RECORE and maintaining my Core

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My consistent and deliberate work on my DR began in 2016 when I met Celeste Goodson. Celeste has a BS in Fitness and Wellness and 15+ years experience in health and fitness from working in physical therapy clinics to cardiac rehab, aquatic therapy, and numerous fitness facilities. Celeste has been certified through ACE as Medical Exercise Specialist since 2005, certified to train those with musculosketal, neuromuscular, and metabolic conditions cleared by physicians. After her own personal struggles postpartum with her third child (mild prolapse, Diastasis, stress incontinence, and struggles returning to running), she started ReCORE in 2011 and felt the need to focus on helping postpartum women properly re-activate and re-strengthen their inner/outer core progressively before returning to typical exercise. Even those that don’t deal with DR still have core and pelvic floor weakness, and activation/stability issues postpartum. Celeste is an avid runner and marathon junkie.

When we first met she took me through some tests, measurements, and gave me my homework for ReCORE:

1ST VISIT- Aug 8, 2016

-Tested inner core coordination (breathing, pelvic floor activation with with ab sets, maintaining neutral spine)

-Discussed Intra Abdominal Pressure and the importance of breathing and lifting pelvic floor during the hard part of any exercise

-Tested inner core strength with Drop Test

-Discussed splinting

-Measured DR – did passive measurements with DR, but primarily looked at the active measurement (measure when abs FIRST start to activate) since that is measuring functional DR

The focus in the beginning was:

1. Making sure inner core coordination becomes a habit (lift pelvic floor when engaging, relax pelvic floor when relaxing abs) and not involving the glutes when lifting pelvic floor

2. Keeping neutral spine and not shifting pelvis

3. Adding inner core coordination and strength progressively with larger muscle groups –  add glutes, abductors, and quads to help improve core stability and hip drop and working with Hypo2 all this time has been a huge help.

We did more advanced core strength/coordination testing with me (Pistol and Star Test) because I did pretty well on the initial Ab Set and Ab Set Ha’Ha exercises and had decent strength/inner core coordination on the Drop Test. Celeste doesn’t typically do the Pistol or Star Test with recently postpartum clients.

PISTOL TEST – left side more unstable than right (work on inner core coordination with quad, abductor and glute strength)


1st visit – just struggled on the last 20 degrees of the leg drop.

2nd visit – ace’d the drop test 

3rd visit – just re-assessed DR and pistol test

Celeste has been gracious enough to offer a discount for 10% off the FITsplint or downloadable ReCORE program. You can use my name: Steph10 at checkout. If you are a pro athlete or someone who has certain goals/circumstances, I would recommend looking into one-on-one training with Celeste (via online) to customize the progression. She is a wonderful person and resource to work through all of this with.

DR in my experience can’t ever be fully healed, but if you can restore strength and stability and muscle coordination you’re basically where you want to be. I still have saggy skin, and I will forever for a few reasons. Because I run on average 90-115 mile weeks I lose most of my body fat all over, but the excess skin from my stomach stretching will always be there. I have accepted that. I don’t want surgery, I don’t feel its necessary but I understand some women do so that’s your choice. Just know I don’t believe the surgery will actually correct the muscle instability and weakness but just fix the cosmetic issue. That’s a debate with some doctors I know. After doing ReCore for about 3 months and continuing to do maintenance exercises all the time for the last 18 months no longer have pelvis pain, prolapse, back pain, and my ab muscles are about as good as I’d like to see them. I believe the goal for you women who have this condition should be to get out of pain, build strength, maintain that strength, and then build confidence in your physical appearance. In that order. I do suffer occasional weaknesses and injuries will pop up for me, but I’m also pushing my body more than the average person but have loads of time for recovery, a team of support, and it’s my job. Things I avoided in the beginning phases were planks, push ups, sits up (always) and basically anything you did that created a bulge in your tummy. If you bulge, back up, that’s too aggressive for where you are at. I lift very heavy weight now (3 years PP) performing squats, doing plyometrics, and just about all core exercises. Don’t rush, work from the inside out, and you’ll get there. Rock your imperfect tummies, start the conversations in coffee shops, and let’s get doctors and therapists to address. I don’t believe there’s a too late. I think you can always begin working on your core, whether your child is 6 months or 6 years old.


If peeing your pants is cool consider me Myles Davis- Billy Madison

Dream Big