Safe home exercises for diastasis recti

 

Diastasis Recti is an increased abdominal separation in the midline of the abdominal muscles. This separation is completely normal and necessary when the belly expands by the third trimester of pregnancy. In more than half the women studied by Diane Lee, PT, BSR and Paul W. Hodges, PT, PhD the distance of the linea alba “remains abnormally wide 8 weeks after delivery, and, although some recover by 6 months (60.7%), many have not at 1 year.”

If you are among the 39% of women who have had difficulty recovering, returning to exercise, or strengthening your abdomen after pregnancy, I want to offer you hope and instill confidence that it’s not too late to connect with your core. 

What is the core?

The core is like a canister with a top, bottom and sides that wrap around. It isn’t just a group of muscles in the front that help you do a crunch. It’s a pressure system and the pressure has more to do with the stability of your core than we typically have given it credit for. Whether you are holding your child or a kettlebell you are loading your core. Having a core that functions well under load because the entire pressure system is integrated and efficient is the main goal. Keeping this goal in mind should guide your exercise program more than the single goal of closing the gap. 

Many women with DRA avoid exercise for fear of making things worse. However, there is evidence from multiple studies that show the incredible benefit of exercise. Whether you have Diastasis Recti, pelvic floor dysfunction, or a weak core the following home exercises listed below are safe to begin.

Image credit Continence foundation of Australia 

Diastasis Self Check

The following can help you confidently check your diastasis and empower you with how to talk to your PT or MD.

 

 

 

Safe Home Exercises

Ultimately your exercise guide should be geared to what you want to return to. What do you fully enjoy and where do you need help? Whether you want to return to Pilates, Yoga, HIIT, bootcamp, running, or Cross fit you can get there with the right help.

Diastasis advice on the internet can be rather scary. Here is a myth busting video to help you decipher the truth.

Download my FREE Diastasis Guide to exercise with confidence today.

  1. Give yourself many movement options and incorporate all motions into your exercise routine.

    Flexion – ex: sit ups

    Twist – ex: russian twists

    Extension -ex: super mans

    Side to Side – ex: side plank

    Hinge -ex: dead lift

    Squats

    Push /Pull – ex: Rows or Overhead press 

    Carry- ex: Farmers carry 

  2. Load the core to gain confidence.

    Standing – using upper body resistance 

    On your back – single or double leg lower 

    Sitting – bicycle sit up 

    On all fours – bird dog or bear crawl 

  3. What to pay attention to:
    1. Abdominal bulging
    2. Pain in neck, back, hip
    3. Widening or increased depth of the DR
    4. Breath holding
    5. Increased pelvic floor pressure 

Are you a health and fitness professional looking for the best evidence for how to help your clients with Diastasis? Download the 4 main GOAL’s to program for Diastasis clients 

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