Continuation of diastasis dilemma and the exercises that bring it all back together! If you missed the reader inquiry it is attached below.
Working across the body is the only way to wake up the abdominals that close the diastasis gap. Think (but don’t do) old school, bicycle style abdominal work. Working across the body pulls the abdominals together, while regular sit-ups, crunches, planks etc. won’t do that for you. Thus, your 5 minute plank will leave you with strong shoulders and a belly bulge because the abdominals are still separated.
Exercise: Level 1
- Lie on your back. Knees bent hip distance apart and feet flat.
- Both hands behind your head to start.
- Curl up. Then release the right hand from behind your head and reach it passed the left thigh.
- Then you just breathe. Keep both shoulders lifted as you inhale. As you exhale, watch your belly button drop down toward the floor and then twist across any amount more. Try for 20 breaths. In this direction it will feel like the right waist reaches across toward the left hip. Then switch sides. Right hand behind your head, left hand reaching passed the right thigh etc.
To challenge yourself you can work up to 3 sets in each direction and work up to 35 breaths each.
*Move slowly and make sure you don’t allow your hips to wobble around.
I will add more advanced exercises every month. This is where we all need to start to build the connection needed to move on. Just breathe and twist!
You SHOULD avoid “aggressive” abdominal exercises. These can make the diastasis worse or undo progress you’ve made doing the exercise above. We need to be moving mindfully, ideally always, but especially when we are trying to heal. If you are moving quickly and with large ranges of motion it’s hard to maintain the integrity of the form and this is what leads to creating a bigger gap between the abdominal muscles. That isn’t forever! It’s until you get the diastasis to close and I think waiting until at least 9-12 months after it closes. The muscles need time to settle into to their new/former home.
Healing Diastasis does not mean that you will get your abdominals to completely come back together. Some women do, most women do not. 4 fingers of space between the abdominals is a significant gap. Just for a reference-I had a 3.5 fingers gap and with this work, I have been able to get it down to just over 1 finger. This means I have a well-supported lower back and pelvis, a flat abdominal wall and an “outie” belly button, which I acknowledge as my souvenir for growing my beautiful babies!
Thank you so much for sharing your story! Thousands of women will benefit from your open honesty! The next blog post will be directed at the specific exercises we need to heal diastasis and flatten the tummy, but the breath is the most important place to start! This piece will carry through into all of the exercises I show you, so if you start, you have a head start! Ready GO!
So I love what you've been working on and admire so much your work passion and dedication, needless to mention how amazing you look. But above all what a healthy happy mama you are and that tops it all. a healthy happy mama is a healthy happy strong united family I know that takes much work sacrifice and dedication so kudos to you- especially while raising attending and caring after a family of 5.
Anyway, looking forward to your next blog post not sure how much I can benefit without being able to actually attend your workshop from all the way out here in FL.
But I already learned from your first post on what my main problem is, I have Diastasis Recti and never even knew. Makes TOTAL sense now, since my belly has looked pregnant now for years even much after having my babies. Like you I have had 3 pregnancies in very short period not even brake between my last two between nursing and being pregnant again. Anyway, everything, EVERYTHING you mentioned on your post I live & feel on a daily basis. I've pretty much put myself on a back burner for years, and had not been able to focus on me or figure out how to make time for myself to take care of me- I know- MAJOR MAJOR MISTAKE. If mommy is not strong healthy & happy we all know what that does....
I have finally decided to get my body in shape & reclaim it for myself. I jumped on starting T25 challenge & also Xtendbarre (XTENDBARRE.com)similar to PureBarre, just to start getting my very fluffy out of shape body back to being strong and healthy. But NOW I've discovered I have this Diastasis so I'm not sure if I should even be doing all those very hard aggressive ab/core exercises. Not sure if they work against me instead of help me...? I wanted fast results so I wanted t do these 2 more active "aggressive" "programs" so I could wear a damn bikini this summer! Ugh! What movements/exercises should I be avoiding? And how can I can close the Diastasis gap and avoid reopening it again... certain movements including getting out of bed the wrong way may affect it I read... OMG! I was so excited about my way to getting in shape for the Summer, but now with this Diastasis seems it will be so much more challenging. J My Diastasis is 4 fingers wide…is there even hope for me.
ANY advice you have for me would be greatly appreciated. I know u are a busy mama, and I respect your time. If u have any links or suggestions let me know. I wanna get to the other side but wanna do it right and the healthy way. I don't wanna go into this and make it worse.
Thanks so much. Wish I could attend one of ur workshops, or you come to FL J
It's all so inspiring. I need more people like you in my life. Very inspiring.
This is my tummy.
Diastasis is tricky. I think we look in the mirror and see our still pregnant looking bellies and think, “right 5,000 crunches 5x a day oughta do it”! But in reality when trying to heal diastasis and flatten a post baby tummy, less is SO much more! Possibly the easiest and most important thing to do is notice where your breath fills when you inhale. If you are constantly belly breathing (the belly puffs out when you breathe in), every time you inhale, you are stretching out your belly muscles and creating more space between the abdominals. If you can think about pulling the belly up (like you’re zipping your tightest pair of pants) keep that as you breathe in, you’ll notice that the breath fills the back body. Breathing in this way will keep the abdominals closed and will give your back a nice little massage. More to come Tuesday….. until then breathe well!