Diastasis Recti (DR): Linear separation of the rectus abdominis (“six pack muscle”).
Many mamas and those of us with very physically demanding jobs experience this and it’s consequences, resulting in hernias, back pain, pelvic pain, poor pelvic floor muscle control leading to urinary and/or anal incontinence, weak abdominals, etc.
There is a very straightforward exercise to aid in correcting this separation, if there are no contraindications, or reasons a person can’t perform this exercise – like healing incisions, colostomy, severe hernia, unable to lay on back, etc. Please be sure to check with your doc before you try this if you are worried about something preventing you from performing correctly and/or without injuring yourself.
There are many more exercises important in healing a diastasis recti – performing this exercise alone will not correct everything that is wrong with a DR. This will basically help close the gap, but you will need much more education on breathing, body mechanics, and strengthening other core muscles in order to fully recover.
See the video below for full instruction and demonstration from the video virgin (me) with guest outbursts by Ridley, my man cub.
Written instructions if you couldn’t hear/understand my babbling:
1) Grab a towel or scarf or sheet and lay on your back, knees bent, feet on floor.
2) Criss cross the scarf over your abdomen (make sure to cover belly button) and pull tight across. Don’t strain, breathe normally.
3) With the scarf tight over your belly, tighten your abdomen by pulling to your belly button toward your spine (flatten your tummy). You should NOT curl up, pull your ribs together, or hold your breath.
4) Hold 5 seconds, release, and repeat 30 times. Do this 2-3 times a day.
Please let me know if you have any questions, comments, or concerns!!