

Yeah. And at the very least, if you don’t, you’re going to send your friends over there, because you liked them so much. So that’s, you know, in the world, that’s how it works.

And I’ve noticed that in fitness and in Pilates, we tend not to do that we just kind of want to kind of hold on and hoard them all.

I it’s not always to the best effect for us, or the best outcome, you know, for our clients. Because if we’re stressed out about working with a client because we’re not really sure that we’re doing the right thing, or what we’re doing, then, you know, we’re causing ourselves a whole lot of unneeded stress. And we’re not serving anybody really,

Steve Washuta: Prior to hopping on here recording, we were talking about how sometimes when you’re in the fitness facility or gym, you watch other personal trainers, and you see the equipment or the exercises they’re doing and you almost like forget, you’re like. Oh, I remember I used to do that all the time. Let me let me bring that back into my routines because my routine has gotten stale, or No, I haven’t used that that thing.

And I think kind of adding to that conversation. When you refer someone out more often than not you still you connect with them, and then they send exercises back to you that are phenomenal for you to use down the road for other clients who have that same issue. So let me give you kind of a wholesale example here.

I worked with golfers but I was not TPI certified, I would send them once they got past my point, whatever I can do with them, right, I would make sure their lats were stretched out, I would make sure they had good mobility and thoracic rotation.

But when it got beyond me, I would send them to a TBI specialist who would in turn send me exercises back to work on with that client. So then when I had other clients down the road, who came to me with those same issues, I already had those exercises on hand that I knew worked because I got them from the specialists.

And then I didn’t need to send them to the specialist. Right. So it was almost like a one-time fix for me that that gave me all these new exercises and all these new Noes, it’s it really it’s is it is against your better judgment. You have to force yourself to meet these people and send your clients away. It’s only going to help you.

Steve Washuta: I want to kind of bring this full circle here.

We talked a lot about it, and I want you to kind of sum this up, I’ll first try to do it on the front end here, but we talked a lot about understanding that every client is different going through this pregnancy process.

You know, in your pregnancy, for lack of a better term during pregnancy, post-pregnancy, we talked about how, you know, dealing with Dr. Whether it’s the depth, whether it’s one finger that goes too deep, or whether it’s four fingers that go too wide, it’s all a problem, right? They’re all dealing with it. And there’s no total way to fix it. Unless you get surgery, we just have to work slowly to get it back.

You and I already have talked a lot about how it is important to use the proper breathing parlance and work on the pelvic floor muscles And if you don’t know how to do that, then either start to learn or refer them out to other fitness professionals who can better handle that, is there anything else we can add to help personal trainers who are dealing with pregnant clients?

Lynda Lippin: I think that’s pretty much it. I mean, you know, it’s, it’s, it’s not an illness, right? You know, but just stay safe with people. It’s also a reminder that pregnancy is not the time to introduce a whole lot of newness and a new routine.

There’s going to be things that you introduce and modify because you might be taking somebody you might be downgrading somebody from a more complex thing to a simpler program, not necessarily an easier program, but a simpler program, right.

So they might need a little instruction if you’re doing things differently or giving them slightly different exercises. But in general, like if somebody hasn’t run before, it’s not the time to start running.

If somebody you don’t want to add brand new activities, that is definitely something that the medical community has come out with because your body’s already dealing with something very, very new, especially if it’s your first pregnancy. Yeah, everybody has no idea what’s going on.

Steve Washuta: Yeah, great information. We forgot to mention that most trainers already know that right? That it’s kind of rule 101. That’s the one thing we do learn. As Certified Personal Trainers is not time to introduce new things, it makes perfect sense. You don’t know how their bodies are going to adjust and adapt.

And if you’re going to introduce new things, make sure it’s you know, a modification down, not a modification up. Makes perfect sense. Linda, this has been a wealth of fantastic information here that the trainers can use.

Let’s plug in some of your stuff. Although I always put it in the bio and put it on Instagram and stuff. Let’s plug in some of your stuff.

How do people reach out to you whether there are trainers who have specific questions and they need help, or whether there are people who might want to potentially use you as a trainer?

Lynda Lippin : Great Steve, so people can just go over to my website, it’s spelled just like my name.

If you’re a personal trainer, you’re going to see that most of my stuff is geared for Pilates teachers simply because I am a master Pilates teacher.

But any of the stuff that I have for Pilates professionals, including that pricing, which is lower for private sessions and things like that can be used by a certified fitness professional.

From my website, you can feel free to shoot me an email and folks can also book a free 15-minute consult if they just want to go quickly back and forth and ask me a few quick questions.

Steve Washuta: Awesome. Thank you very much, Linda, and look forward to speaking with you again on another Trulyfit podcast down the road.

Lynda Lippin: Thanks, Steve. 

Steve Washuta:

Thanks for joining us on the Trulyfit podcast. Please subscribe, rate, and review on your listening platform. Feel free to email us as we’d love to hear from you.

Thanks again!


YOUTUBE VIDEO: Pregnant Clients: Considerations & Tips



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