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Part 2: 5 Advanced Pilates Exercises For Moms With Diastasis Recti

Bridge with Marching (part 1)
Bridge with Marching (part 1)
NP Productions

Alright, ladies so it’s been about a year since you began working on abdominal strength after baby and your tummy is getting stronger from all of your hard work during Mission: Diastasis Recti Repair.

Here are a few more exercises to give a whirl. These exercises are a little more advanced and require some abdominal strength, plus a lot of focus on form and proper abdominal engagement. I only stress this because we want to make sure we’re repairing your diastasis recti and not making it worse. Yes?

**If you’re unsure whether you should attempt these exercises, please check with your Doctor or Physical Therapist first.**

Mission: Diastasis Recti Repair Exercises

If you have questions or need help executing these exercises, please send me a message and I will walk you through them.

Bridge with Marching (part 1)
Bridge with Marching (part 1) NP Productions

Bridge with Marching (part 1)

This is a great exercise for strengthening the transversus abdominus, which I’m sure you’ve gathered by now, is very important.

Lie on your back, place your feet hip distance apart and place your hands on your hipbones. Exhale as you roll your hips up slowly one vertebra at a time. Once you’re up, exhale to lift one leg up into tabletop position. Make sure to use your low abdominals to lift; you should be able to feel the abs working with your fingertips. (hands on hips).

Bridge with Marching (part 2)
Bridge with Marching (part 2) NP Productions

Bridge with Marching (part 2)

This is a great exercise for strengthening the transversus abdominus, which I’m sure you’ve gathered by now, is very important.

Lie on your back, place your feet hip distance apart and place your hands on your hipbones. Exhale as you roll your hips up slowly one vertebra at a time. Once you’re up, exhale to lift one leg up into tabletop position. Make sure to use your low abdominals to lift; you should be able to feel the abs working with your fingertips. (hands on hips) Lower one leg down as you inhale then exhale to engage the abs to lift the leg back up. Practice this 6-8 times on each side.

Plank
Plank NP Productions

Plank

This exercise is a total body strengthener. It incorporates the abs, arms and legs. Since this exercise requires your abs to face the mat be sure to really focus on pulling the abs up toward the spine. I prefer to do this exercise on my forearms but it can also be done with straight arms. Place your palms together with your elbows under your shoulders and straighten your legs together and come up onto your toes. This is a tough one, so start small and build your way up. Try 20 or 30 second holds to start then add on as you can.

Forearm Pushups
Forearm Pushups NP Productions

Forearm Pushups

Start in a forearm plank position as described above. Then as you exhale take your bum up toward the sky to make a pyramid shape with your body. You should feel this exercise in your abdominals as well as in your upper body. Make sure to exhale on your UP motion and pull the abs in toward the spine. Start with 10 repetitions.

Double Leg Lower (part 1)
Double Leg Lower (part 1) NP Productions

Double Leg Lower (part 1)

Lie on your back, then either place your arms at your side, under your head or under your bum for support. Better yet, you can place your hands on your recti split to make sure the abs are pulling in rather than pushing out. Bring your legs up one at a time toward the sky, with a slight turn out to keep the hip flexors from gripping. Inhale as you lower both legs away from you. DO NOT let the back arch. If your back arches then you’ve let the legs move too far away from your body. Exhale to engage the abdominals and bring the legs back up to a 90degree angle. Practice this exercise 8-10 times.

Double Leg Lower (part 2)
Double Leg Lower (part 2) NP Productions

Double Leg Lower (part 2)

Lie on your back, then either place your arms at your side, under your head or under your bum for support. Better yet, you can place your hands on your recti split to make sure the abs are pulling in rather than pushing out. Bring your legs up one at a time toward the sky, with a slight turn out to keep the hip flexors from gripping. Inhale as you lower both legs away from you. DO NOT let the back arch. If your back arches then you’ve let the legs move too far away from your body. Exhale to engage the abdominals and bring the legs back up to a 90degree angle. Practice this exercise 8-10 times.

Side Plank
Side Plank NP Productions

Side Plank

This exercise can be done on your forearms or with a straight arm; either way is great for strengthening the internal and external obliques. Rest on your forearm with your elbow under the shoulder, fingers pointing straight ahead of you. Stack the feet and lift the hips up. Engage the abdominals and pull the shoulders down away from the ears. Start with holding for 20 to 30 seconds then build up if needed. Switch and do the same on the other side.