Diastasis Recti – Post Pregnancy Abdominal Separation

Diastasis Recti – Post Pregnancy Abdominal Separation

#1 What is abdominal separation (diastasis recti)?
Your rectus abdominis muscle also known by abs are actually a pair of long and flat muscles attached to a bottom of your rib cage and pelvis. . Each long muscle consist four muscle heads that are connected together by bands of tendon.
Left and right pare of rectus abdominal are connected by a tendon which during a pregnancy is stretching along with your growing belly. After a birth that space closes and your rectus abdominal muscle come back to the original position.
In some situation that space between your right and left belly muscle stays wide open and your belly sticks out. You may refer to it as “pooch”.
Diastasis recti is more common for pregnant woman that are expecting twins, whose baby is heavy, during second or third pregnancy or for older moms (over 30 year old).
If you are any of those it doesn’t mean it will happen to you. If your core muscles were strong before pregnancy it will be easier for them to get back to original position.
Abdominal Separation is nothing more but muscle separation.
#2 How to identify it?
There are signs that may indicate something is not right;
– You feel pain or discomfort when picking up something from floor
– It feels like something is there
– Back pain
– Pooch look on your belly
– Incontinence
#3 Self check
How to self diagnose if what you have is Abdominal Separation?
Lie on your back with your knees bent and feet hip distance apart on the floor. Place two fingers above your belly button. Lift your head of the floor as you were trying to look between your legs. Your abdominal muscles should get tighten and the gap between left and right abdominal muscles more visible. Gap of a size of one or two fingers is normal. Gap bigger than two fingers indicates you will need help
If you have diastasis recti, right diet and exercise can help. Stop doing exercises that either are not effective, hurt you or make your condition worse like crunches and sit ups.
#4 Exercises to avoid
The most important thing is not to strain your already weak muscles. After pregnancy we would love abs to go back to original position as fast as possible but sometimes your body just needs a little more time. Below are exercises you should avoid them while fixing diastasis recti but also after when it is completely healed.
You should avoid following;
Avoid heavy lifting
Prevent constipation
Sitting down and standing up in low or deep sofas, chairs
Sit ups
Press ups
Oblique crunch
Leg extensions
If you don’t do anything with diastasis recti your body will rely on your hip flexors to support pelvis. As a result too much strain will be put on your lower back and yes, you will develop low back pain and also you will still look 6 months pregnant with your belly sticking out.
#5 Exercises to perform
Pelvic tilt
Toe taps


Heel slides


Bridges- glute bridge


Single leg deadlift
Side plank


Wall sit
#6 Sample training
Diastasis recti is a separation of rectus abdominus but this is not the only muscle that you need to sort out. Weak core muscles pay key role here and by core muscles I don’t mean only rectus abdominals (six pack). If your rectus abdominal muscle is weak and need to heal, you should focus on strengthening muscles around it. Base here is transverse abdominal, the deepest and the most important core muscle.
Transverse abdominals is like a band or a muscle corset wrapped around your belly. That deep band gives you real core strength and a base to build your abs and healthy back.
Here are the best transverse abdominals exercises:
  • Belly hollowing
  • Plank
  • Dead Bug
  • Glutes bridge
  • Quadruped lift
  • C-curve on back


The following exercise program is for women that already been checked by GP’s and got a green light to start exercising.

As mentioned before, you will need to work muscles around rectus abdominal first. You will do it to restore your core stability and back support. That way all your further abs exercises will be safe and effective.


Please note this is the safe and effective way to rebuild your core strength, back support, and close abdominal separation.


Week 1


Body weight exercises. Restoring core strength and back support.


Walk on flat surface changing your speed. Try to go for 1-3 minutes fast walk and then 1 minute slower. Then repeat again and do that for 20 minutes.

Stationary bike cycling – small resistance.

Stretching – hamstrings, glutes, calves , chest

Body weight exercises-


      Option 1


  1. Warm-up- 5 minutes (walk on the spot, arms circles)
  2. Stretch legs and chest
  3. Plank against the wall- 15-20 seconds x 3
  4. Wall push up – 10 x 3
  5. Wall sit – 15-20 seconds hold x 3

  1. Side plank – with bottom knee on the floor. Hold 10-15 seconds each side x3
  2. Glutes bridge 10 x 3



Option 2 for body weight exercises


  1. Walk -5 minutes with speed change
  2. Wide legs squats – shallow ones only 10 x 3
  3. Single leg deadlift – body weight only – 10 x 3 each leg
  4. Glutes bridge – 10 x 3


  1. Heels slide – 5×3 each leg
  2. Legs side to side –
  3. Wall push ups – 10-15
  4. Child pose




Week 2

Cardio – stationary bike for 30 minutes with low resistance or 30 minutes walking

Stretching – upper back, glutes and hamstrings, chest



Body weight exercises-

  1. Walk- 5 minutes
  2. Single leg deadlift – 3×15
  3. Wide legs squat – 15×3


  1. Glutes bridge – 15×3
  2. Wall push ups – 15×3
  3. Side plank hold- bottom leg on ground – hold 20 seconds x3 each side
  4. Child pose


Week 3-4

Cardio brisk walk on flat for 40 minutes or stationary bike for 30 minutes with low resistance


Stretching – hamstrings, glutes, upper back, chest

Body weight exercises


  1. Wall push ups – 15×3
  2. Wall sit – 20 seconds x 3
  3. Lunges – 15×3
  4. Single leg deadlift 15×3
  5. Glutes bridge 15×3
  6. Side plank hold – 20 seconds x 3 each side
  7. Heel slide – 15 x 3 each leg >??????
  8. Child pose
  9. Side plank with leg lift



Week 5 – 6

From this moment you can start introducing lightweights into your routine. 1-3 kg dumbbells or kettle bells and easy resistance band


Cardio – brisk walk, interval walk, easy run or stationary bike on medium resistance for 45 minutes


Body weight exercises (like in week 3 and 4)

1.Wall push ups – 15×3

2.Wall sit – 20 seconds x 3

3.Lunges- 15×3

4.Single leg deadlift 15×3

5.Glutes bridge 15×3

6.Side plank hold – 20 seconds x 3 each side

7.heel slide – 15 x 3 each leg

8.Child pose

9.Side plank with leg lift


Weighted exercises


  1. Single leg deadlift – 10×3
  2. Glutes bridge 20 x 3
  3. Single arm row 15×3 for each arm
  4. Clean- either with light bar only and no weights – 5 x 3
  5. Lunges with easy weights- 10×3 for each leg


Classes that you should try

  1. Spin
  2. Step



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