Postpartum Diastasis Recti 2017: how to exercise with an ab separation after Pregnancy

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Postpartum Diastasis Recti 2017: How to Exercise with an Ab Separation After Pregnancy

Diastasis recti or rectus diastasis is an abdominal separation. And don’t worry if you have it because it can go back to normal.
But what I’m going to do is I’m going to go over with you exactly what it is, what you’re working with, the self-test that you can do to even see if you have the condition, how to exercise, and what you shouldn’t do because there are some things that are going to make it worse.

So first let’s kind of talk about what it is and what we’re working with. You’ve got the recti bellies, which are your rectus abdominis. That’s the overlying abdominal muscle. Kind of the muscle that you see. And we’ve got two recti bellies, and we all have tissue in between. We all have a small separation because the recti bellies are not totally connected like that. There’s tissue in between.
Now if your separation is bigger than two or three finger widths when you do a self-test, then you probably have the condition.
Now, this is a medical condition. It is something that you should get diagnosed by your doctor. Only because when you’ve got this abdominal separation, your ab muscles aren’t contracting effectively.

This condition comes about on later in pregnancy. We’ve actually seen a lot more prevalence than was once thought recently. And probably in the last 18 months, there’s been a flood of research studies on it which are showing that it definitely is prevalent in your third trimester and then even six weeks, six months postpartum.

But what is shown in the studies is that exercise helps. It shows that non-exercising women don’t see as many results. But here’s where it gets a little sticky.
The research—nobody agrees on the exact exercises that you can do and that you should do and that what would make it better.
So again, that’s why I go back to if you’ve got a moderate to a severe case, you need to be working one-on-one with a physical therapist or a physiotherapist.

So that self-test. What you do is you lie in a crunch position, and you would place two fingers horizontally usually above your belly button. Now, this can happen anywhere along the midline.
And actually while we’re talking about it, it can happen to anybody. It can happen to men, women, babies. It can happen to anybody. I’m talking to you because you probably came to me from Moms Into Fitness.

So we are usually going to test right above the belly button or right below the belly button because that’s usually the biggest point in pregnancy and where the separation can occur.

So lying on the ground, you would do a simple crunch by placing two fingers about an inch above your belly button. And as you crunch up, if those two fingers kind of fall into a valley and you feel that separation or that gap right there, then you probably have the condition and should talk to your doctor about it.
Now two to three finger widths is considered a mild case. Three to four fingers is considered a moderate case. And four or more fingers is considered a severe case. So once again, moderate to severe: physical therapists/physiotherapists.

Okay. So now we are going to get into probably why you’re listening this. What can you do and what should you not do? Well, the thing is that you don’t want to do any exercises that are going to exacerbate the issue or put added pressure on the tissues.
So in this workout series, I am the modifier. If there’s somebody else in the video with me, I’m the modifier and you’re going to follow everything that I do.

There’s also a core workout specifically made for the diastasis recti modifications. So you’re going to do that one instead of the regular ab or core workout. So that is what I want you to do.
As to what you shouldn’t do, I go over that within the videos. You shouldn’t do twisting motions. You shouldn’t do planks. You shouldn’t do anything that you’re hinged over and putting a lot of added pressure on the tissues.

So I want you to know that it can get better. It will get better. Sometimes it takes time, but the goal is to work your inner core, your transverse abdominis, and your pelvic floor, and not add any extra stress to those tissues.

If you have any questions, I mean please feel free to email me anytime about it. Even in our Prenatal & Postnatal certification, we have a section designated to this condition. So feel free to chat with us anytime about it!


arvapally shruthi says:

Hi I am a 4th month post partum mother having diastasis recti with 8 fingers separation. Can u plz suggest me better exercises plz plz help me out

The Freer Family Vlogs says:

New subscriber this will be great as I have 9 children and need to tone up etc

lubnsaba says:

Hi i have diastasis recti like 2 finger apart but i want to work my back bcs i have back fat i want to get rid of it just bcs of DR i cant do most of the workout can u make back fat workout video take is safe for DR i will really appreciate that thanks

Charlie Parker says:

I have just under a one finger gap, around 1cm when I measure my finger, I'm 9 months post pregnancy.
Does this mean I have diastasis recti?
I tested my two younger sisters who haven't had any children yet and there's was more or less the same.
Also should I still avoid certain exercises incase it would cause a diastasis ? X

Jessica WisconsinMom says:

Are Matrix ab machines at a gym bad for this?

Nayada Thongnuan says:

This is the video that answers my question.
I'm 8 weeks postpartum mommy of third baby who wants to exercise and finds out having 2 fingers diastasis recti (it's not too difficult to get my abs back right?).
Since I have language barrier (I live in Thailand) and there is no information about diastasis recti and how to exercise properly mentioned in Thai so it takes some time for me to understand of what it is and which exercise I should do.
Please do a video about which excercise that is proper for diastasis recti for a beginner like me, that will help me a lot to be stronger. :)
Nice to meet you.
What's your name?
I'm Nayada.

Melissa St.Germain says:

i didn't realize that i had this condition until nine years after my youngest son!!! Can it still be corrected?

raaky says:

Are cardio workouts like ellipticals or treadmills ok when you have this condition. Also would wearing a waistband help close it

Alexandra Turo says:

is a umbilical hernia a sign of seperation

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