The 2 Best Exercises to Correct Diastasis Recti

After my pregnancy, I was left with about an inch and a half gap that I really couldn't seem to get rid of! I found this last night, did all the exercises and woke up today a bit sore but my stomach was significantly flatter! Even my fiance was amazed! It's not where I want it but I'm sure in a few months I'll be right where I want to! Why didn't I start this a year ago! You are a saint! This page should be given to every mother after delivery!Meredith

1. Flat Stomach Exercises

Flat stomach exercises or TVA (transverse abdominus) exercises will help strengthen the muscles deep within your abdominal wall to help you form a natural muscular girdle that will pull your abs (or rectus muscles) together to close the gap.

Do These Flat Stomach Exercises…

Do any combination of those TVA or Flat stomach exercises as often as you like to correct diastasis recti.

2. Towel Assisted Crunches

Although towel assistance crunches and other manual splitting techniques are useful for correcting diastasis recti… Focus more on Flat stomach exercises to strengthen your TVA which acts as a natural splint pulling your abs back together to correct diastasis recti.

7 Tips to Correct Diastasis Recti Faster

diastasis recti splint
  1. Use a diastasis recti splint or an abdominal binder (like the one pictured above) to provide compression & support to the abdominal area to help fix diastasis recti.
  2. Do NOT DO Any regular ab exercises or love handle exercises like sit-ups, crunches on an exercise ball or any other twisting exercises because they may cause your diastasis recti to get worse making the gap of your abdominal separation bigger.
  3. The sooner you start doing diastasis recti exercises after giving birth = the easier it will be for you to close your abdominal separation.
  4. Do not do any heavy lifting or yoga poses that stretch out your abs. Avoid yoga poses like the cow pose, up-dog, all backbends and belly breathing and…
  5. This also includes any exercises that will cause your abs to bulge or stick out while exercising (your abs should remain tight or drawn in during most exercises)
  6. Avoid any movements where you roll up and twist at the same time (like getting up out of bed) but instead roll onto your side and then use your arms to push yourself up.
  7. When you cough, place your hands on your belly area to hold your abs in place.

Before Doing Diastasis Recti Exercises…

Play Video to Check For Diastasis Recti

More Tips

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1-60 of 75 Comments
preena

Hi, i had a 4 finger gap after giving birth, i am now 3 months postpartum and the gap has closed to about 1.5/2 finger gap. This is when i lift my neck off the ground, but when laying flat and not contracting the ab muscles, it's all soft in the middle. Is it safe for me to do the standard ab exercises like sit-ups, planks etc? Also is it possible that the gap can stay like this, without closing completely? Thank you for your advice.

November 21, 2016

Adrian Bryant

yes, its possible for the gap to close but check with your doctor to make sure this is safe to do

November 21, 2016

Jordan

Definitely DO NOT do standard ab exercises (anything foward flexion) because they can actually make your Diastasis worse...which is what happened to me. I have just recently close my Diastasis....such a wonderful accomplishment!!!!! I discovered an online program called Core Exercise Solutions. Sarah has developed a very unique program because she is always adding and modifying the various programs she offers, so no matter what stage you are in before, during, or after pregnancy there is something that will work for you. The BEST part is you can post videos or questions to the facebook support page and she gives you direct feedback...you don't have to constantly wonder if you are doing the exercises correctly! I will include the link below, I would for sure give her a chance. This program has been a blessing in my recovery.
www.coreexercisesolutions.com

February 20, 2017

Jacquelyn Pope

I am a woman who is 68 years old I just found out what this was and was told that I would need to learn exercises to correct it but no one has given me any information. I want to do this but I don't want to hurt myself can you teach me on what to do.

September 30, 2016

Adrian Bryant

are you able to get he videos to play on this page

October 01, 2016

Taylor

I am 32 5'8 and about 135lbs. I have 4 children ages 1, 3 yr old twins and 7. Most of my fat is in my stomach and I have DR. The rest of my body I want to just build muscle as I am thin and want to build curves. Should I first focus on DR exercises to close the gap in my stomach and then fat loss workouts to flatten my tummy and then move on to building curves? or is there a way to do this all together?

May 21, 2016

Adrian Bryant

you should be able to do all that together

May 22, 2016

Jordan

I'm working through a program right now that is much more in depth, MomFit by Sarah E Duvall. She emphasizes how important it is to heal first and listen to your body. If you do other exercise too fast or incorrectly then you could cause more damage! I have been amazed that I actually feel stronger than before pregnancy after spending 6 months in her program! I would definitely recommend checking her out, she even has a Facebook support page called Strong Women Real Fitness. Hope this helps!

January 11, 2017

melanie

I have a separation about 1.5 fingers wide. Can I safely do your bed sheet and jumping jack HIIT video or is that not advised?

November 08, 2015

Adrian Bryant

i dont know but In my opinion it may be too stressful for your core at first so I recommend lower intensity cardio to lose fat while adherring to a routine to close your gap

November 08, 2015

melanie

Do you have a HIIT low impact aerobic video/demo?

November 09, 2015

Adrian Bryant

no i dont. what i meant by low impact was something like walking at a moderate pace

November 09, 2015

Annie

It's been almost 13 years since I last gave birth (2nd c-section). Tonight I found out about Diastasis Recti. This is the reason I can't lose this pouch!! Is it too late for me to correct it with exercise or do I need to look into abdominoplasty!? Thanks!

August 07, 2015

Adrian Bryant

talk to a doctor first about that but I would certainly see if you can correct without surgery

August 08, 2015

Al

I am a 66 year old male and I just found out I have Diastasis recti, will the exercises described be of any help? Is this causing me to have a larger than normal "pot" belly?
Thanks.

June 11, 2015

Adrian Bryant

yes, they should help out

June 11, 2015

Mary

Hi does sitting down and twisting from side to side to train the obliques do harm to my gap?

Does the overstretched linea alba tighten as I close the gap or am I just repositioning the two sides of my ab? I once closed the gap but it came back again after some wrong movements while carrying my baby. I don't want to have the gap there to start my second pregnancy since it will get worse.

Will KT tape help while I do the exercise?

April 05, 2015

Adrian Bryant

see the tips section on this page for what NOT to do to prevent gap widening

April 05, 2015

Clarke

I have a gap of about 2 fingers width - I have been doing some exercises but not loads. I asked my GP if I should/could use a slendertone belt but he didn't really know what one was. Do you think it is safe to use? (As well as doing the other exercises). Please let me know.

March 12, 2015

Adrian Bryant

I dont know about it being safe for you but also I don't think it will help much with Di. Recti

March 12, 2015

Hannah

Diastasis Recti can be closed! I have done a lot of research and tried many exercise. The best complete program I have found is called mutu. There is great information on her blog along with a complete program for purchase. Check it out if you are struggling with postpartum fitness especially DR pz138.isrefer.com

January 28, 2015

Donna

Hi,
I just wanted to say that I almost closed my diastasis recti which was roughly 2-3 fingers wide, with kettlebells.
Nothing too strenuous - like always engage the abs as best you can and I specifically didn't over stretch or bear too much weight on my abs.
The 3 moves (sorry don't remember correct terms) 1) stand with feet hip width apart and pass the KB around the body in a circle - 1 minute clockwise then switch - repeat as many times as you want I done 10 mins. Keep breathing and abs engaged.
2) With the KB between your feet lean forward (correct KB stance) to touch the handle. Use both hands to grab it while at the same time use your bum,tummy and thighs to pull it up to your tummy level. It should be a quick squeezing motion. Return it to starting position and repeat X 5 mins. Maintain breathing and engaged abs throughout.
3) Kettle bell swing - if executed correctly with good form you should not feel any pull in your abs but it does work them.
It took me about 3 months 4/5 X weekly to see a huge difference. My DR went down to around half a finger width and my abs were much stronger as was/is my pelvic floor (I'm not afraid to sneeze :) ) - this was 14 years after I last had a baby.
If you stop working on it though it will return - mine did after I injured my back in an accident but not as bad as before. I'm currently back at it. Good luck all.

January 06, 2015

becki

What was the weight of each kettle ball?

January 15, 2015

Nikita

Extremely interested to know the answer of the kb weights as well.
Also has anybody heard of the tupler system and if anybody has tried it?

January 31, 2015

Harika

Hi Donna,

I have 4 and half fingre seperation, i was trying some excercises since a year but nothing is working, can you please help me explaining the excercises you performed detailedly so that I can try them, thanks a lot in advance!

February 11, 2015

preguntona

Si hago TVA excercises puedo combinarlos con ejercicios de fitness para gluteos -piernas biceps tripces??.

Tengo diatasis recti sé que debo evitar abdominales convencionales pero deberia tambiebn evitar otro tipo de ejercicio?

March 10, 2014

Adrian Bryant

Usted tendrá que preguntar a su médico qué es seguro

March 11, 2014

Elaine

I do not think that I got my diastasis from giving birth. I think I got it from maybe helping patients that I take care of. Having to help them get up and so forth. Do I do I the same exercises?

January 24, 2014

Adrian Bryant

I do

January 24, 2014

Meredith

After my pregnancy, I was left with about an inch and a half gap that I really couldn't seem to get rid of! I found this last night did all the exercises and woke up today a bit sore but my patomach was significantly flatter! Even my fiancé was amazed! It's not where I want it but I'm sure in a few months I'll be right where I want to! Why didn't I start this a year ago! You are a saint! This page should be given to every mother after delivery!

September 14, 2013

erika

hi
i have 2 kids and a diastasis 2 -3 inches wide and i recently purchased the flex belt by slender-tone before know that i had this problem and now i'm wondering if using this belt will worsen my diastasis or help it ??

September 11, 2013

Adrian Bryant

not right now, you should just follow the guidelines on this apge

September 11, 2013

JT

Hi,
I am a 32 year old female currently 8 weeks post partum with current diastasis recti 2-3fingerbreadths. I have had 2 kids within last 3 yrs.
Questions:
1. How long does it take to heal? (Can you give a range?)
2. At what point can I start doing backbends in yoga and all the so called "forbidden" exercises?

Thanks,
JT

August 07, 2013

Adrian Bryant

dont know the exact answers to those questions as it would be better for you to seek advice from your doctor

August 08, 2013

jae

Hi! I'm gave birth seven yeara ago and never really worked out my stomach. I've finally decided to but I wanted to ask you if a 1finger gap( from side to side) would be okay for me to do any kind of stomach workworkout ...and if I would be at risk of making the gap larger ? The gap starts 1 inch from the top of my belly button and about 2 inches below the belly . Also thank you for sharing this wirh us!!!

June 04, 2013

Adrian Bryant

it should be okay but always check with your doctor first

June 04, 2013

Tiffan

I'm two years post pregnancy and I have a hole that's about 8-9 inches going down my stomach. My belly button looks like a second nose, very embarrassing. My concern is that I could have other health issues resulting from such a huge hole. I understand that our muscles are important, otherwise we wouldn't have them in the first place.however, can having a slip of this size lead to any other problems? Is it livable without surgery? Do you or anyone else have any information that can help in this extreme case. Most of the info I'm finding speaks very little of cases with large holes.

May 24, 2013

Adrian Bryant

I wish I could help. This is the first I've heard of actual holes in that area. what have doctors told you?

May 25, 2013

Diane

I just found this website. I saw Tiffan's post. her posts is almost a year old so maybe she got it figure out but for anyone else going through this, if you have something sticking out like a nose near/on your belly button have it checked out as it's likely to be a hernia and needs surgery. I had this after my last baby.

April 03, 2014

Rachel

Hi

Been working hard on my abs and my gap is now one finger width but it is wrinkly and still sticks out round like a pregnancy stomach. I am not over weight and I'm a UK size 6/8. If I start to do crunches will I undo all my hard work? Is it safe now to move onto these kind of exercises?

April 11, 2013

Adrian Bryant

admittedly, Im not an expert of recti separations but how long has it been since you had a c-section and did you do the exercises on the steps on this page to close the gap?

April 11, 2013

Rachel

Hi

It was over 2 yrs ago now since having twins via c section, but due to hysterectomy and a DVT I was unable to exercise for nearly a year afterwards. I firstly worked on my nutrition for weight loss and I've followed routines on your page along with others.

April 11, 2013

Adrian Bryant

being that i'm not a doctor I don't want to give you the green light but the safe exercises on this page should help tone up that area and if possible...

see if you can talk to a doctor about if it's okay for you to move onto crunches

April 13, 2013

Name*

I am 47 and had my last child 16 years ago,4 kids in all and very large babies 8lbs to 11lbs, and was told after the 1st child I had this condition but no one ever said there was anything I could do about it. so after reading this info it makes sense that nothing Ive ever tried hasnt worked!so I guess my question is do you thing it would work after all this time??

April 06, 2013

Adrian Bryant

I really can't say if it will definitely work but I think you should give a try if nothing else

April 06, 2013

tracey dodd

I asked that same question I had my last child 17 years ago and im 46 I started to do these exercises Tuesday and I can feel a lil bit of a difference in my stomach. I marked the calendar and after 6 weeks I hope I see a big difference. And I saw a dramatic change with a guy that looked 9 months pregnant and he had his for a long time. Don't give up hope im not im just glad I finally found this I really want my stomach back and not being asked everyday when im do. If you can keep in touch and let me know how you are doing im glad I read your story I found someone like me.

April 16, 2013

tracey dodd

Is there a video I can go and purchase I really want to get one. I think I finally found hope after 17 years of this belly looking pregnant and now I know why nothing worked. I have confident in myself that it will work.

April 16, 2013

Sarah

Hi
I am a 23 year old mother of two, just had my daughter 5weeks ago, with my first I gained 87 lbs and postpartum I didn't realize I had diastasis recti. Its only 2 and a little over a half wide and I just started doin the exercises. Of course I have high hopes that I am going to do everything except go under the knife to get a toner belly but my question is the protruding navel and excess skin will tht go away with these exercises?

March 21, 2013

Adrian Bryant

yes, they will help

March 22, 2013

Morris

I was diagnosed just last week with diastasis recti. I am a 71 yo male. I have done all kinds of things since my early 20's to have a flat stomach - never worked - now I know why.

Will the Ab & Pelvic exercises have benefit for a man my age??

Thank you for your input....

March 20, 2013

Adrian Bryant

they should. it wont hurt to give them a try

March 22, 2013

Name*

I had a C-section 11 months ago and still have a 2 fingerwidth separation in my abs. While I was pregnant I gained 37 pounds and carried everything straight out front. I am back to my pre-baby weight (5'4" tall, 115 pounds) but still look pregnant. How can I correct this relatively quickly?

February 05, 2013

Adrian Bryant

the best way to correct it is to simply follow the steps outlined on this page

February 05, 2013

Demi

Hi,

I am 23years old, 6months post partum, back pre pregnancy weight (113pounds, 5'5) after 6weeks without diet/cardio. I want to start high intensity cardio to get rid of the last bit of belly fat but I have 1-1,5 finger width dias. recti around the belly button.

1. Is this considered to be dias. recti because it is under 2?
2. Can I do crunches, high int. cardio (running, rowing etc)
3. After I repaired the dias recti, will my belly button go more in?
4. If I pull my belly button in all day, is this a TVA exercise? And will this help closing the gap?

Thanks, your site is amazing! Always come here to read about diet and exercise!

February 04, 2013

Adrian Bryant

1. not really and that's considered normal after any pregnancy.
2. you should be fine
3 & 4. YES

BUT regardless of what I say it is always smart to get your doctor's opinion on this as well before you start anything

February 05, 2013

rebecca

Hi Adrian,
I have Diastasis Recti. Found out because of the ridge running down my stomach during ad exercises. I did not get this from pregnancy. I love boxing so my question is this: of course I can not continue with the ab portion of the training, but do you think I continue with the rest of the training while trying t close my gap? EX: jumprope, heavy bag, footwork. I have a ab splint I'll wear while training. My gap is about 3
to 3 1/2 fingers.

Also I was wondering if I could do the Jessica Biel butt exercises while trying to close my gap?

On another note, do you think it is possible to return to the "avoided exercises" if the diastasis closes up to two fingers width or smaller? If boxing is one of the avoided exercises, what size should my gap be before I resume?

This has been a frustrating experience. If you have a whole routine to recommend I'll follow it religiously.

Your site is so legit. I just found it last night. Thank Thank Thank.

January 26, 2013

Adrian Bryant

Yes, as your gap gets smaller following what is outlined on this page you should be able to safely go back to your regular exercise but as always...

make sure you get your doctor's opinion as well

January 27, 2013

donna

Hi I am 45, I just found out today that I had diastasis, which would explain why I have looked pregnant all these years. I wanted to know if you think your exercises will work for me. On top of everything else, I am a diaylsis patient with access in my stomach, do think I will still be able to benefit. Please let me know..I am ankering to get started especially since now I know what the problem is.

you mentioned you had an DVD, how can I get it?

January 16, 2013

Adrian Bryant

all I can say is to give them a try but you may want consult your doctor about the dialysis and for the DVD. go to nowloss.com/free to get it

January 18, 2013

Caroline

I am 65 yrs. old and just found out from my doctor that I have a pretty large(wide) diastis recti. I have had 2 c-sections and a hysterectomy. I have never been able to get back in shape(abs.). I have been taking movement classes that focus on the pelvic floor muscles Is their hope for me if I follow your exercises? Also, I understand that you have a DVD out that is free- how might I get one?

January 14, 2013


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