How Do I Tone My Abs With Diastasis Recti?

The last few weeks/months have probably been a whirlwind of emotions...

You're excited about your little bundle of joy, but you're also exhausted, sleep-deprived and may be feeling a little down about your postpartum body. a woman doing some abdominal training

One of the most common concerns after having a baby is how to get rid of that pesky postpartum belly. And, if you have diastasis recti, toning your abs can seem like an almost impossible task.

What is Diastasis Recti?

If you are reading this, you probably already know, however, Diastasis Recti is a separation of the abdominal muscles that can occur during pregnancy and can cause the stomach to protrude and can make it difficult to tone the abdominal muscles.

How To Check For Diastasis Recti

Before you start any type of exercise program, it's important to check for diastasis recti.

An easy, at-home test is to lie down on your back with your knees bent and place your fingers on your stomach just above your belly button.

Raise your head and shoulders off the ground and try to bring your bellybutton towards your spine.

If you can feel a gap between the muscles, you may have Diastasis Recti.

If you're not sure or want a professional opinion, you can always consult with a physical therapist who specialises in postpartum care.

Related Product: AbRipX Ab Bench Black & Red

Best Exercises For Diastasis Recti

Now that you know you have diastasis recti, what are the best exercises to help heal it?

There are a few different types of exercises that can help, but the most important thing is to focus on gentle, slow movements.

Avoid any type of high-impact or jarring exercise that could further damage the muscles.

1. Pelvic Tilts

Pelvic tilts are a great way to start strengthening the deep abdominal muscles.

To do a pelvic tilt, lie on your back with your knees bent and your feet flat on the ground.

Slowly roll your hips until your lower back is flat against the floor and then hold for five seconds. Return to starting position and repeat 10 times.

2. Heel Slides

Heel slides are another simple exercise that can help to strengthen the deep abdominal muscles.

To do a heel slide, lie on your back with your knees bent and feet flat on the floor.

Slowly straighten one leg and slide it towards your body until your heel is touching your glutes.

Hold for five seconds and then return to starting position. Repeat 10 times on each leg.

3. Bird Dog

The bird dog exercise is a great way to target both the abdominal and lower back muscles.

To do a bird dog, start on all fours with your hands under your shoulders and your knees under your hips.

Keeping your back flat, slowly extend one leg behind you while reaching the opposite arm forward until they are in line with your body.

Hold for five seconds and then return to starting position. Repeat 10 times on each side.

4. Plank

The plank is a great exercise for toning the entire core, including the abdominal muscles.

To do a plank, start in a push-up position with your hands under your shoulders and your feet hip-width apart.

Bend your elbows and lower your body down until your forearms are resting on the ground. Hold this position for 30 seconds to one minute.

5. Pilates Scissor

The Pilates scissor is another excellent exercise for toning the abs.

To do a Pilates scissor, lie on your back with both legs in the air and your head and shoulders off the ground.

Hold your right ankle as you lower your left leg towards the floor.

Return to starting position and then repeat with the opposite leg. Do 10-15 reps on each side.

Exercises To Avoid With Diastasis Recti

Even though there are certain exercises that can help heal diastasis recti, there are also some exercises that you should avoid.

These exercises can actually make the condition worse by putting too much strain on the abdominal muscles.

1. Sit-Ups

Sit-ups are a classic exercise for toning the abs, but they are also one of the worst exercises for diastasis recti.

The reason is that sit-ups put a lot of strain on the abdominal muscles, which can cause them to separate even more.

If you want to tone your abs, there are other, safer exercises that you can do instead.

2. Crunches

Crunches are very similar to sit-ups and they also put a lot of strain on the abdominal muscles.

For this reason, crunches are not recommended for people with diastasis recti.

If you want to tone your abs, there are other exercises that you can do instead.

3. Leg Lifts

Leg lifts are a great exercise for toning the thighs and buttocks, but they can also put a lot of strain on the abdominal muscles.

If you have diastasis recti, it’s best to avoid leg lifts or any other exercise that puts unnecessary strain on the abdominal muscles.

4. Twisting Exercises

Twisting exercises, such as Russian twists, can also put a lot of strain on the abdominal muscles.

If you have diastasis recti, it’s best to avoid these types of exercises.

5. High-Impact Exercises

High-impact exercises, such as running or jumping, can also put a lot of strain on the abdominal muscles.

If you have diastasis recti, it’s best to avoid these types of exercises and stick to low-impact exercises instead.

When To See A Doctor

If you think you may have diastasis recti, it’s important to see a doctor so they can confirm the diagnosis.

Diastasis recti is a serious condition and it’s important to get treatment as soon as possible.

Depending on the severity of the condition, treatment may involve physical therapy, surgery, or a combination of both.

Which Other Workouts Can I Do?

If you have diastasis recti, there are still plenty of other workouts that you can do.

You just need to be careful to avoid any exercises that put unnecessary strain on the abdominal muscles.

As mentioned above, low-impact exercises, such as walking, swimming, and biking, are all great workout options for people with diastasis recti.

You can also do strength-training exercises, but it’s important to use light weights and to focus on exercises that don’t put strain on the abdominal muscles.

With diastasis recti, it’s also important to focus on exercises that improve your posture.

Poor posture can make diastasis recti worse, so it’s important to focus on exercises that will help improve your posture.

Some examples of exercises that can help improve your posture include:

  • Chest presses
  • Rows
  • Lat pull-downs
  • Shoulder presses
  • Lower back extensions

With the right exercise routine, you can still tone your abs and get in shape, even with diastasis recti.

FAQ's:

Can you heal diastasis recti years later?

Yes, it is possible to heal diastasis recti years later. However, the sooner you start treatment, the better your chances are of making a full recovery.

Can diastasis recti cause back pain?

Yes, diastasis recti can cause back pain. This is because the abdominal muscles are not able to support the spine properly when they are weakened or separated.

Related: How to Get Rid of Back Pain After a Workout

Can diastasis recti go away on its own?

No, diastasis recti will not go away on its own. If you think you may have diastasis recti, it’s important to see a doctor so they can confirm the diagnosis and start you on the appropriate treatment plan.

Will losing weight help diastasis recti?

Yes, losing weight can help diastasis recti. This is because carrying extra weight can put a lot of strain on the abdominal muscles, which can cause them to separate even more.

Are squats OK with diastasis recti?

No, squats are not recommended for people with diastasis recti. Again, this is because they can put a lot of strain on the abdominal muscles.

How long does it take to close diastasis recti with exercise?

There is no one-size-fits-all answer to this question. The amount of time it takes to close diastasis recti with exercise will depend on the severity of the condition and how well you stick to your exercise routine.

Can sit-ups cause diastasis recti?

Yes, sit-ups can cause diastasis recti. This is because they put a lot of strain on the abdominal muscles. If you have diastasis recti, it’s best to avoid sit-ups and any other exercises that put unnecessary strain on the abdominal muscles.

What is the fastest way to heal diastasis recti?

The fastest way to heal diastasis recti is to see a doctor and start treatment as soon as possible. Depending on the severity of the condition, treatment may involve physical therapy, surgery, or a combination of both.

Can you have a baby with diastasis recti?

Yes, you can have a baby with diastasis recti. However, it’s important to get treatment for the condition before getting pregnant again. This is because pregnancy and childbirth can make diastasis recti worse.

Is diastasis recti permanent?

No, diastasis recti is not permanent. With the right treatment plan, it is absolutely possible to make a full recovery from the condition.

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