5 Problems with MUTU System for Diastasis Recti Healing
When I started the MUTU system, I didn’t have extra money, extra energy or extra time. I had recently paid nearly $6,000 dollars for the birth of my child. I was coming off very challenging weeks of breastfeeding a child with a painful tongue tie. I was so freaking exhausted I can’t even describe it.
The purpose of this article is not to complain and not to bash MUTU. If you know me, you know that MUTU was a lifesaver. But it was not all rainbows and butterflies. It was challenging for me to get through the program. I believe many other women will face similar challenges.
This article is to help prepare you for the commitment you make when you decide to pursue diastasis healing at home. Hopefully, you will able foresee and overcome challenges that may come your way.
The purpose is also to help you feel confident with your decision NOT to take this path if that is right for you.
If you are broke, time-deprived, tired and wondering if you can in fact be successful with MUTU, this article is for you.
What is the Mutu System?
MUTU is a medically tested and medically recommended 12-week exercise program to help moms heal their Diastasis Recti and Pelvic Floor issues after and during pregnancy.
As a Seattle doula, I have found that diastasis recti and pelvic floor prolapse are some of the most commonly ignored ailments among the women I work with. This is why I’ve spent a considerable amount of time writing about them on this blog.
However, like any path to healing, MUTU is NOT a one size fits all program and not for everybody.
5 Problems with the Mutu System
Problem 1: There is No One-On-One Guidance
Obviously, with a pre-recorded class, you know the instructor won’t tailor her class to you specifically. This program is designed to work with a vast amount of women at different stages of healing.
When working to heal Prolapse and Diastasis Recti, your body is in a unique place. You may or may not be able to do certain things. For example, some women with Diastasis can do crunches and some cannot. (For the record there are no crunches in MUTU).
Being able to help you with your exact dysfunction is a strength that a physical therapist has over an exercise program like MUTU. Physical therapists can be very direct and helpful. Watch for an upcoming guide to the best physical therapists in Seattle.
If you are not in Seattle, you can look up a PT that is qualified to help you with Diastasis Recti in your area here.
How MUTU Addresses the Lack of One-On-One Guidance:
The MUTU system addresses the lack of one-on-one guidance in two ways. First, the program gives a lot of instructions on how to do things properly. There are separate videos to watch on form and posture. Second, instead of starting as a physically intense program, MUTU starts very, very gently.
In the first two weeks, you only do a twelve-minute series that helps you reconnect and begin to establish a foundation of functional movement. These exercises take you all the way back to the starting blocks of functional movement, the breath.
MUTU was the third exercise program I began for my prolapse. It was the first one that I felt started at the absolute basics and that helped instead of exacerbated my problems.
KEY SUCCESS TAKEAWAY: COACH JOHN WOODEN SAYS “CHAMPIONS ARE BRILLIANT AT THE BASICS”. SPEND TIME AT THE VERY VERY BEGINNING OF FUNCTIONAL MOVEMENT, THE BREATH. DO NOT SKIP THIS PART.
2. You Need to Order the Exercise Kit or Have Several Different Workout Tools Available and Easy to Find at Your Home.
I debated if I should buy the exercise kit that is recommended with the program. I ended up getting it on a whim and I am glad I did. Honestly, I don’t know why there is an option to buy the program without the bands, ball, and straps because you do need them. Trying to makeshift those things on the fly is a giant PITA. Personally, I think most people won’t be successful with the program unless they have the equipment.
KEY SUCCESS TAKEAWAY: MAKE SURE YOUR ENVIRONMENT IS EQUIPPED WITH TOOLS THAT WILL EMPOWER YOU TO DO THE WORK.
3. Anyone Who Says “Your Young Children Will Love Working Out With You” is Lying.
Look, I have adorable kids and I think they are amazing. I still detest exercising when my kids are around.
My kids love when I exercise with them because they think it’s the best time to exercise by climbing on me, crawling under me, or making mischief like dumping all their water on the floor and standing next to me yelling “moooooooom”.
Basically working out with kids is asking to be interrupted a thousand times. I could find a sitter. I could drop them at a friend’s house. I could be more dedicated at night.
Sometimes I just don’t want to do that. The regularity of a scheduled appointment with a therapist or class where I do not bring kids with me is very beneficial to me and a drawback of an at-home class.
How MUTU Helps Busy Moms Fit This Program Into Their Schedule:
On the other hand, the MUTU creators did take into account that this is a program for moms with young kids. The system has three parts to complete each week.
An approximately 12-minute ab/breath exercise you do every day.
Daily walking for only 15 minutes.
An approximately 25-minute strength training program they suggest you do 3 times a week.
In theory, even for me, this is doable. In reality, I don’t always do it.
There is also support via email and texts if you like reminders. There are times when an email from MUTU helped me remember to do the work.
KEY SUCCESS TAKEAWAY: BEING A PARENT IS CONSUMING. DON’T FORGET TO PUT ON YOUR OWN OXYGEN MASK FIRST. MAKE TIME FOR THE WORK IF YOU WANT THE WORK TO WORK FOR YOU.
4. MUTU is Effective but Boring in the Beginning.
When you start the MUTU system, the first 2-weeks are a very simple (though very detailed) 12-minute breathing and ab exercise series. I expected each week to be different. I was excited when I finished the first week. I was ready for a new workout for the second week. I was wrong. The second week is the same as the first week, exactly.
As I moved through the program and saw how the weeks built on each other, I became grateful for this strong foundation. However, it was frustrating enough at the time that I quit and didn’t come back for several weeks.
KEY SUCCESS TAKEAWAY: JUST LIKE LEARNING A LANGUAGE OR AN INSTRUMENT, THE LESSONS, IN THE BEGINNING ARE VERY DIFFERENT THAN THE ONES AT THE END. KNOW THAT WHAT YOU ARE DOING FIRST IS BUILDING A FOUNDATION FOR THE FUTURE.
5. The Words ’12-Week System’ Seem a Bit Deceiving.
One of the most difficult parts of finishing MUTU was the mental game. When a systemis called a 12-week system, it is easy to expect yourself to finish it in 12 weeks. That’s what I wanted. .
However, for me, it took me about a year to actually move through the entire program.
In the beginning, I found that the initial breathwork/ab exercise was more than enough for the body I had. I wanted to move on to more challenging weeks. But when I did, I found my symptoms relapsed. I wasn’t ready for it.
This was frustrating and disappointing. I wanted to be further on my healing path. But I wasn’t. I learned to love where I was and spent plenty of time doing the things that I could feel were helping.
How Long Did MUTU Take For Me to Finish?
I typically needed about a month in a new area, not a week. Now, my symptoms were rather severe at the beginning. Perhaps if things had started off not so bad, I would have moved more quickly through the program. Perhaps not.
I also stopped for various reasons, such as feeling frustrated, having big work projects, and sick kids. So I sometimes was not working the system in that time.
Spending so much time in each section did help me learn it well. I found that I was the most successful in fitting MUTU into my routine if I did each new video with the instructions 2 or 3 times, then I could just use the downloadable cheat sheet with the list of exercises and do it while watching TV.
As a caveat, I do want to add in, it only took me about a month to feel like I could be back in a Bikram or Hatha yoga class where I was moving with purposeful intention. It took about 3 months longer to feel safe moving in a faster-paced Vinyasa class.
KEY SUCCESS TAKEAWAY: WORK WITH THE BODY YOU HAVE UNTIL IT CAN DO THE THINGS YOU WANT.
Stop quiffing when I go to yoga classes (highly embarrassing).
Yes! All my initial goals were about physical diastasis recti and prolapse symptoms that were making me uncomfortable and impacting my everyday life. By the time I finished the first 2 weeks I accomplished my most important goals.
After that, I set new goals to work on strength and posture.
MUTU brought me all the way to the very basics of movement. I needed to relearn how to move functionally after a c-section and 10 lb baby. Of the three programs I tried, it was the only one that started at the very basics and built up in a way that honored my body’s true needs.
So is This a MUTU System Negative Review?
Not at all! Overall, I have benefitted from using the MUTU System. I highly recommend it to my clients and friends who are looking for an at-home program to address their diastasis or prolapse.
Overall, I feel better, I look better and I simply enjoy being in my body again. But the most important thing to me is being able to enjoy my time with my family and not worry about my body aching. See this photo of my family out on a walk? If you read about the diastasis recti symptoms I experienced, you would know this wouldn’t have happened before MUTU because it would be too painful.
So yes, if you are considering MUTU, and have considered how you will fit it into your daily life, then I think it is a great program to try out. I hope these MUTU system problems gave you a clear idea of the challenges you will face if you embark on this program and a clear idea of if this program is right for you or not.