An Exercise Plan for Abdominal Coning or Doming

You might have heard the phrase “coning or doming” duh duh duh….But don’t fret! This post will help you:

address when it is happening

figure out different strategies or modify

build strength through the abdominal wall

Here’s the good news, 66-100% of prenatal women will experience doming in their 3rd trimester. Wait… what?

Yes this is true! Your rectus abdominis have to expand to make room for the baby, it happens to 100% of women. You might have already experienced it yourself when you are getting up off of the couch, leaning backwards unsupported, or getting out of bed.

Coning or Doming is a mismanagement of intraabdominal pressure (check out our previous blog post for reference). it can look like a shark fin or pointiness down the midline of your belly. During doming, the linea alba (that runs in between your rectus admoninins) is unable to support your intra abdominal pressure when this occurs.

Although this is common, there are strategies and modifications you can make to maintain that tension and build strength through the fascia.

So… what should you do about it, and how can you avoid it?  Let’s dive in!

Address when it is happening

  • Pay attention to when you see this within your own belly

  • When and how did it occur?

  • What was your alignment like?

  • How did it feel within your body?

Body awareness is something that we always encourage clients to develop. This is  easier said than done I know. But this will be SO beneficial for you in figuring out the strategies you need to stay safe and optimize core function. By checking in to notice what position you were moving through, or how it felt within your belly, you will be able to avoid or adjust in the moment.

Figure out a different strategy or modify 

  • Synchronize the diaphragmatic breath through high pressure movements (we are huge advocates of firing up the core to support you, check out our instagram for a tutorial)

  • Check in with your alignment – ribs over hips will allow you to maintain that intra abdominal pressure, optimizing core function

  • If you notice coning when getting out of bed (aka a crunch motion) try log rolling to the side instead, pushing yourself up with your hands

  • Modify in the moment! If you are in a class and are doing any isolated abdominal work (planks, leg lowers, crunches, etc…) and notice the doming or coning in those positions change it out for something that is more suitable in the moment (any of the exercise we  listed below are great options)

We empower our clients to make choices that are safe for them in the moment, never discouraging them away from certain movement patterns. It is important to see how your body reacts, are you able to are you able to maintain tension, is this the best movement pattern for your your goals, and how can we optimize your strength. The more connected you become with your body and it’s functions the easier it will be to address these things in the moment.

Building Strength Through the Linea Alba

Listed below are a few examples of exercises you can use to modify when coning or doming, they help support you in building strength through the core while avoiding increased pressure through the linea alba. These are great modifications you can use when in a class that you feel or see doming in.

  • Diaphragmatic Breath

  • Supine Marching

  • Supine Heel Taps

  • Any Anti- Rotation Banded Movements ex. pallof press, hug a ball

  • Carry

  • Woodchop

  • Bird Dog

  • Planks- Modified onto knees, modified to incline off couch or table, modified to wall

  • Push Ups- Modified onto knees, modified to incline off of couch or table, modified to wall

  • Beast Hold- Advanced

Synchronizing the core through the use of diaphragmatic breath is going to be the best strategy for you to use through those difficult movement patterns. Feel confident in making the choice to modify or skip a movement based off of your intra abdominal strength in the moment. And know that tension can also be regained PP with similar strategies and progressions!

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    Sarah Matias

    Why did you become a pre/ postnatal exercise specialist?

    After working in a physical therapy clinic I very quickly became aware of how underserved the pre/
    postnatal community was. Women who were trying to conceive, pregnant, and postpartum were
    seeking out help and guidance in navigating their motherhood journey. The healthcare professionals
    did not have the time or resources to be able to provide them the one-on-one attention they needed.
    Being able to empower women and help support them through their journey is something that I could
    only have dreamed of. The Lotus Method has allowed me to help women not feel alone through this
    challenging time in their lives, and I love being able to continue supporting them!

    What inspires you the most about our clientele of
    badass women?

    Their priority to take care of themselves! Our clients run the world, from stay at home moms to CEO’s
    these women’s schedules are packed! Yet they still prioritize taking the time to invest in themselves.
    Literally running from a meeting straight into an exercise circuit is not uncommon for our mom’s. They
    carve out an hour to focus on their strength, their mental health, and their happiness!

    If you had to listen to one song on repeat for the
    rest of your days – what would it be?

    How can I just choose one! River by Leon Bridges or Ritual Union by Little Dragon.