So you’ve discovered you have a diastasis. No matter if you’re a few weeks postpartum or a few years, there are exercises you can do to improve your abdominals. A diastasis recti workout will be low intensity and fairly short.
The most important thing to understand is that diastasis recti is a full body issue. Not just your abs.
Breathing and alignment go hand in hand with healing a diastasis. And the pelvic floor is intimately related to your abs.
Basically, everything in your torso comes into play and should be considered when you want to improve DR. So, incorporating breath and pelvic floor exercises will be essential in your workouts. Kegels are only a tiny bit of the equation.
First things first:
When is it safe to return to impact exercise, like running, after having a baby?
I’ve heard from a number of moms that they can’t run or jump without leaking when they get back into exercise after pregnancy. This is a symptom of pelvic floor issues. It’s common to leak, but should NOT be accepted.
You can train your pelvic floor muscles just like any other muscle in your body.
Many moms will quickly return to running to get the baby weight off and suffer from peeing themselves, risking prolapse, or developing lower back pain.
Return to impact should resume when you’re done breastfeeding and when your period returns.
This may be very hard to take for some moms! And of course, this is the ideal recommendation.
So, doing the exercises listed here will help prepare the pelvic floor for the impact of running (and sneezing.) There’s no need to pee yourself when exercising!
Kegels are conscious contractions
We’re told to do kegels to strengthen our pelvic floor muscles. Kegels are effective, but you have to actively think about doing them. In real life, we don’t walk around asking our pelvic floor to contract.
Think about it: when you walk up stairs, you expect all your muscles to get you up the stairs. You don’t specifically think about asking the leg muscles to contract and lift your legs. The muscles just respond…..subconsciously.
The pelvic floor should react in the same subsconscious manner. So we need to do exercises that stimulate the pelvic floor subconsciously to train them how to work functionally. Which brings me to my next point.
3D hip movement works your pelvic floor
I don’t want to bore you with anatomy, bur here goes a mini-lesson. Your pelvic floor muscles sit inside your pelvis. Your hip rotator muscles begin at the pelvis. There is a tendon that connects muscles from inside the pelvic bowl to outside on the hip. So the pelvic floor is connected to your hip via that tendon!
If you strengthen your hips, you’ll subconsciously work your pelvic floor.
The bridge exercise with the tweak of the toes turned in and out works the hips in 3D. Add this exercise to your diastasis recti workout to keep your pelvic floor muscles performing their best.
Diastasis Recti Workout
First you’ll want to do a warm up that moves that whole body.
After warming up, choose exercises that place minimal pressure on your core. That means, no crunches.
1-2 sets of one or two exercises is truly all you need. Keeping your ribs down in optimal alignment and breathing during the exercises will make the exercises effective.
The Dead Bug is one of my all time favorite exercises to include in a diastasis recti workout.
Honestly, you could do the warmup (above), the 3D Bridge (above) with your feet in multiple positions, and the Dead Bug and call that your workout.
Doing that daily for several weeks would take you less than 10 minutes.
But if you’re looking for a done-for-you, simple program to follow, get the free 14-day Crunch Free Core training program here.