Saturday 11 July 2020

Core Foundations for Men {The Tummy Team Review}

Today I'd like to share about another AMAZING new product from my favourite company The Tummy Team. They are an online specialist physio therapist team specializing in functional core rehabilitation.

Personally the Tummy Team have given me back my life as a mom struggling with post partum tummy issues and I was thrilled to see them release a special program just for men called: Core Foundations for Men.

Our Story

Seventeen years ago our lives were dramatically changed when Paul suffered a traumatic back injury which resulted in spinal surgery.  Little did I know that more than a decade of ongoing constant pain and frustration would follow.  Four years ago I was extremely dissatisfied with the constant merry go round of pain management and physio that was not permanently resolving the pain and sciatica flare ups for Paul.

After hours on Google searching for a way to heal Paul's back trouble and recurring, debilitating pain all I could find was the standard protocol: pain management and Pilates/physio.  However we had done that many times and always ended up back to square one with Paul bed ridden in pain and restricted movement.

How We Found The Tummy Team

I was surfing Instagram one day when I came across a rather intriguing graphic explaining that planking was not a good exercise for your core. Paul routinely did planks and was still having back pain issues so I went to the account  to find out more.

There were the most amazing before and after photographs of what Core Foundations could accomplish.  I was rather surprised at the info graphics explaining that Planking,  Crunches and Cross-Over Crunches are really bad exercises for your core and do not accomplish what we think they should.

I was drawn to find out more about their program since Paul had been regularly exercising including doing planking exercises to strengthen his core but was still having pain issues and regular flare ups with his back.

Four most common presentations of diastasis recti in men

Symptoms of Diastasis Recti in Men

  • A trench or football-shaped bulge down the midline of your tummy when you do crunch like movements or cough
  • Bulging tummy that gets worse with traditional abdominal exercises
  • Back pain (lower, mid or even upper back)
  • Overall weakness in your core – affecting your posture, your ability to lift or exercise
  • Lower back or SI joint instability – where your back randomly “goes out”
  • Sluggish intestinal function, constipation, the need to bear down to go
  • Flared rib cage or barrel chest
For more information read this post: What Men Need to Know about Diastasis Recti.

How does Online Core Foundations for Men work?

Here is a walk through of how the at home physical therapy program works.

Tummy Team Online Personal Account Portal Screen Shot
Once you have purchased your course and log in you will be taken to the My Account screen.  Here you are able to update all your information and access any courses and past purchases. This screen is accessible at any time by clicking on My Access.

Navigating to your course is via the My Courses tab.  Here you will find a list of your registered courses and pending courses that still need to be activated. Once you select your course, it will open a new page showing the weekly lesson/course materials links.

 Upon completing the work for that week, and you mark a unit/week of study as complete a green check mark will appear. Lessons are released at the pace of one a week. This is intentional.  The information you receive builds one upon the other and needs to be viewed and implemented in the order that it is presented in the same manner as if you were actively meeting with your personal physio therapist once a week. 

Each weeks lesson/consultation is presented as follows and in the same format:

Each weeks class/consultation opens with a welcome note and summary of the weeks focus.  Below this there are three buttons:

  1. Focus of the Week - Here is where you will find the purpose and focus for the week ahead. Some great encouragement and coaching.
  2. Helpful Tips - Here you will find a bullet point list of possible physical responses to the exercises / stretches for the week.  The list is comprehensive and spot on.  We appreciated knowing these things before commencing the weeks homework as we were prepared for the changes and how Paul's body may respond or react to the new alignment and strength it was gaining.
  3. Weekly Downloads - This is where you will find the pdf downloads for you to print.
    • Rehabilitation plan for the week ahead. 
    • Exercise Explanation Summary -  these contain detailed  photographs and explanations of the exercises/stretches you will be focusing on for the week ahead.
    • Exercise Chart - this is a chart to help you track when you do your exercises and helps you to find natural spots in your daily routine to incorporate them.
    • Assessment chart - this is done twice during the course of your treatment.  I encourage you to take your time and do these.  Paul discovered symptoms that were such a normal part of his daily living that he did not even realise they were symptoms until he did the assessment.  It also assisted him to see progress as it was so gradual.
Below this section you will find your video list for the week.

As you work your way through the video's the little dot to the left changes colour to green indicating you have completed that specific video.  Once you have completed the list of video's there is a button at the bottom to Mark your week Complete.  This in turn changes the tick box to green on the course home page making it super easy to know where you are each week.

The video can be played full screen by clicking on the four mini arrows on the right and the little cog allows you to manually select the quality of the video you want to play, available streaming is 360p to 1080p. It's default setting is auto. The video's in the play list will auto load upon completion, there is no need to click on next video.

Core Foundations for Men Handouts
The handouts are comprehensive and informative.  We printed them each week and at the end of the program had a 40 page document which I comb bound.  Paul is able to refer back to these notes and continue his journey to strength and wellness.

What is covered in Core Foundations for Men?

  • Introduction: Anatomy & Education
    • Welcome to Core Foundations for Men
    • Anatomy of the Abdominals
    • The Transverse Abdominis Muscle
    • Diastasisi Recti in Men
    • How to Self Check for Diastasis Recti
    • The Role of Abdominal Splinting
  • Week 1 - Awareness
    • Focus of the Week: Awareness
    • Initial Self Assessment
    • Functional Rehab Process
    • Active Sitting & Belly Breaths
    • Active Sitting & Transverse Holds
    • Abdominal Splinting
    • Initial Functional Integration: Desk, Car, Work, Exercise
    • Week 1 Recap
  • Week 2 - Connection
    • Focus of the Week: Connection
    • Progressing Transverse Holds
    • Common Compensations
    • Stretches for Initial Soreness
    • Abdominal Massage
    • Functional Integration: Bending & Lifting
    • Potty Posture
    • Week 2 Recap
  • Week 3 - Neutral Pelvis/Prostate
    • Focus of the Week: Neutral Pelvis/Prostate
    • Active Standing: Neutral Pelvis Stretches
    • Active Standing: Transverse Holds
    • Pelvic Floor Connection: Prostate Health
    • Weaning From Your Splint: Part 1
    • Functional Integration: Active Walking
    • Week 3 Recap
  • Week 4: Neutral Rib Cage
    • Focus of the Week: Neutral Rib Cage
    • Neutral Rib Cage
    • Neutral Rib Cage Stretches
    • Upper Back Activation
    • Rib Mobilization & Myofacial Release
    • Functional Integration: TA Squeeze & Release with Resistance Training
    • Week 4 Recap
  • Week 5 - Challenge
    • Focus of the Week: Challenge
    • Determining Your Personal Priorities
    • Multitasking the Core
    • Core Integration: Sports
    • Core Integration: Progressing Resistance Bands
    • Functional Integration: Household Chores
    • Weaning from the Splint: Part 2
    • Week 5 Recap
  • Week 6 - Core-Strong Lifestyle
    • Focus of the Week: Core Strong Lifestyle
    • Stretches for Your Toolbox
    • Optimal Alignment
    • Ongoing Functional Integration
    • Advanced Weight Training Considerations
    • Final Self Assessment
    • Case Study
    • Thank You
Other Courses from the Tummy Team
I have personally worked through Core Foundations and Floor of Your Core for Women and have benefited from the Teams online rehabilitation. To read more about what each course covers and how online rehabilitation works with the Tummy Team click on the following links:

Does Online Physical Therapy Work? 
Yes!  Both Paul and myself have benefited immensely from online therapy.  I have had a skype consultation and the therapist resolved my pain issue within five minutes.  There are many reasons to do online therapy.

Within two weeks there was a dramatic change in pain and range of motion.  Paul had not been able to sit tall while driving as it caused him too much pain.  At the end of week two he was able to tilt the back of the car seat into an upright position and sit comfortably.

Kelly and her team are experts in the field and currently are training therapists and medical professionals around the world.  Enrolling in online therapy means that you can set aside private space to do therapy without having to take time off work.

It's affordable!  An average physical therapist sees clients 2x/week for 6-8 weeks if not longer. Average physical therapy sessions run between $100- $250/session. This adds up. The Tummy Team online programs range from $63-$159 (Currently discounted to $53-$135)**. Their most popular online programs include the equivalent of  6-8 individual PT sessions.

**Prices current at time of review and subject to change at the discretion of The Tummy Team.  Please do check the prices BEFORE committing to purchase your course.
** Sale ends 31 July 2020 

Rehabilitation is dependent on  knowledge, awareness, and understanding  how your body  was designed to function.

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If you have any other questions about The Tummy Team
please contact them directly via their website here.

A big Thank You to the Tummy Team for sponsoring Paul with Core Foundations for Men to Review.  

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