Flat Belly

Diastasis Recti Exercises – Physical Therapy Diastasis Repair Exercises

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Hi, I’m Michelle. Well today we’re looking at some basic exercises to start the repair for your rectus diastasis. Now remembering that your rectus diastasis (if you’ve got one) is a separation of the upper abdominal muscles, so it’s really important that you’re not doing any intense core exercises like full planks and sit-up exercises, which are going to in effect separate that area even more. The exercises to start with are these gentle exercises for your deep abdominal core muscles. We’re going to start by finding those deep abdominal muscles and I’d like you (if you’re at home) to exercise along with me, lying yourself down flat on your side to find those muscles.

Coming down into that side-lying position so, what I’d like you to start by doing is letting your tummy relax. Now, I think you can feel these abdominal muscles really well in this side lying position. You’re feeling the area below your navel; the area that would sit below your briefs. And use your fingers inside, just inside that pelvic bone to feel that area there. In that position, let your tummy muscles relax, and now very gently draw the abdominal wall inwards just a little bit. So try to draw in and hold.

Hold and breathe and see if you can feel that gentle tension developing in that lower area of your tummy. You really need to get this part of the exercise going first of all before we start progressing you along. So see if you can contract those muscles gently, and hold and breathe. How are you going at home? Can you hold those muscles on gently? And then relax. After you’ve had your baby and after pregnancy it can be really difficult to find these deep abdominal muscles because they’ve been so stretched. We’ll try again one more time on your side. Hands over the inside (you can go over your briefs or over your clothes,) you might feel them better underneath your clothes just feeling directly against the abdominal wall. And drawing in gently and just feeling a gentle tension developing in that area of your lower abdomen. Hold and breathe, hold and breathe, keep holding and breathing and feel that gentle in-draw and now relax.

All right, now if you can feel those, you’re ready to roll over onto your back. We’ll find those and start into some very gentle Pilates-style exercises. So rolling over onto your back Now, again, using your fingers (both hands this time) so feeling in that area, you can use the hands inside and then you can actually try again (keeping the inward curve in your lower back,) try to gently brace that abdominal wall. And, this is challenging to feel. You should feel just a very gentle tension develop in your lower abdomen. You might find that your pelvic floor muscles contract two at the same time. That’s great if they do. Hold and breathe. Hold and breathe And relax down. So as we do the next exercises, I’d like you to use that activation to encourage the repair for that diastasis. So let’s start now. So, fingers on your pelvis. Shoulders back. And then we’re going to start with an exercise called a bent-knee fallout. Now with a bent-knee fallout, the leg comes down to the side and back up. But it’s the deep abdominal muscles that stop your torso from rolling to the side. So, in that position: gently activate your deep abdominal muscles.

Imagine you’ve got a glass of water balanced on one leg (that’s the stationary leg.) Now, the other leg moves slowly down to one side while you’re contracting those tummy muscles. Down to the side. As soon as you start to feel your pelvis start to roll (which won’t be very far) then come back up to the center and relax. And you might find that quite challenging; it’s a challenging exercise to do well. Again. Tummy muscles activated.

Gently lower the leg down to the side to where you can. Keep the tummy muscles gently braced. Keep your glass of water balanced on the other leg. Bring the leg back up to center and relax. And I can feel that’s quite challenging on my tummy. Okay, have a big breath in and out and we’re gonna go to the other side, so: fingers on the abdominal wall, activate the lower abdominal muscles, take the leg down to the other side, don’t let your pelvis roll and come back up to center and rest.

And when I say don’t let your pelvis roll, I mean not to let your hips roll. So you can feel the trunk rolls or you can actually see my trunk rolling there. You’ve gotta keep it really stable. You feel over your pelvic bones, you can then check for that stability. Rest your abdomen. Rest down through your shoulders. Now we’re going to move into a heel-slide exercise. So, with the next exercise involves again activating the lower abdominal muscles, maintaining the inward curve in your lower back, and this time sliding the heel down along the ground, sliding down until you feel that your back starts to arch as soon as it does come back up into the return, back to starting position, and relax. And again, tummy muscles braced very gently, keep the normal curve in your back, slide your foot down and then bringing it back up. As soon as you feel your lower back curve starting to change and relax. And we can do that on the other side as well. Let’s do a couple more on the other side.

Tummy muscles are activated. Slow controlled breathing, slide the heel down, sliding along the mat, sliding down gently and bringing it back up, and once more taking it down. Just slow and steady, controlled, guiding it back up and relax your tummy muscles. You might like to do some very gentle pelvic tilts, flattening the curve of your back, down and back. So when you’re just starting out, you’re aiming to do roughly ten second holds with your breathing, and then you start to do what you can with your bent-knee fallouts and with your heel-slides.

You might start with a couple of exercises and increasing up to perhaps ten on one side and ten on the other for each of those exercises. Ideally if you could do those every day that would be terrific. Well let’s review what we’ve just done there. We’ve done how to activate your deep abdominal muscles. We’ve talked about bent-knee fallout exercises and also your heel-slide exercises to promote your rectus abdominis repair and the importance of avoiding your intense abdominal core exercises.

Well, for some more deep core exercises and core abdominal exercises, visit me at pelvicexercises.com.au. I look forward to exercising with you again soon. Bye for now. .