Do you have a case of mummy tummy? You may not even realize what it is, but if you notice a little pooch after pregnancy that won’t go away, you may have diastasis recti. Simply put, diastasis recti is a condition where the abdominal muscles separate after pregnancy. It can leave you with “mom tummy” and can quite frankly be tough to get rid of without proper exercise education. There are certain diastasis recti exercises for women that can heal the condition and help you get your body back! Find out more about diastasis recti and how to get rid of it below.
What is Diastasis Recti?
Diastasis Recti is an abdominal condition that can occur after pregnancy. You may know it as mummy tummy or the post-baby pooch, but technically, it happens when the two parallel bands of muscles that meet in the middle of the abdomen separate. This causes an unwanted bulge in the middle of the abdomen.
Diastisis recti can lead to you not being able to fit in your pre-baby jeans, even if you’re the same weight you were before you were pregnant. It’s also connected to lower back pain, constipation, abdominal pain and pelvic problems in extreme conditions.
If you think you have diastasis recti, you can do a self-test by laying on your back with your knees bent and your feet flat on the floor. Place your fingertips between the middle of your ab muscles, parallel to your waist at your navel. Place your other hand behind your neck and lift your head while gently pressing your fingertips down. If your fingers sink into the gap, or you don’t feel the space between your muscles narrowing, you may have diastasis recti. You may notice a separation as wide as four fingers or more. Don’t forget, you can always get a professional to give you a second opinion.
What Causes Diastasis Recti?
When you’re pregnant, the uterus stretches the muscles in your abdomen to accommodate for the baby. It’s not a tear, but a stretching of connective tissues along the linea alba (where the ab muscles meet). Add in hormonal changes that lead to a softening of connective tissues and ligaments, and abdominal separation is pretty much bound to happen. Pushing during delivery can also lead to diastasis recti.
When you start exercising again after having a baby, it’s important to do proper exercises so you don’t make your diastasis recti worse. You have to focus on healing and strengthening your core, as doing too many things too quickly can be a recipe for disaster. Certain exercises that you think may be helping you strengthen your core, can actually make the condition much, much worse, so it’s imperative you avoid certain exercises and do others on a regular basis.
8 Exercises to Avoid if You Have Diastasis Recti
- Sit ups
- Abdominal twists
- Upward dog
- Leg lifts
- Strenuous exercises where your ab muscles are bulging out
6 Diastasis Recti Exercises for Women
Exercises to Heal Diastasis Recti | Kerri’s Pilates Room
This video is packed with amazing exercises to help heal diastasis recti. For almost 30 minutes, you’ll do exercises to strengthen your pelvic floor and abdominals to close the gap that occurs during pregnancy. From hip lifts to leg circles, side kicks, side stretches and more, you’ll learn to strengthen your muscles and get your body back! All you need is an exercise mat and you can do these exercises right in your living room!
Pilates for Diastasis Recti | CoreSelf
Pilates is such an awesome workout, especially if you need to strengthen a certain area. You’ll do a series of exercises focused on healing your diastasis recti, including ab curls, cat/cow, and squats to help you engage your core. She walks you through each sequence, letting you know why they’re beneficial and helpful for diastasis recti.
Yoga for Diastasis Recti | Cait Allison
Like Pilates, yoga is another great workout that can help you strengthen your muscles and heal your diastasis recti. She takes you through several yoga therapy exercises to aid in the separation of the abdominal wall after pregnancy. Each exercise is tailored to safely address diastasis recti to support you after childbirth. She gives you options if something is too hard, making this workout easy and extremely beneficial for you!
Postpartum Ab Exercises for Diastasis Recti | Susan Yara
In this workout, you’ll learn six amazing exercises to treat diastasis recti. These exercises are inspired by the Studio Lagree workout, where you use a megaformer for slow and controlled exercises. Don’t worry – you don’t need a megaformer, they explain how to do each exercise without any equipment at all! Each exercise works your core, which is everywhere from right above your kneecaps to right below your chest line, working the hamstrings, the glutes, the lower abs, and the obliques to help you strengthen your ab muscles and bring them back together.
10-Minute Diastasis Core Workout for Ab Separation After Pregnancy | Carly Rowena
This 10-minute workout is ideal for diastasis recti. It’s suitable for all fitness levels and you can do it before pregnancy if you want to strengthen your core muscles, or after pregnancy if you have postpartum ab separation. From knee openings to table tops, pelvic tilts and bridge raises, you’ll get your core strong again in no time! While one set is 10 minutes, she recommends moving to two sets and then three sets to make it a 30 minute workout, once you notice your diastasis recti has decreased.
How to Fix Diastasis Recti | Abdominal Separation | 4 Best Exercises and What to Avoid | Athlean-XX for Women
In this video, not only do you learn amazing exercises to fix your diastasis recti, you’ll also hear about what to avoid. She also explains what causes the gap during pregnancy, providing you with the best exercises to help you repair diastasis recti at home! From heel slides to knee lifts to pelvic pillow squeezes, check out these exercises to heal diastasis recti!
Ready to get rid of your mummy tummy? Do these diastasis recti exercises and get your body back!