If you’re looking for rectus diastasis repair exercises this video’s a safe place to start.
This Physiotherapist guided exercise video shows you how to start training your abdominal muscles to help close your diastasis.
Video suitability: General
Duration: 4.16 mins
Scroll down below video for rectus diastasis exercise guidelines and prescription
What Is Rectus Diastasis?
Rectus Diastasis often occurs during pregnancy when the growing baby stretches the abdominal muscles and tissues.
The diastasis occurs when the strong membrane joining the outer abdominal ‘6 Pack’ or Rectus Abdominis muscles at the midline splits and separates.
Physical Problems Caused By Rectus Diastasis
The separation of the abdominal muscles can cause a number of problems for new mums including:
- Difficulty restoring the tone in their abdomen (i.e. abdominal bulge)
- Lower back problems
- Pelvic instability (i.e. sacroiliac and/or pubic symphysis)
- Pelvic floor problems (e.g. decreased bladder control).
Which Abdominal Muscles To Start Exercising?
Rectus Diastasis exercises repair starts with restoring control of the deep abdominal (Transverse Abdominis) muscles. These are the deepest layer of the 3 layers of abdominal muscles.
When the Transverse Abdominis (TA) muscles contract they draw the diastasis or separation together thereby promoting diastasis healing and repair.
It’s important not to start exercising the outer Rectus Abdominis muscles with intense core abdominal exercises during the initial stages of repair.
How To Start Rectus Diastasis Exercises?
Start your rectus diastasis repair by learning to correctly activate your deepest abdominal muscles. When you know how to activate these muscles you can start to use them during your everyday activities to promote your diastasis repair and avoid further separation.
Rectus Diastasis Exercise Technique
The correct technique to start exercising your deepest abdominal muscles:
- Start sitting on your exercise ball or a chair.
- If you’re sitting on a chair move forward from the back rest.
- Set your posture by lifting the crown of your head and lengthening your spine.
- Maintain the inward curve in your lower back throughout.
- Place your hands over your lower abdomen.
- Gently* contract and draw your lower abdomen inwards towards your spine.
- Maintain this gentle contraction up to 10 seconds
- Breathe normally throughout.
- Relax and release your lower abdominal muscles.
*The deep abdominal muscles work gently – avoid over bracing these muscles to avoid placing strain on your rectus diastasis.
Mistakes To Avoid With Diastasis Exercises
Avoid these commonly made mistakes:
1. Over bracing the abdominal muscles – less is more when it comes to contracting the deepest abdominal muscles
2. Breath holding – breathe normally throughout these exercises
3. Slumping forwards – maintain good upright posture to encourage deep abdominal activation
4. Crunches and intense core abdominal exercises – these exercises can delay or worsen diastasis recti separation.
How Many Exercises?
Commence your deep abdominal muscle contractions starting with the duration you can comfortably manage up to 10 seconds when you start out.
Repeat your deep abdominal muscle exercises 10 times throughout the day.
Where To Practice Your Exercises?
When starting out commence your exercises either sitting or standing.
When you’re confident in your exercise technique, practice activating your deep abdominal muscles when you move. Try to use your deep abdominal muscles during your everyday activities e.g. when carrying your baby or pushing the pram.
Key Points For Diastasis Recti Repair
- Diastasis Recti is a separation of the Rectus Abdominis muscles.
- Healing and repair starts with learning to activate the deep Transverse Abdominis abdominal muscles
- Regular daily deep abdominal exercises can help to draw the diastasis closed to encourage healing and repair
- Practice using your deep abdominal muscles during your everyday activities when you’re confident in your technique.
with Pelvic Floor Physiotherapist Michelle Kenway
Strengthen and tone your core safely with this Physiotherapist-guided pelvic floor safe strength and core abdominal workout DVD.