Post-Natal Core Exercises
I’d like some great core exercises for women who have ‘split’ their abs during pregnancy. Mine are only slightly separated but I have only seen exercises I can’t do in my mommy n me fitness class (plank, sit ups, etc). – Amber
Great question! Diastasis recti is common during pregnancy and it is essentially a separation of the abdominal wall at the linea alba (midline of the abs). You’ll want to ensure the muscles come back together before resuming aggressive abdominal workouts. Diastasis can lead to low back pain, pelvic instability and other muscle imbalances down the road. If you have more than a 2 finger split (check by lying on your back, doing a crunch and feeling the groove in the abs), avoid any crunching type motions such as sit ups and side raises. You’ll also want to be careful coming up from a lying down position – always roll over onto your side before getting up.
To help the muscles come back together, you’ll need to focus on the deep core musculature. Focus on drawing your navel in and up, like you’re zipping up your abs, hold and release. You’ll want to feel a tightening in the low abdominal area (below the bellybutton) instead of a pushing outwards. Try the 5 point draw in seated on a ball where you pull your navel in 5 times and release 5 times. You should be able to breathe comfortably and keep other muscles relaxed. Short duration planks are okay (10 seconds at a time) but if you feel pulling in the abs, opt for the draw ins instead.