Mutu System vs Tupler Method
Diastasis recti, otherwise known as abdominal separation, is the separating of the abdominal muscles that run down the sternum to the groin forming a gap of around 2.7 cm or more. The condition is caused when too much pressure is exerted on the abdominal muscles. It is very common, but not exclusive, during pregnancy when the uterus pushes against the abdominal muscles causing them to stretch and separate extending outwards. The condition, although not associated with morbidity or mortality, can be very debilitating depending on its severity. Thus, it is essential to seek treatment for abdominal separation. The condition can be treated without the need for surgical intervention. Research has found success in two techniques: one the Tupler Technique and two the Mutu Technique. These methods use tailored specific exercises to treat abdominal separation and aid the bodies natural healing process.
The Tupler Technique
How the Tupler Technique works
Julie Tupler, a certified personal trainer, childbirth educator and registered nurse developed the Tupler Technique in 1990 as a Maternal Fitness program. The method is all about ‘positioning’ and ‘protecting’ the connective tissue which supports, binds and connects the abdominal organs.
The method relies heavily on the use of a ‘diastasis splint’, which is essentially a band that wraps around the abdomen to position the connective tissue correctly for it to heal. The splint is comparative to a band-aid used to treat broken bones. It aligns the tissue appropriately to aid the body’s healing process.
In addition to the splint, specific exercises are also performed. In the first six weeks of the program, it is recommended that no sporting activities which involve putting pressure on or twisting the abdominal muscles are carried out. This six week focuses on making sure your body has time to heal the connective tissue. After the initial six weeks, the connective tissue will have become stronger and so the exercises will progress.
What’s good about the program
- Good available information and support: The package includes the splint band, a DVD, and a guidebook. Once signed up, Julie Tupler also provides guidance via giving live one hour sessions to answer users questions, in addition to giving weekly tips. The program looks to provide a scientific education about the diastasis recti and how the Tupler Technique works as a treatment, meaning users understand the scientific logic that forms the bases of the method. The program progresses over 18 weeks, although may take longer for some.
- Ability to communicate with other users: The program provides users with a ‘belly buddy’ and a chance to communicate with other participants via a blog. There is also the option to be a part of the associated book club and connect with other people using the technique for support and guidance.
- Daily performance of the exercises is achievable: The exercises given do not take long and can be performed anywhere e.g. whilst your sitting in your car or at your computer desk, at any time of the day.
- The method works in closing the abdominal separation: The results of the program are noticeable. Completing the program is widely reported to close abdominal separation.
What’s bad about the program
- The splint: The Tupler Method requires that you wear a splint 24/7 with the exception of bathing, which some users have started to find uncomfortable at times.
- No nutrition guidance: Having a good, balanced diet is important to aid the body’s healing process. The Tupler Technique comes with no nutritional guidance.
- Difficult Exercises: Some users have reported that they find it difficult to complete the exercises as sometimes the explanations are not clear. Although the exercises do not take a long time to complete, around 2.5 minutes for each exercise, performing them three times a day may be difficult with tight schedules.
- On-going process: The technique has been shown to close the abdominal separation, however, without continuation of the program once the gap between the abdominal muscles has closed, the abdominal muscles can separate again. It is important to continue with the exercises, in addition to incorporating them into any new exercise routines. The results are thus dependent on the user’s ability to continue with the program in a manner that can be sustained.
The Mutu Technique
How the Mutu System works
Wendy Powell, a certified international personal trainer and post pregnancy exercise expert, developed the Mutu System around 2010 as a maternal fitness program. The method differs from the Tupler Technique as it is focused on improving poor positioning, alignment and reducing internal abdominal pressure. The aim of the method is to focus on the root cause of diastasis recti, to improve entire core and pelvic floor strength as opposed to solely focussing on closing the gap between the abdominal muscles.
Specific exercises are performed, which concentrate on the transverse abdominal muscles, but also the whole body. For example, the program builds up to allow the user to perform a plank, a push-up, and squats. The program lasts for a period of 12 weeks, with the exercises beginning with more tame stretching exercises, but progressing in intensity as the weeks go on.
What’s good about the program
- Good available information and support: Signing up for the program gives individuals access to an online program with a complete step-by-step guide of how to complete each exercise with clear demos that can be downloaded as PDF documents. There are also fact file downloads, and coaching guidance to aid users progression. The program is very educational, the science behind the method explained to the users.
- Ability to communicate with other users: Once signed up for the program users have access to a community to communicate with other users. In addition, users have access to an associated Facebook page on which Wendy is very active to answer questions and give advice.
- Daily performance of the exercises is achievable: The exercise routines only take 15 minutes each day, so the program can easily fit into a tight schedule.
- The method works in closing the abdominal separation: The results of the program are noticeable. The program has been shown to be successful in treating diastasis recti.
- The splint: There is no need to wear a Splint in contrast to the Tupler technique. The splint has been stated to be an inconvenience to many users of the Tupler technique.
- Nutritional guidance: Having a good, balanced diet is important to aid the body’s healing process. The Mutu System provides good nutritional guidance.
What’s bad about the program
- Difficult Exercises: Some exercises such as the push-ups and planks may be difficult to perform, especially for individuals with more serious diastasis rectus showing signs of bulging, pooching or doing. However, Wendy does address this and provides alternative exercises.
- On-going process: The exercises must be continued after the 12 week Mutu program is completed for lasting, sustained results. The system teaches the users to become aware of their body so that they know how much to push each exercise.
To read reviews of all the programs, search in the Diastasis Recti category.