Choosing Exercises for Diastasis Recti – so many choices

I’m running into a lot of differing information regarding the “best” workouts to correct diastasis recti, and it’s becoming pretty frustrating. The routine that I found at whattoexpect.com, while I liked it, I wasn’t sure if some of the moves were benefiting me/I was doing them properly. Several of the moves I felt more in my quads than my core, which is not the intended target, and I had really sensitive hip flexors and I was afraid they would begin to get enflamed if I continued. There are tons of articles out there that claim to have the best moves, and many use the same ones. So, I’ve compiled a list of the ones I know I can do properly and that I feel the engagement in my core when I do them.

  1. Cat pose – this yoga move forces you to retract your abdominals inward on exhale while you arch your back up, hitting the TVA and pulling the abs tight together
  2. Pelvic tilt – this one is so similar to a hip/glute bridge that I was confused initially how it was different, but it is, and it’s all about concentrating on what muscle groups you’re using to raise your butt into the air. A Glute bridge, obviously, engages your glutes and hamstrings to pull your middle up. Pelvic tilts are performed with your abs, and it’s easy to distinguish only if you focus on the arch of your back – think about tilting your stomach to flatten the arch in your lower back. This engages your abs instead of your butt and legs. Hopefully that helps you, because until I figured this out I was very confused.
  3. Heel taps – while laying down with legs in tabletop, drop one heel to the floor and raise it back to table, then repeat on the other side. Too easy.
  4. Ab Vacuum – basically exhale completely and suck in your middle, imagining that you are trying to pull your belly button against your spine. Many articles also suggest performing a kegel with this move too.
  5. Lying March Steps – similar to heel taps, except one leg lies flat on the ground and you’re dropping your leg into a straight position on the floor instead of keeping your leg at a right angle
  6. Leg extensions – while lying down, begin with your legs in tabletop and stretch one leg out and raise your arms back behind your head, bring your knee and hands together for the second part of the exercise. Repeat on the other side – similar to march steps except you keep your legs in the air instead of one resting on the ground
  7. Bird Dogs – in a hands and knees position, stretch your right hand out and your left leg back at the same time so they’re parallel to the ground, and then drop back and repeat on the other side – this move focuses on balance and core stability more than strength

So these seven moves, pulling from various articles, blogs, research papers etc are what I’m pulling together to perform every day to fix the diastasis. I’ll start with 10 reps per exercise and see how that goes. Hopefully I’ll begin seeing some results soon and will feel that gap start to close.

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