9 Diastasis Recti Exercises From A Specialized Diastasis Recti Coach

As an experienced pre and postnatal corrective exercise specialist, with a specialization in diastasis recti exercises and diastasis recti rehabilitation, I've coached countless people go through the prevention, challenges and rehab of abdominal separation, also known as diastasis recti. My mission as a diastasis recti trainer is to help you recover your fitness and strength, while feeling good about your body and ensuring that you understand how to do the abdominal separation exercises you need safely and correctly. In this diastasis recti guide, I'll walk you through nine safe and effective exercises that will aid in your diastasis recti strengthening and rehabilitation.


In my role as a specialized fitness expert, I emphasize the necessity of ensuring that your fitness routine is not only tailored to your body’s specific demands, but also taught so you have an understanding of exactly what is safe and appropriate for specific injuries and conditions. I am passionate about guiding pregnant and postpartum women through these stages.

Hi I'm Coach Joanie...

As a dedicated expert in diastasis recti recovery, my enduring commitment is to guide individuals through a journey toward healthy parenthood. Leveraging my qualifications in both pre and postnatal coaching, I guide people to recover from and avoid various physical injuries, including back pain, pelvic floor issues, pelvic girdle discomfort, sciatica, and diminished strength. I offer specialized diastasis recti workout programs on-demand, starting at only $34, each customized for optimal support. Additionally, for a short period, I'm providing a complimentary consultation to explore your fitness objectives in your journey to parenthood, please click the link in the menu to book a FREE consultation now!

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Diastasis Recti Exercises & Abdominal Separation Exercises Guide

Please take advantage of a brief, cost-free discussion with me before beginning any demanding exercise activities, the link for a FREE consultation is in the menu above. The importance of professional advice cannot be overstated, as it's indispensable in maintaining safety and efficiency, ensuring everyone can benefit from a workout meticulously customized for their body’s unique needs. With a Diastasis Recti fitness expert at your side, you'll begin your journey of diastasis recti strength training, exercising the appropriate muscles, and progressing towards the most self-assured version of yourself.


Who do Diastasis Recti stretches happen?


Diastasis recti refers to the separation , or stretching of the linea alba. The linea alba is the connective tissue between the abdominal muscles, specifically the rectus abdominis. Pregnancy puts a significant strain on the abdomen, causing the muscles to stretch and expand. This separation most often occurs during the later stages of pregnancy but can occur at anytime and even during postpartum. I’ve even seen it occur on non pregnant people and men!


Is Diastasis Recti permanent or can you fully recover from it?


While diastasis recti can be concerning, regaining full strength in your core and body is possible. With the correct diastasis recti exercises and abdominal separation exercises, coupled with core recovery program, many women see and feel full or substantial improvement in their bodies. The degree of separation and individual factors will influence your personal outcome and recovery timeline during your diastasis recti strength training.


What is the expected recovery time following Diastasis Recti injury?


The recovery time varies for each individual. For some, the core begins to regain complete strength or even end up stronger after a few weeks of proper exercises and care. The sooner you start the recovery process the better. I recommend clients start with me within the first 2 weeks post birth. For others, especially without intervention, it may take longer. Incorporating diastasis recti strength training into one's routine will expedite the rehabilitation process.


The benefits of exercise for people who have Diastasis Recti


Exercise is a pivotal aspect of the diastasis recti transformation. Engaging in diastasis recti workouts and diastasis recti repair exercises can:


  • Enhance core strength and stability.

  • Improve posture and reduce back pain.

  • Encourage overall physical and mental well-being.

  • Set you up with a stronger core foundation for all of your workouts and daily tasks.


The importance of safety when exercising after Diastasis Recti


There is a lot of fear and misinformation around the topic of diastasis recti. Inappropriate exercises can exacerbate the condition, but so can doing nothing at all!. As an experienced diastasis recti trainer, I emphasize choosing movements that are safe, effective, and tailored to your specific needs during recovery. No two clients need the exact same program. Your body and journey are unique so in order for you to get results, your program needs to be as specialized as you are. That customization is built into every Transformation Nation membership.


The importance of training the muscles of your entire core


In my work, I stress the importance of understanding the effect diastasis recti has on your entire core system. If your core isn't functioning properly, the rest of your body is compromised through compensations. ability to turn muscle activation off when you are not using it. That’s why an expert diastasis recti program with specific abdominal separation exercises will focus on the muscle contraction and release in order to train the muscles through their full range of motion.


9 Examples of Easy & Safe Diastasis Recti Recovery Fitness Exercises


1) Deep Breathing with Core Engagement


  • How to: Sit or lie down comfortably. Inhale through the nose while expanding through the side of the ribs and down into the belly. Exhale slowly, while imagining that you are pulling a zipper from the pelvic floor, up to the bottom of the ribs as you wrap and engaging the core muscles.

  • Benefits: Enhances diaphragmatic breathing and teaches core and pelvic floor engagement.

  • Tips: Keep the breathing slow and steady. Avoid rapid or shallow breaths. Try to relax all the muscles of the core as you inhale.


2) Pelvic Tucks and Tilts


  • How to: Lie flat on your back with knees bent and feet flat on the floor. Inhale through the nose while expanding through the side of the ribs and down into the belly. Exhale slowly, while imagining that you are pulling a zipper from the pelvic floor, up to the bottom of the ribs and tilt your pelvis upwards, flattening your back against the floor. Release on the inhale and repeat.

  • Benefits: Strengthens the core and promotes pelvic floor strength and stability. Corrects postural changes that often occur during pregnancy.

  • Tips: Avoid arching the back. Move slowly through the exercises. Stay connected to your breath


3) Heel Slides


  • How to: Begin in the same position as the pelvic tilts. Inhale through the nose while expanding through the side of the ribs and down into the belly. Exhale while imagining “zipping” or wrapping up the core from bottom to top as in the previous two exercises and slowly sliding one heel out in front of you. Inhale, relax the core and exhale, repeat the “zip” again as you slide the heel back to its start position. Alternate legs.

  • Benefits: Activates the lower abs without putting strain on the separated muscles. Strengthens the core and promotes pelvic floor muscle strength and stability.

  • Tips: Keep the movements controlled and connected to your breath. Slide your hands along your belly as you engage the core to encourage further core engagement.


4) Leg Raises


  • How to: Lying on your back, with foot on the floor, knee bent and the other lengthened away from the body. Inhale diaphragmatically to prepare and exhale, “zip” or wrap your core engagement as you slowly raise the extended leg up and down with control. Repeat 10 lifts on each leg then switch legs.

  • Benefits: Enhances core and pelvic stability and leg strength. Coordinates proper breathing with bigger movements in the body.

  • Tips: If you feel any strain in the lower back, adjust your movements or reduce the height of the leg raise. Keep the movements controlled and connected to your breath. Slide your hands along your belly as you engage the core to encourage further core engagement.


5) Glute Bridges


  • How to: Lying on your back, feet hip-width apart, inhale diaphragmatically to prepare and exhale, press through the heels and lift the hips towards the ceiling. Hold and lower with control.

  • Benefits: Strengthens the glutes, hamstrings, breath coordination and core.

  • Tips: Move slowly. Ensure even weight distribution through the feet. Coordinate your breath and check for activation in your glutes. If you can’t feel your glutes activate, touch them with your hands and/or slightly lift your toes in order to press harder into your heels.


6) Modified Side Plank


  • How to: Lie on one side, propped up with your elbow below your shoulder. With knees bent, inhale diaphragmatically to prepare and exhale, “zip” or wrap your core from pelvic floor to bottom of the ribs as you lift the hips off the ground. Lower back down and inhale, release to prepare for the next lift. Repeat 3-5x on each side.

  • Benefits: Strengthens the oblique muscles and enhances core stability. Coordinates breath with core activation.

  • Tips: Ensure the elbow is directly under the shoulder to prevent strain on the shoulder girdle. Slide your hands along your belly as you engage the core to encourage further core engagement.


7) Bird Dogs


  • How to: Starting on all fours, inhale diaphragmatically to prepare and exhale, “zip” or wrap your core from pelvic floor to bottom of the ribs as you extend opposite arm and leg away from your body. Return your limbs to the floor as you inhale, prepare and exhale, activate the core as you extend the opposite arm and leg.

  • Benefits: Strengthens the oblique muscles and enhances core and pelvic stability. Coordinates breath with core activation.

  • Tips: Move slowly. Breathe evenly. Use the activation of your core to maintain your balance as you reach your limbs away from your body.


8) Standing Core Engagement


  • How to: Stand tall, feet shoulder-width apart. Inhale diaphragmatically to prepare. Exhale, “zip” or wrap your core from pelvic floor to bottom of the ribs. Hold and release.

  • Benefits: Teaches how to engage the core muscles during daily activities.

  • Tips: Avoid holding your breath. Breathe evenly.


9) Wall Sit


  • How to: Stand with your back against a wall. Slide down until your knees are bent at a 90-degree angle. Hold and practice your inhale, release and exhale, core engagement.

  • Benefits: Strengthens the thighs and core. Coordinates your breath with a challenging movement.

  • Tips: Avoid holding your breath. Breathe evenly. Focus on fully relaxing the core on your inhale and engaging from the pelvic floor up to the ribs on the exhale.


It's important to note that the most important part of all diastasis recti exercises and diastasis recti stretches, is the coordination of your diaphragmatic breath with your core and pelvic floor. This free diastasis recti program isn't a "prescription" for healing diastasis recti. It's an example of exercises with slow, controlled movement and breath control in order to strengthen the entire system of the inner core unit.


Remember effective diastasis recti repair exercises are more like a journey, needing consistency and dedication, but with discipline you can make a positive diastasis recti transformation. It's vital you are guided by a professional diastasis recti trainer before starting your exercises, as everyone's journey to healing will be unique. I’m offering a FREE Consultation at the moment and you can book a time that suits you best in the above link in the menu. I look forward to speaking to you.