I realized I had diastasis recti at about 5 weeks postpartum. You can read about my story at my 10 weeks post partum update.
*UPDATE on healing my diastasis
See all of my diastasis tips here
Being a personal trainer and have clients that have or had diastasis recti (DR) I knew some about it. I generally knew the key issues with it but did not understand it fully until now. To be honest, I never thought I would get it. If you are sitting here and never heard of it, that’s okay. You’re not alone. It is not often talked about.
Hopefully more and more ladies will discuss it to help spread the word because the great thing is – it’s fixable!
It’s kinda sad that very few of us even know what it is, and MOST IMPORTANTLY — How to GET RID OF IT! That is where I hope to help.
You first need to test yourself to make sure you have diastasis recti (DR).
How to check for diastasis recti
Lie down on the floor with your knees bent. Place one hand behind your head for support. Next, take the index and middle fingers of your other hand and place them just above your belly button, pointing them downward. Slowly raise your head off the floor and feel for a separation of a finger-width or more. You want to press your fingers into the separation between your muscles. Feel above belly button and below belly button as well.
If you are having a hard time knowing if you have a gap or not, you can feel someone else’s abs that hasn’t been pregnant to feel for that muscle in your midline to give you a comparison. If you feel a gap when you check, it will need to heal before you begin any traditional abdominal exercises or you will do more harm than good.
Keep in mind depending on the size of your gap will depend on how long it will take to heal. That can be the hard part because we each have different size fingers. So, my 3 finger gap might be a 2 or 4 finger gap for someone else with either smaller or larger fingers than me. It’s confusing. My advice: don’t stress too much about the size gap, focus on how your core feels and keep mental note of your gap.
It’s important to make sure you have good activation of your transverse abdominus and pelvic floor muscles! Also, you need to focus on building good glute strength to help with healing your DR.
It can be really hard to find safe exercises that you need to do to help heal your ‘Mummy Tummy’ AKA diastasis rectus. I hope these exercises help as you start your journey to heal your DR.
You don’t want to be doing exercises that pull the muscles apart.
You need to focus on pulling the muscles closer together.
Focus on pulling in your belly button towards your spine. Some people say think of it as a zipper. I do think wearing an abdominal splint can help aid in your healing process for those that are interested. I wear Belly Bandit mother tucker leggings 90% of the time and love them.
Let’s heal DR together!
*Disclaimer: make sure to consult with your doctor before trying a new workout routine. If you feel any pain or discomfort while exercising, stop.
3 exercises to help heal diastasis recti (ab separation or mummy tummy)
3-exercises-to-heal-diastasis-recti-purelytwins (Click to download your pdf)
1) Standing back flys with resistance band – I got my resistance band from Spri their flat band-single but you can get them just about anywhere.
2) Leg slides
3) Side planks – if this is too advance at the start, do other exercises until you feel stronger and can do supported side plank to start.
FOR MOMS THAT ARE PREGNANT – instead of the leg slides – sit on a stability ball or chair. Slowly lift one leg up at a time.
Other moves that are great to start when you’re at the beginning to help promote your gap to close.
Core contraction – Can do standing or seated. Place hands on your abdomen, inhale to fill tummy, exhale to contract abs – belly button towards spine. Do 10 breaths like this.
Single leg raises – Start by lying down on your back with your knees bent and your feet flat on the ground. Keep the normal inward curve in your lower back. As you raise your bent right knee off the ground exhale and engage your transverse abdominus. Lower back down and inhale. Repeat 10 reps on each leg.
Push-ups on the wall – Place your hands shoulder-width apart on wall, feet slightly apart, abs engaged, back and legs straight. Inhale as you bend your elbows and lean your body toward the wall, maintaining a long, straight line from head to toe. Push your body back with your hands until you are once again in a standing position. Repeat for 10-12 reps.
Seated squeeze – In a seated position, place one hand above the belly button and the other below the belly button. With controlled breaths, with a mid-way starting point, pull the abdominals back toward the spine, hold for 2 seconds and return to the mid-way point.
Squats – One of the best basic human movements. Start with feet out in front of body, hip distance apart, slowly lower body to a seated position so knees are bent at a 90° angle, contracting abs toward spine as you raise body back to standing position.
I hope these exercises help you to start focusing on healing your DR from the inside.
I will be sharing more safe postpartum workouts and more DR tips soon!!!
Do you have any specific questions for me?
What are you struggling with most in terms of healing your ab separation?
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