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Diastasis - Alternative Exercises

So you're in a class or following a workout at home and the crunches and planks start, if you've heard these are not great for diastasis or for postnatal exercise, then you've heard right!

 

So what can you do instead?

 

The most important thing is pelvic floor & core activation with optimal breathing, nail this on it's own and then add it into other exercises, we'll show you how below.

 

Before trying out the exercises please head over to our previous blog post on diastasis to get more of an understanding of it and see what else helps diastasis. If you've not been tested for diastasis then signs that you may have a weakness are lower back pain or leaks with laughing, sneezing etc, bu that's not always the case. It's always best to get a professional to check for you, it's about more than just the "gap". Book a Free Move with Mumma indoor session (Nurture or Mumma Fitness) if you'd like us to check for you.

 

Exercises to Avoid: Crunches, Planks, Sit-ups, Mountain Climbers, Russian Twists, Leg Raises, any high intensity moves like Jumping Jacks, Running or Burpees. By performing these without the functional strength required you can make your diastasis worse and you are going to create a bulge in the place you are trying to flatten. 

 

Take a look at the video's below starting with the 'optimal breathing' and core activation instructions, you need to be able to do this one before you try the others. Practice the 'optimal breathing with pelvic floor activation' daily, to reconnect to your core and manage your pressure well.

optimal breathing with pelvic lift


ACTIVATE YOUR TVA (TRANSVERSUS ABDOMINIS)

Activate your deep core muscles BEFORE performing any exercises.

 

Your TVA muscle is the deepest of the abdominal muscles which stabilises the pelvis and lower spine as well as narrowing and flattening your stomach.

 

A great way to activate the TVA is with your voice.

  • Imagine a snakes HISS.
  • Start the word 'SET' with the same sort of sound but with more power.
  • Say it a few times with force.
  • Now touch your stomach around the belly button and repeat the word SET with force and feel the difference in tension.

This is your TVA activating, this is a great way to SET your core. Practice this tension with natural breathing.

 

We can then start to exhale on any exertion with this tension to activate the TVA and strengthen your core. We need to do this in every day life when you lift, squat, lunge, push, pull and bend.

 

E.g. When you go to pick up baby, SET, then exhale as you stand/lift. Doing this every day will activate and strengthen your TVA.

 

We practice this activation in our indoor postnatal classes, you can come along to try for FREE by booking here.


bridge with pelvic lift

Follow the video below - turn the sound on for instructions. 


MODIFIED BIRD DOG

Follow the video below - turn the sound on for instructions. 


walk - don't run!

Running is a high intensity exercise and should not be done with diastasis as it builds up pressure against your healing core and can bulge your tummy.

 

Heal and reconnect to your core using safe exercises and be patient so you don't have regrets later in life. Gradually progress safe postnatal strength training to avoid a bulging tummy, urinary leaks and prolapse.

 

Other exercises to avoid:

Burpees, Jumping Jacks, Floor Pushups and any other high intensity exercise.

Crunches, Planks, Sit-ups, Mountain Climbers, Russian Twists and Leg Raises.

 

By performing these without the functional strength required you can make your diastasis worse and you are going to create a bulge in the place you are trying to flatten. 

 


squat with pelvic lift

Activate your TVA to set your core (follow the instructions above).

  • Inhale and sit the hips back into a squat, keeping the chest lifted.
  • As you stand from the squat, exhale and lift the pelvic floor.
  • Inhale to return to the squat position.
  • Repeat the pelvic lift with the exhale every time you stand.

Book a FREE Move with Mumma session for safe and effective postnatal exercises.


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