Diastasis Recti Exercises that Make a Difference!
Do you have diastasis recti (abdominal separation)?
Need some safe exercises to help heal your abdominal separation?
I am here to help you!
Experiencing abdominal separation is just one of the common body changes you can expect. While it may sound bad, it’s common and I have a program to help you recover more quickly.
Including the right diastasis recti exercises into your workouts will help to restore deep abdominal control. Also, they will help promote abdominal muscle recovery and reduce diastasis recti postpartum.
Your goal when performing these exercises is to ensure you are using the correct deep abdominal activation technique.
Ready to know what exercises to avoid if you have diastasis recti?
I have a great free video for you. Click on the image below to get instant access.
Only Include Safe Diastasis Recti Exercises in Your Workouts
Immediately after childbirth is a time to allow your body to heal and recover. Gaining access to safe postnatal exercises is essential for your recovery.
You should always consult medical advice if you do have a diastasis. And only start an exercise program once you have been given approval by your doctor.
Every woman will have their own individual needs and will recover in their own time.
When Should I Include Exercises in My Workouts?
You will most likely remain in hospital for several days (longer if you had a caesarean).
Your nurse will assist you to gradually get out of bed and be active with short walks or gentle exercises. If you had a caesarean your recovery will be quite different.
Diastasis recti is a separation of the outer rectus abdominis muscles where they join in the mid-line of the abdomen.
I often see too many women return to inappropriate abdominal exercises after childbirth. This only prevents or delays their recovery and contributes to a range of associated problems.
Exercises to Avoid if You Have Abdominal Separation
Immediately after childbirth you must avoid intense core abdominal exercises. These include; crunches, planking, abdominal curls and heavily loaded resistance exercises during your postnatal workouts.
While many trainers promote these exercises to a healthy population it is important to note that these exercises will only increase unwanted strain on your upper abdominal muscles. This will cause them to separate further which impacts on the healing process.
4 Diastasis Recti Exercises that Require No Equipment
1. Diastasis Recti Exercise 1
Pelvic Tilts with Gentle Abdominal Activation
1. Start by lying on your back.
2. Gently engage your deep abdominal muscles. To feel this, place the heel of your hands on your hip bones and have your finger face down towards your pubic bone.
3. Then gently think about drawing your belly button inwards and feel your lower belly gently draw back.
4. Stay with just this, or add pelvic tilts by flattening your back and engaging your deep abdominals and pelvic floor.
5. Then gently arching your back and relaxing all muscles.
2. Diastasis Recti Exercise 2
Single or Double Knee Drops
1. Lying on your back with your knees bent and feet flat.
2. ‘Drop’ either one or both knees to one side. If you do single ensure the other knee stays still.
3. Gently engage your abdominals to lift the knee (or knees) back to the starting point.
3. Diastasis Recti Exercise 3
1. Lie on your back with your knees bent and feet flat.
2. Slide one leg away from you, keeping the heel on the ground.
3. Slide it back in, keeping your pelvic floor and deep abdominals gently activated.
4. Alternate sides.
Once you are ready to advance (remember not to rush into advancements!) you can lift the foot off the ground and lengthen it long without the heel touching the ground.
4. Diastasis Recti Exercise 4
Single leg lifts
1. Lie on your back with your knees bent and feet flat.
2. Slowly lift one leg up so the knee is directly above the hip.
3. Ensure the heel is in line with the knee so you are creating a 90 degree angle at the knee.
4. Keep that same angle as you lower the leg back down.
5. Repeat on the other side.
6. To advance, add leg extensions.
How Can I Exercise When I Have a New Born Baby?
When you are a new mother post-pregnancy you will likely be sleep-deprived. Tired. Exhausted. And will struggle to find the time for any exercise or activity.
You should aim to participate in an appropriate postnatal exercise workout at least 2 – 3 times each week or as directed by your doctor.
Taking this time out of your busy schedule for yourself will provide some great benefits to you both physically and mentally.
These postnatal workouts take into account all of your body changes that occurred during and post-pregnancy.
Your workouts should include exercises that are safe and effective to help you naturally heal your abdominal separation. You should also continue with your pelvic floor exercises.
Here are some tips:
1. Always be guided by your doctor.
While my workouts are specifically designed for pregnant women and new mothers, your personal situation may prevent you from exercising. Every pregnancy and postpartum recovery will be different. You will have your own experiences and challenges.
2. Be kind to yourself!
You are not trying to set any personal bests during this postnatal period. The 12 weeks after childbirth are very important to your recovery and will impact on your future health. Now is not the time to be worrying about losing baby weight.
It’s about healing! Recovery. And re-gaining your body confidence.
3. It is all about you re-gaining your body confidence!
I am here to help you gain trust in your body to function how you want it to. My pelvic floor exercises will help stop embarrassing leakage. My weekly workouts are designed to strengthen your core.
4. Communicate with your partner, family and friends.
You need to get some time to yourself so you can exercise. As well as relax and take a moment to look after yourself.
5. Walking your baby is also a good way to get some exercise and fresh air.
Grab a friend, maybe from your mother’s group, and head out for a walk. Schedule several walks in each week. It is a great way to chat to someone who is also experiencing many of the same post-baby body changes and experiences you are.
6. Stop immediately if you experience any pain or discomfort.
7. Wear an appropriate bra that offers good support.
8. Wear comfortable clothing and appropriate footwear.
You deserve and need to invest in a good pair of walking shoes. Otherwise, you may experience some unwanted injuries. A good pair of shoes will support your feet, have good grip and will be properly fitted.
9. Take regular rest periods when required.
Again, now is not the time to be trying to set personal bests. Plan your workouts so that you rest when needed. Healing after childbirth takes time.
10. Drink plenty of water to stay hydrated.
11. Start off slowly and if possible progress to getting 30 minutes a day of activity.
If you are walking, then no doubt you are already exercising for more than 30 minutes. This is fine. Just be aware that more vigorous workouts should be limited.
12. You can always have your baby near you as you perform a short video workout.
Every week I run a ‘Mums and Bubs’ class where our amazing mums bring their babies and work out. My postnatal workouts are designed to allow you to exercise with bub near by.