What ab exercises can I do if I have diastasis recti?
I wish I could tell you that you should do X,Y, or Z ab exercise… BUT I can’t.
I like to think about it like this…many people suffer with migraines or headaches. There ISN’T one medicine that is right for each person. Instead there are different types of medication that work for different people for many reasons.
Moral of the story? WE ARE ALL INDIVIDUAL.
Programs that say “this is safe or that is safe” are not looking into HOW you are doing the exercise. There is no ONE ab exercise that is safe for ALL people.
When I am training my clients with diastasis recti, I try different ab exercises and monitor HOW they are doing the exercise.
Often times I start off with the paloff press, the side plank, the butterfly and/or farmers carry. I teach them how to do each movement with intention.
I teach them how to implement piston breathing into their movements, monitor for coning, use neutral-ish posture, and what symptoms to look out for.
I could tell you that the ab exercises I mentioned above are SAFE for all of you. But I would have to see HOW you were doing them. For example, are you holding your breath? How’s your posture? Are you overusing your obliques? How’s the strength between your ab separation? ETC.
If I was asked what quick advice I would give women who are exercising with diastasis recti? I would say…
- ALWAYS breathe. Never hold your breath. This puts so much pressure on your pelvic floor and can prevent your diastasis recti from closing.
- Relax your belly. If you are always sucking in your tummy or squeezing your abs, then you are actually preventing your diastasis from closing and may in fact be doing the opposite.
- Look for CONING. Feel your stomach. Check. If you feel that your belly is raised where your gap is, then STOP the exercise immediately.
- Try to use neutral-ish posture. I.E. Ribs over hips, untuck bum, weight evenly distributed on your feet.
- BLOW BEFORE YOU GO. This is my favourite one by Julie Wiebe. It literally means to exhale before you go. So exhale before you stand up, exhale before you lift your child or groceries, exhale before you lift something heavy. This helps to stop all of the pressure from pushing down on your pelvic floor or pulling apart your diastasis recti.
*There is more to exercising with a diastasis. But these few things will help you become aware of HOW you are moving. These few points will provide you with awareness that will ultimately lead to change.
Please, don’t give up. Your body did not fail you.
Personally, I think we are the lucky ones. Our bodies gave us a sign that we need help. Our bodies are looking out for us, to protect us. I am thankful that I ended up on this journey because now I have a totally different outlook on life. A better stronger outlook. Because now I am better & stronger. And so are you.
-Kathleen (Momma Inspiration)
***Remember to always seek help from a pelvic floor physical therapist.
***Work with a personal trainer or exercise specialist who understands the importance of your pelvic floor/core system.
***Take Julie Wiebe’s individual program. It is the basic knowledge you need for all exercises you do.
Link to Julie Wiebe’s program:
Free You Tube Link about Diastasis Recti:
Article on Diastasis Recti: http://www.juliewiebept.com/diastasis/diastasis-zip-it-up/