Exercises for Diastasis Recti

When you begin exercises to help correct and heal DR, there are a few things you need to look out for.

The first would be pain. If you experience pain (sharp, shooting, stabbing, burning, or aching pain) you need to seek out help from a professional. You could be exacerbating other issues such as hernias, prolapse, lower back, sacral or hip injuries. It’s always better to seek out professional help sooner rather than later to ensure a quick and safe recovery.

The second would be ‘tenting’ or ‘puffing’ out of the belly during the exercises. Basically, if you are watching your stomach and it becomes larger or sticks out further during a movement, this is ‘tenting’. This could mean you are engaging the incorrect muscles, and you will end up putting too much pressure on your belly, causing the DR to become WORSE!

The third would be dizziness, lightheadedness, or shortness of breath. These exercises all include a component of breath work and at times, people can become over-zealous and end up hyperventilating or even holding their breath. So makes sure you are checking in with yourself throughout the exercises to ensure you are still feeling solid!

Below are the exercises listed! And some might seem simple, and maybe not as exciting as a plank variation or toes-to-bar move…BUT, these moves WORK! And truly you don’t need crazy abdominal exercises to gain a strong and functional core.

And crunches won’t do that for you. End of story. Period. I really wish crunches would just go away! Haha But that is another story for another day!

  • Breath Work: (3-5 min)
    1. Many people breathe the OPPOSITE way they should! I know I used to!
    2. Lying on your back or sitting supported, place one hand on the belly and the other on the chest.
    3. With each inhale, breath in, your belly should be relaxed as your breath fills up your lungs.
      • The breath in will expand your lungs 360 degrees and your belly will slowly expand slightly. Let your belly stay relaxed…This allows your diaphragm to move fully down into your abdomen and allows your pelvic floor to also relax.
    4. With each exhale, breath out, your belly will ever so slightly draw in as your ribs naturally return to their resting position.
    5. As you work through your breath, let it come as naturally as you can. Sometimes it is nice to picture yourself as a balloon and fill yourself up from top to bottom as you breathe in and squeeze it all out from the bottom up as you breathe out…Again, not being forceful about any of it.
    6. Your hand on your belly should move a little more than the hand on your chest, but both will move as you breathe.
    7. Another quick point with your inhales is to truly try and fill up your side ribs and back ribs with your breath since we tend to forget about these areas!!

 

  • Posterior Pelvic Tilts: (10-30 times)Lying on your back, knees bent and feet flat on the floor.
    1. Exhale and draw your belly in towards your spine. At the same time rock your hips back to slightly flatten your lower back towards the floor.
    2. This will bring your pelvis into a posterior tilt.
    3. As you inhale, relax back to the starting position.

  • Heel Slides: (10-15 per side)
    1. Lying on your back, knees bent and feet flat on the floor.
    2. Very slightly flatten lower back towards the floor, BUT don’t press your lower back into the floor. We want to be in somewhat of a ‘neutral’ position.
    3. Inhale as you slide your right heel out long, maintaining the same position in your lower back and belly (don’t let your lower back arch up and don’t let your belly pooch out/tent up)
    4. Exhale, drawing belly in slightly more towards spine as you slide your heel back to the starting position.
    5. Repeat…DON’T hold your breath!

 

 

 

 

 

 

  • Bent Knee Fall-Outs: (10-15 per side)
    1. Lying on your back, knees bent and feet flat on the floor.
    2. Very slightly flatten lower back towards the floor, BUT don’t press it all the way down into the floor. We want to be in somewhat o a ‘neutral’ position.
    3. Inhale as you slowly lower right knee out to the side, as if it were falling out to the side.
      1. Pay attention to your hips, and don’t let your left hip pop up as your right knee falls out to the side…so your knee might not travel very far!
    4. Exhale, drawing belly in slightly towards spine as your return your leg to the starting position.
    5. Repeat…DON’T hold your breath!

  • Bridges: (10-30)
    1. Lying on your back, knees bent and feet flat on the floor.
    2. Exhale, drawing belly in towards the spine, slightly flattening the lower back. Then press through your heels as you lift your hips high towards the ceiling.
      1. This will put you in the bridge position.
    3. Inhale, slowly lowering hips back down towards the floor to return to the starting position.
    4. Move slowly through this move, though don’t hold your breath…so if you need to take extra breaths at the top or bottom of the bridge, do so!

 

xoxo-Dani