Best Diastasis Recti Exercises for Postpartum Ab Separation

Diastasis Recti Exercises

Kaitlin Floyd

Kaitlin Floyd
Kaitlin Floyd

Updated on 12/7/2022

The separation of the abdominal muscles is referred to as "diastasis recti exercises" and the workouts outlined here aim to assist in regaining core strength. The primary focuses of this abdominal exercise for postpartum women, which is intended to help new mothers regain their pre-pregnancy abdominal strength and tone, are the transverse abdominals and the pelvic floor muscles. This exercise aims to help new mothers recover their pre-pregnancy abdominal strength and style. This postpartum abdominal exercise for ladies takes ten minutes to complete (both of which are weakened during pregnancy).

The 30-Minute Advanced Pregnancy Workout I developed is the most popular fitness video I have released on YouTube. You can find them all here (and how you might have discovered NML).

You could also follow a portion of my Pregnancy Workout Plan if you wanted to. This option is available to you (note, I also have a FREE, 30-Day Postpartum Workout Plan).

What Is The Safest Way To Get Back Into Exercise After Having A Baby?

Diastasis Recti Exercises

In retrospect, I can confidently say that the abundance of knowledge readily available to me on how to take care of my body after giving birth left me feeling both overburdened and unburdened at various points. For a considerable time, this was an issue that I grappled with.

If you are currently expecting a child, you should bookmark this website so that you may refer to it after the baby's birth with any questions you may have.

And whether you just gave birth recently, whether it's been two weeks, two months, or even two years, continue reading because this abs workout after childbirth that takes 10 minutes was developed for you to do after giving birth!

Can I Exercise After Having A Baby? Or When Can I Start Exercising After Giving Birth?

The human body, each pregnancy, and each delivery are each one-of-a-kind in an endless number of different ways. When it comes to determining whether or not it is appropriate to continue engaging in physical activity after giving birth, it is challenging to construct a black-and-white guideline.

Suppose you had a pregnancy and delivery that were both straightforward, and you gave birth vaginally. In that case, it is generally acceptable to begin exercising a few weeks after giving birth or as soon as you feel ready to do so if you had a straightforward pregnancy and delivery. If you did not give birth vaginally, it is acceptable to begin exercising as soon as you feel ready to do so if you had a straightforward pregnancy and delivery. After having a difficult delivery, significant vaginal repair, or a C-section, you should discuss with your physician when you will be able to resume your regular exercise routine. They will be able to inform you when it is appropriate for you to continue your normal activities and when it is still unsafe for you to do so (MayoClinic).

Diastasis Recti Exercises

After giving birth, I waited approximately a month and a half before deciding to provide these eight exercises for diastasis recti a try to close the abdominal muscle separation. The results entirely and pleasantly caught me off guard, which is what I wanted.

I began my efforts to repair diastasis recti by executing the first four exercises in the sequence, which allowed me to get a head start on my task. Between six and eight weeks after giving birth, I was able to work up to the point where I could perform all eight of the abdominal exercises that are recommended for postpartum recovery.

What Is Diastasis Recti?

When the right and left abdominal muscles separate from one another in the middle of the belly, this can lead to a disease known as diastasis recti. A space of more than two millimeters between your abdominal muscles indicates that you have a deep abdominal protrusion (DR).

The DR is commonly known as the "mom pooch" or the "lower belly pooch" in everyday parlance.

During my pregnancy, I was affected by this, just as most pregnant women who acquire DR are. The separation of the abdominal muscles that takes place naturally during pregnancy is the factor that ultimately results in the development of diastasis recti. The findings of this study on diastasis recti indicate that as many as 66 percent of pregnant women will have DR by the time they reach their third trimester.

Diastasis Recti Exercises

That occurs during pregnancy as a direct effect of the separation of the abdominal muscles during the pregnancy. During pregnancy, this happens as a direct result of the separation of the abdominal muscles. As a direct result of the expansion of the stomach, the linea alba goes through a process that increases the amount of stretching it experiences (you can see what abdominal separation looks like after pregnancy in this diagram from Mayo Clinic).

If you're wondering

How Do I Know If I Have Diastasis Recti?

By reading this article, you will not only become familiar with the signs and symptoms of diastasis recti, but you will also learn how to check for it at home. We collaborated on creating this movie while I was seeing a physical therapist for my pelvic floor issues (Dr. Jenn).

Having diastasis recti is linked to a multitude of symptoms, some of which are listed below for your reference:

  • A painful sensation in the region of the lower back
  • It seems as though you are having some issues with both your bowels and your urinary system at the same time.
  • Poor posture
  • Difficulty in carrying out actions that entail the transfer of weight, such as bending, reaching, lifting, carrying, crouching, walking, and climbing stairs (all the activities that new moms quickly become experts in)

There are occasions when the diastasis recti will heal on its own. Still, there are also situations when it may be required to undergo physical treatment to fully recover from the condition (I suggest seeing a pelvic floor physical therapist).

10-Minute Abs After Baby

Diastasis Recti Exercises

This postnatal abdominal exercise regimen is specifically designed to heal deep core muscles, strengthen your core and pelvic floor, and ease the symptoms of diastasis recti (a separation of the abdominal muscles that can occur after pregnancy).

Exercises designed to repair diastasis recti aren't precisely the most thrilling things in the world if we're going, to be honest about this situation.

As a consequence of this, I concluded that I should produce a video that not only demonstrates how to carry out this post-baby core workout but also allows viewers to work out along with me. I made this decision because I wanted to give new mothers the best chance of success. I will guide you through each exercise, providing form cues and making adjustments for anyone who needs them based on where you are in the process of repairing your diastasis recti. I will do this so that you can get the most out of this training.

This exercise routine is designed to help you rebuild your core by focusing on the deep, transverse abdominals and pelvic floor muscles. Both weakened during pregnancy. Rebuilding your body will allow you to return to your pre-pregnancy fitness level. Give it a shot to make the most of what it offers.

Workout Equipment:

You will only need your own body weight; there is no requirement for any equipment whatsoever.

Diastasis Recti Exercises

Workout Instructions:

You can find Lindsey Bomgren, a certified personal trainer and pregnant fitness instructor, at the helm of the 10-Minute Abs After Baby Workout Video on YouTube. Bomgren is a fitness instructor for pregnant women. While you exercise, watch the video and make the moves along with it. Throughout the entirety of the movie, Bomgren not only narrates but also acts as a guide for the audience.

Alternately, you can work through the eight best core exercises for diastasis recti, which are described below, at your own pace while you are performing the exercises:

  • 8 Ab Exercises
  • 30-Second Intervals for Each Exercise
  • Two complete rotations around the entirety of each set.
  • *Note: Begin from your current position and do what you can! You should probably begin by performing the first three exercises for twenty to thirty seconds each, taking a break to rest in between, and then starting the process all over again. That should be your starting point. The subsequent exercise, number 4, should be added gradually, followed by exercise 5. It would be best if you continued to work your way up to the point where you have completed all eight activities. You always have the option to gradually extend the time you spend performing each exercise to a maximum of forty-five to sixty seconds at a time. That is something that you can do whenever you want.

8 Best Diastasis Recti Exercises

Diastasis Recti Exercises

  • Transverse Abdominal Breathing (TVA breathing) + Core Connection
  • Lying Heel Tap + Leg Lift
  • Lying Bent Knee Pulls
  • Elevated Bent Knee March
  • Elevated Leg Extension + Leg Drop
  • Elevated Leg Extension + 2 Circles
  • Elevated Bent Knee V-Taps
  • Elevated First Position Kick Outs

1. Transverse Abdominal Breathing (TVA breathing) + Core Connection

 Transverse Abdominal Breathing (TVA breathing)

Both the deep, transverse abdominal muscles (TVA) and the pelvic floor muscles will receive most of the attention from this exercise. The lower back muscles are responsible for supporting your internal organs and your system that manages the pressure between the abdominal cavities. They are also responsible for the stability and mobility of your spine. In addition, your lower back muscles are responsible for the system that manages the pressure between the abdominal cavities.

I can confidently say that the single most effective exercise for building core strength is transverse abdominal breathing. I recommend it to EVERY woman because of my experience with it (pregnant or postpartum). You will learn how to tilt your pelvis backward with this exercise, a technique that will be required for ALL of the activities that will follow this one.

Because it is challenging to teach TA breathing through text or still images, I strongly recommend that you view the video at the top of this page (from 1:45 to 2:55) for a thorough explanation of TA breathing. You may find this by clicking here, and you can get this information by clicking on the link provided.

  • This complete action must originate just from the region of your abdominal anatomy.
  • After holding your breath for one second, you should slowly release some of the air accumulated in your lungs by gently breathing out.
  • While bringing your belly button closer to the floor, exhale as deeply as you can over five seconds and attempt to force as much air out of your lungs as possible. When you are in the position where you are exhaling, you should focus the majority of your attention on contracting the muscles in your TVA to produce a posterior tilt in your pelvis. You can accomplish this by bringing your belly button closer to your spine.

2. Lying Heel Tap + Leg Lift

2. Lying Heel Tap + Leg Lift

Several areas, including the hips, the lower abdominal region, and the transverse abdomen, will be focused on throughout this procedure.

  • Tap or slide one heel away from your body while keeping your low back pressed into the mat and your abdominal wall wrapped as tightly as possible around your core. This position requires you to keep your low back in a neutral position, and it is vital to this exercise to keep your low back firmly pressed into the mat at all times.
  • The next thing that you will want to do is lift the leg that has been extended off the ground while attempting to keep your torso in as much of a straight position as possible while doing so. That will put you back in the same place you were when you first began.

To modify the move, omit the leg raise part and put all of your attention on performing heel taps instead. That will allow you to target your calves more effectively.

3. Lying Bent Knee Pulls

3. Lying Bent Knee Pulls

Several areas, including the hips, the lower abdominal region, and the transverse abdomen, will be focused on throughout this procedure.

  • Alternate drawing one knee into your chest while keeping your low back pressed firmly into the mat and your abdominal wall wrapped as tightly as possible around your core. Keep your low back pressed into the carpet and your abdominal wall wrapped as tightly as possible around your body. Make sure that you keep your center engaged and that your low back is pressed into the mat as you perform this movement.
  • Switch legs while retaining the knee to the chest posture when the count hits two or three. Do this while the count is being done.

In this updated version, you must maintain constant contact with the mat with the outstretched leg.

4. Elevated Bent Knee March

Elevated Bent Knee March

Several areas, including the hips, the lower abdominal region, and the transverse abdomen, will be focused on throughout this procedure.

  • Bring your legs up until they form an angle of 90 degrees, ensuring that your low back stays firmly pressed into the mat and that your abdominal wall stays wrapped as snugly as possible around your core. Once you have achieved this position, hold it for a few seconds before switching sides.
  • It is vital to keep in mind that the distance your knees are from your chest will affect the degree of difficulty of this abdominal exercise and the simplicity with which you can perform it. As you move your knees further apart from your chest, you will notice an increase in the difficulty of this exercise for diastasis recti.
  • Repeat the motion of tapping one toe towards the ground, moving back to the starting point, and then tapping the other toe towards the bottom. This motion is carried out in a controlled and organized manner.

When you want to change something, you should begin by ensuring that both your toes are firmly planted on the ground. After that, bring your knees up to your chest one at a time, alternating between the two knees, and ensure that both of your toes are firmly planted on the ground.

5. Elevated Leg Extension + Leg Drop

Elevated Leg Extension + Leg Drop

The hips, the transverse abdomen, the upper and lower abdominal regions, and the upper abdominal region should take up most of your focus when exercising.

  • Bring your legs up until they form an angle of 90 degrees, ensuring that your low back stays firmly pressed into the mat and that your abdominal wall stays wrapped as snugly as possible around your core. Once you have achieved this position, hold it for a few seconds before switching sides.
  • It is vital to keep in mind that the distance your knees are from your chest will affect the degree of difficulty of this abdominal exercise and the simplicity with which you can perform it. As you move your knees further apart from your chest, you will notice an increase in the difficulty of this exercise for diastasis recti.
  • Alternate between extending one leg straight out and then slowly lowering the extended leg toward the ground. That will help strengthen your leg muscles and assist in strengthening the muscles in your legs.
  • Afterward, go back to the spot where you first started, and then repeat the process on the other side of the object. This motion is carried out in a controlled and organized manner.

Remove the leg lower from the routine and place all of your focus on the leg extensions instead. That is a modification to the workout.

6. Elevated Leg Extension + 2 Circles

Elevated Leg Extension + 2 Circles

The hips, the transverse abdomen, the upper and lower abdominal regions, and the upper abdominal region should take up most of your focus when exercising.

  • Bring your legs up until they form an angle of 90 degrees, ensuring that your low back stays firmly pressed into the mat and that your abdominal wall stays wrapped as snugly as possible around your core. Once you have achieved this position, hold it for a few seconds before switching sides.
  • It is vital to keep in mind that the distance your knees are from your chest will affect the degree of difficulty of this abdominal exercise and the simplicity with which you can perform it. As you move your knees further apart from your chest, you will notice an increase in the difficulty of this exercise for diastasis recti.
  • Stretch out one leg at a time in a straight line, and then draw two donut-sided circles slowly with the big toe of the leg that is being stretched out. Alternate between these two movements.
  • When you have finished acting on one side, you must turn around and repeat it on the opposite side. This motion is carried out in a controlled and organized manner.

You can change the exercise by either completing one full circle or altogether omitting the circles and focusing all your attention on the leg extensions. Both of these options are available to you.

7. Elevated Bent Knee V-Taps (2 Count On The Way Down And Up)

Elevated Bent Knee V-Taps (2 Count On The Way Down And Up)

When performing this exercise, you will concentrate on strengthening the adductors, the transverse abdomen, the upper abdominals, the lower abdominals, the hips, and the pelvic floor.

  • Bring your legs up until they form an angle of 90 degrees, ensuring that your low back stays firmly pressed into the mat and that your abdominal wall stays wrapped as snugly as possible around your core. Once you have achieved this position, hold it for a few seconds before switching sides.
  • It is vital to keep in mind that the distance your knees are from your chest will affect the degree of difficulty of this abdominal exercise and the simplicity with which you can perform it. As you move your knees further apart from your chest, you will notice an increase in the difficulty of this exercise for diastasis recti.
  • While maintaining a position in which your legs are bent at an angle of 90 degrees, on the count of two, open both legs and move your toes toward the edge of the mat. You should be in this position.
  • After this, come back to the beginning position on a two-count, bringing your knees and inner thighs together to touch as you do so. Continue this motion until you have completed the exercise. Afterward, return to the starting position and tap your toes on the corners of the mat outside. This motion is carried out in a controlled and organized manner.

Alternately, instead of lowering both legs to the edge of the mat, lower one leg to the edge of the carpet and then return to the starting position. That will be one repetition. After that, you must bring the opposite leg down to the starting position. Instead of lowering both legs immediately, you should switch between your legs at regular intervals. That will help prevent injury. Because of this, there will be less chance of harm.

8. Elevated First Position Kick Outs (2 Count On The Kick Out And Return)

 Elevated First Position Kick Outs

When you practice this exercise, you will concentrate on strengthening the adductors, the transverse abdomen, the upper abdominals, the lower abdominals, the hips, and the pelvic floor.

  • Bring your legs up until they form an angle of 90 degrees, ensuring that your low back stays firmly pressed into the mat and that your abdominal wall stays wrapped as snugly as possible around your core. Once you have achieved this position, hold it for a few seconds before switching sides.
  • It is vital to keep in mind that the distance your knees are from your chest will affect the degree of difficulty of this abdominal exercise and the simplicity with which you can perform it. As you move your knees further apart from your chest, you will notice an increase in the difficulty of this exercise for diastasis recti.
  • Put your feet in the "first position," which means your heels should be touching, and your toes should be facing outward to create the shape of a "V" with your feet. This position is called the "first position" for a reason. There is a reason why this posture is referred to as the "first position."
  • The second thing you need to do is to progressively kick both heels out and away from your body on a two-count, and as soon as you achieve full extension, you need to bring your inner thighs together so that they contact each other.
  • It is crucial to note that you can make this abdominal exercise much easier on yourself by raising your legs as far as they can go toward the sky and stretching them as far as they can go in that direction. This abdominal exercise can be made more difficult by either bringing your legs lower to the ground or extending them in a straight line out from your torso. Both of these variations are effective in targeting the abdominal muscles. The exercise's difficulty level can be raised using any of these two strategies.
  • Afterward, return to the starting position by bringing your knees back towards your chest on a two-count while maintaining a bend of 90 degrees in each knee. That will put you back in the position you were in before. Because of this, you will be placed in the same position as you were previously. This motion is carried out in a controlled and organized manner.

Diastasis Recti Exercises

To simplify the technique, begin by kicking out just one leg, and once it is complete, return to the starting position and kick out the other leg after you have completed the first one. Instead of simultaneously kicking out both legs, you should switch between kicking out each leg, in turn, using the alternating method described above. You won't put yourself in danger of getting hurt if you do this.

You may be able to recover your core strength and repair any damage caused by the disease known as diastasis recti exercises by completing these eight exercises specifically designed for people who have the problem (DR). The key focuses of this ab workout for postpartum women, which is meant to aid new mothers in recovering their pre-pregnancy abdominal strength and tone, are the transverse abdominals and the pelvic floor muscles. You may complete this workout in only 10 minutes (both of which are weakened during pregnancy).

Frequently Asked Questions