What exercises can I do with Diastasis Recti?
Diastasis Recti is a common term to new moms, and occurs due to the stress placed on the linea alba (the connective tissue that runs in the middle of the rectus abdominis muscle) during pregnancy. Although diastasis recti is common, there are things new moms can do to reduce the separation of their rectus abdominis and strengthen their abdominal muscles. It is more than googling or looking for exercises on Pinterest. And avoiding crunches, sit ups, and bicycle crunches forever is not the answer.
Recent research has shown that the best way to address diastasis recti is to strengthen all of the abdominal muscles. However, women with diastasis recti should be assessed by a Physical Therapist or other movement specialist prior to initiating a strengthening program. If women begin with high level exercises that the abdominal muscles are not strong enough to handle, the abdominal separation can worsen. It is important to begin with exercises that are appropriate for the current strength level of the individual, then progress gradually as strength improves. Other therapy techniques, including kinesiotaping, can help to decrease stress on the linea alba during abdominal strengthening. The best advice we can provide to anyone who has diastasis recti is to see a Physical Therapist for an assessment, and follow the individualized treatment plan in order to appropriately progress strengthening exercises until they can safely return to the activities they want to do.