Diastasis Safe Exercises
Every mom has a different recovery after giving birth, but all moms want to get their body back. If you have a diastasis, you may feel like you’re limited on what core exercises you can do. Diastasis safe exercises may not be challenging enough. So what can you do to effectively work your core?
Better Diastasis Recti Testing
First, let’s chat about your diastasis. Let’s say you’ve already checked yourself for diastasis recti and you have a gap. Okay, no biggie. All this tells you is if you have a widening of tissue (linea alba.) It doesn’t tell you if you’re abs are functional. There’s more to checking the diastasis than just determining the amount of fingers you can fit in there.
Go ahead and check your diastasis again. This time, don’t feel for the width of the gap. Instead, feel the tissue that you’re pushing down on. How springy or bouncy is it? Does it feel soft? Take note of this as this is your baseline feel.
Now, keep your fingers on the linea alba. Exhale and contract your pelvic floor by bringing it up towards your belly and repeat the test. How does the tissue feel now? Does it feel different? Is it springy now? Or does it feel the same as the first test?
Scenario #1 – tissue is springy on second test
If your tissue is springy on the second test, it’s functioning well. Yay! It can contract when necessary. You can proceed with most core exercises including planks and crunches.
Scenario #2 – tissue is soft and squishy on second test
If the center of your belly remains soft and squishy on the second test, it still needs some rehab attention. It needs to be able to generate tension. It’s advised to continue with the diastasis safe exercises.
The test for DR tells you where you should start in the core training process. The goal should not be to close the DR. The goal is to have a functioning core unit…..and you can have a functioning core even with a small gap!
Diastasis Safe Exercises
If you fall into the diastasis safe category, avoiding planks and crunches is best. Your deep core muscles just aren’t strong enough yet to resist the amount of pressure and force that planks and crunches place on them.
Working on alignment and breath (as mentioned in this blog) during your core training is super important to healing your DR.
The free 5-Day Restore the Core Challenge will teach you many of these essential steps!
Side Planks, the basic Dead Bug, Pallof Press, and Leg Slides are all diastasis safe exercises.
What if you have tried all those and they are too easy?
One of the many things I like about the Dead Bug exercise is that you can do it so many different ways. There’s bound to be a version that challenges you!
Here are 10 ways to do the Dead Bug
The Side Plank has several intensity versions as well, have you tried those?
And have you ever tried the Pallof Press? It’s deceptively hard. If you don’t have access to a cable machine to do it, anchor a resistance tube around a column and try it.
Keep in mind that if your tummy is pooching out and creating a dome during any of these core exercises, that the intensity is probably too high. Step back and do more reps of an easier version keeping the good alignment with ribs down and breathing.