Select Page

Diastasis recti is a condition where the abdominal muscles have separated.  It is important to choose exercises that help strengthen the abdominal muscles without putting too much stress on the midline. Here are three exercises that can be beneficial for diastasis recti postpartum.

  1. Pelvic Tilts (supine/on your back)
  • Lie on your back with your feet flat on the floor and knees bent, hip-width apart.
  • Place your hands on your abdomen to feel the area of separation.
  • Inhale through your nose and as you exhale, engage your pelvic floor muscles. (Pelvic floor muscles are the ones used to help stop the flow of urine.)
  • Draw your belly button in towards your spine.
  • Maintain the engagement of your abdominals as you tilt your pelvis slightly upward pressing your lower back into the floor.
  • Hold this position for five seconds and then release.  Repeat for 10-15 reps.
  • As this exercise becomes easier you can increase the length of time you hold the position or increase the repetitions. 
  1. Transverse Abdominal Contractions (TA Activation)
  • You may be this exercise sitting or in a standing position. Whichever is more comfortable for you.
  • Take a deep breath in, and as you exhale, draw your belly button inward and upward (toward your spine), engaging your transverse abdominal (TA) muscles without holding your breath.
  • When you engage your TA think of the action of pulling your abdominal muscles as if you are trying to lift them towards your ribcage.
  • Hold the contraction for five seconds while maintaining normal breathing.
  • Relax and repeat for 10-15 reps.
  • As the exercise becomes easier you may hold the contraction for 10 seconds or increase the number of repetitions by doing another set of 10 reps.
  1. Heel Slides (supine position)
  • Lie on your back with your feet flat on the floor, hip-width apart and your knees bent.
  • Place your hands on your abdominal area to feel the separation.
  • Slowly slide on heel along the floor, straightening your leg while keeping your abdominals engaged (core). Your lower back should be pressed into the floor.  
  • As you slide the heel out, exhale and engage your core.  That includes your pelvic floor and transverse abdominal muscles.
  • Inhale and return your foot to the starting position.
  • Alternate legs and repeat for 10-15 reps on each side.

Remember that it is important to perform these exercises with proper technique to avoid discomfort or aggravate the diastasis recti.  If you are unsure of the correct way to perform the exercise or have concerns, seek help from a qualified healthcare professional who can assess your specific condition and provide personalized guidance.