I first discovered I had diastasis recti about 8 months after I had my second child. I had just finished nursing him, and was already back to my pre pregnancy weight, but noticed I still looked a few months pregnant. I figured I would be able to work off the belly fat through more strenuous workout, clean eating, and nutritional cleansing.
A month later, nothing had changed. In fact, some days it looked even worse after an intense workout. In true millennial fashion, I took to the internet, searching things like "lost baby weight but still have tummy." Over and over the words diastasis recti came up. It didn't take me long to realize that was exactly what was going on with me. I am 5'4 and normally 117 pounds with a short torso, but had just birthed an 8 lb 10 oz baby. I had also done push-ups, planks, and other exercise that put extra pressure on my core during and after pregnancy. It's no wonder my abdominal muscles became separated!
Honestly, I felt sad and embarrassed at the state of my stomach, but I knew we were hoping to have another baby fairly soon, so I kind of just stopped exercising. I didn't know what was safe, what would make it worse, and if my form was even correct. I'm an athlete at heart, and truly missed my hard core workouts, but my fear of making my abdominal split worse was greater than my desire to exercise.
After having baby #3, I felt ready to do something about my diastasis recti, but absolutely knew I would need some guidance, such as a program or system to follow. I had heard wonderful things about the MuTu System, so I reached out to them about collaborating with me.
I received the MuTu System for free in exchange for my review. I am so thankful for the chance to review this system, because I refuse to believe that I need to walk around looking 5 months pregnant for the rest of my life, and I want to give other women hope for feeling comfortable in their bodies, too!
I am currently 6 weeks in, and I want to give you my 100% honest review of the MuTu System, now that I'm at the halfway point. I will do another update at the end of the system, detailing my results and my recommendations. The links in this post are affiliate links, which means I will make a small commission if you purchase the MuTu System at no extra cost to you!
Let's jump in, shall we?
What Is The MuTu System?
"MuTu System is for women who want their bodies to look, feel and function better after having a baby. Whether you had your baby 6 weeks ago or 6 years ago or more. A proven, truly effective, tried and tested solution for ‘mummy tummy’, diastasis recti, pelvic floor weakness and core that isn’t as functional or strong as you’d like it to be."
I'm testing the 12 Week Program, which includes:
- week by week work outs with real time videos and PDFs
- a nutrition guide
- support and community
- information about alignment
- instructive videos with the science behind the program
- lifetime access to the program
Structure of the Program
I absolutely love how the program is set up. Everything is online, which means I was able to access the videos and workouts even when I was at a conference in Las Vegas. You have the option to download the videos ahead of time if you know you won't have access to the internet, or even download a PDF with pictures and descriptions of the exercises.
The program is divided into 12 weeks, and each week has a few elements to check off. The early weeks start with simple core moves and stretches, and you begin "intensive workouts" which work up quite a sweat in the 3rd week. Each week gets a bit more challenging, so I feel like I'm completing levels and making progress, which is essential for motivation.
What Are the Workouts Like?
My biggest fear going into the program was that I would be bored by the ease and simplicity of the workouts. Like I said, I enjoy a good HIIT workout and am a former college athlete. I was imagining a "Sit and Be Fit" type work out (does anyone remember that show? It always came on after The Price is Right in summer when I was a kid).
In the first two weeks when it was just the core work, I did feel a bit antsy to start really exercising and working up a sweat, but when I looked ahead I saw the word "intensive" and trusted that there were some good workouts in my future.
All I have to say about the Intensive Workouts is: I hope you like squats! You'll be doing a lot of them. That works for me, because I know squats are a great full body workout, and very efficient. I'm definitely sweating at the end of each workout, and they are each only 23 minutes long. My kids do them with me, and it's hilarious to watch my 2 year old squat.
Having said that, the core phases are where the magic happens. If I have a day where I'm too tired or busy to fit in a walk or a workout, I always make sure to fit in the core phases. They only take a few minutes, and you can do them while watching tv.
What I Love
- I love that it's a holistic program, covering posture, nutrition, and science instead of just throwing a few exercises at you that you could find for free with a quick Google search.
- I love that the workouts are fairly short, but still challenging. My mom asked me during a FaceTime call what I had been doing for an arm workout because my arms were looking toned. Thanks MuTu!
- I love the cues Wendy gives during the videos. It's very helpful to know what I should be focusing on during a squat instead of just going through the motions.
- Wendy is very encouraging in her videos, and I especially loved the motivational talk she gave at 6 weeks. She gives you permission to be human, acknowledging that you might cave and have some cookies, or skip a workout one day to take a nap instead. She encourages you to accept that you'll have those days and keep going.
What Was Challenging
- I HATED the breathing stuff at first. I really just wanted to turn my brain off when I was working out. But knowing when to inhale and exhale, and when to engage your core are essential to healing and growing stronger. I begrudgingly acknowledged this, and it has become easier with practice and time.
- You'll need to pick up a few items if you don't already have them at home. I already had weights, but I ended up having to go on a Target run for the exercise bands. I'm using my son's toy basketball instead of an exercise or medicine ball.
Will I See Results With This System?
I think, as with any reputable system, you get out of it what you put into it. When the kind people at MuTu gave me the opportunity to review this program, I made a decision that I was going to make it work. I know too well the physical pain a diastasis causes (back and hip pain during and after pregnancy), and even more so the emotion pain of not feeling comfortable in your body. Not being able to wear half the clothes in your closet because someone might ask you if you're pregnant. I wanted to show other women it was possible to overcome all of that.
I struggled for the first few weeks. Until you start seeing the results, you're proceeding on blind faith that this is going to be the thing that's going to work. The first 2 weeks of the system are mainly walking and core phases, and making changes to your nutrition and diet. You're not sweating or doing intense workouts, and you're wondering if you're making any progress. This is why you must follow Wendy's (she's the creator of the system) advice and take your before pictures. If you can compare your progress every few weeks with where you started, it will be so motivating!
Here is my before photo next to my 6 week progress photo:
I have some more progress to make, but I'm incredibly proud of the hard work I put in, and I'm so grateful for a system like MuTu that made it easy for a busy mom like me to make the changes necessary to heal. I can't wait to see what my 12 week photo will look like!
I will hold off on my recommendations until my final post when I've completed the program. I'm someone who likes to know all the facts before I make a purchase, and I want to hear other people's success stories if I'm going to invest the money. In the meantime, I want you to know that I'm very pleased with my progress so far on the system, and I've found it easy to incorporate in my life. I loved being armed with knowledge, and MuTu does a great job of doing that! I look forward to sharing my 12 week update, so stay tuned!
Ready to purchase now, or just want to do more research? Head over to the MuTu Website!