Diastasis Recti, A Plan To Help You Close The Gap
You have probably heard about the “mom Pooch” but you might not actually know what it is. It could be ab separation , and the good news is there is a way to fix it!
Diastasis recti happens during pregnancy when the two large ab muscles separate due to your growing uterus. In some cases your ab muscles go back to normal once you give birth but in a lot of women they do not. Diastasis recti is very common and often called the mom pooch. If you do have an ab separation ( even if your kids are older ) you can do some moves at home that can help close the gap.
Remember always check with your doctor first before adding in any of the moves from below. Also a Dr can help determine the size of your gap.
I hear from moms all the time that they can not get rid of their belly. Diet and traditional exercise will not help fix DR. You can be spot on with your nutrition and still not see the results you want if you are suffering from DR.
Check for Diastasis Recti:
First you need to check to see if you have DR. To do so:
- Lie on your back with your knees bent and the soles of your feet close to your butt.
- Place your hand on your abdomen with your fingertips flat at your belly button, fingers facing downward.
- Gently push your fingertips into your abdomen while rolling your shoulders off of the floor, keeping eyes looking up
- Here is where you will feel for a separation between your ab muscles. A 2-2.5 finger gap or more signals diastasis recti.
Close the Gap
Start by doing the five moves listed below 5-10 reps per move every day for a week. Each week add 5-10 more reps in . You want to take deep breathes in and out and really focus on the muscles you are contracting . Try these moves for a month or two and then re-test your ab gab. Avoid sit ups, v ups and planks for now.
Draw ins NOT suck ins. This move will safely start to engage and strengthen your ab muscles. Drawing in is not the same as sucking in, instead its done by using your inner ab muscles to pull your abdomen toward your spine. Think about using your lower abs for this move. This move is something you can do as you walk around your house, as you sit & stand, when you pick up the baby ect or you can do it lying down .
Lying flat on your back. Deeply inhale, your belly & chest should inflate. Next you will slowly exhale all the air out, drawing in your abdominal wall & hold that draw in for as long as you can ( image that you are wearing a corset) You can also do this move standing up tall. You will inhale deeply just like if you are on the ground and exhale, drawing your belly button in and up toward your spine( again image you are wearing a corset ) and hold that draw in for as long as you can
Abduction Ab Activation
Grab a resistance band and loop it right above your knees. Lying on your back exhale, draw in and engage your pelvic floor muscles while you pull your knees apart. Rest & repeat.
Draw in Rotations
With a broomstick or small pvc pipe behind your neck on your shoulders, perform the belly breathing from above, when all your air is exhaled and you are holding your breath and drawing in, slowly rotate from side to side for as long as you can .
Lie flat on your back with your knees bent , feet flat on the floor. Exhale as you engage your core and slowly slide one heel along the ground until your leg is straight. Inhale, engage your core then exhale as you bring your heel back to the start position.
There are a TON of videos on youtube to help learn how to breath correctly I highly recommend watching a couple.
Id love to hear from you! Do you have a gap? Or did you get one after having kids? I love to know if these exercises worked for you. I plan on adding them in this fall after having this baby!
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