Are you tired of feeling self-conscious about your abdominal separation after pregnancy? Well, you're not alone. Many new moms experience diastasis recti, but the good news is that there are exercises that can help!

In this article, we will guide you through some of the best exercises for diastasis recti. From core-strengthening exercises to pilates movements, yoga poses, and resistance training, we've got you covered.

Get ready to regain your confidence and strengthen your core like never before!

 Key Takeaways

  • Planks and pelvic tilts are effective core-strengthening exercises for diastasis recti.
  • Pilates movements such as pelvic tilts, the hundred exercise, and cat-cow can help improve diastasis recti.
  • Yoga poses like cat-cow, bridge, and child's pose can aid in healing diastasis recti.
  • Resistance training exercises like planks, squats, and deadlifts can engage deep abdominal muscles and aid in diastasis recti recovery.

Do I Have Diastasis Recti?

One easy way to check if you have diastasis recti is to see if you have some ab separation. 

Here is how to perform a diastasis recti test at home.

  1. Lay on your back with bent knees.
  2. Place your fingers on your belly button. keep them pointed towards your pelvis and firmly but gently press down.
  3. Lift your head about an inch off the ground. Make sure to keep your shoulders relaxed on the ground.

If you have a positive test, you will find a gap between the 6-pack muscles about an inch wide (~2 fingers) or more.

Core-Strengthening Diastasis Recti Exercises

The best exercises to try for diastasis recti include core-strengthening exercises like planks and pelvic tilts.

Planks are particularly effective in targeting the deep abdominal muscles and promoting overall core stability. By engaging your core and holding a plank position, you can gradually close the gap between your abdominal muscles.

Similarly, pelvic tilts help to strengthen the deep core muscles and improve their ability to support the abdominal wall.

Incorporating these exercises into your routine can help in the management and recovery of diastasis recti.

Pilates Movements for Diastasis Recti Postpartum

Start incorporating Pilates movements into your routine to help alleviate symptoms of diastasis recti. Pilates is a low-impact exercise that focuses on strengthening the core muscles, making it an excellent choice for those with diastasis recti.

Here are three Pilates movements that can be beneficial:

  • Pelvic Tilts: This movement helps to engage the deep abdominal muscles and improve pelvic alignment.

  • Side-planks: This exercise targets the core muscles and promotes stability and control.

  • Cat-Cow: This movement stretches and strengthens the abdominal muscles while improving spinal flexibility.

Yoga Poses to Help Heal Diastasis Recti

To alleviate symptoms of diastasis recti and promote healing, incorporate yoga poses into your routine.

Yoga can help strengthen the core muscles and improve the alignment of your abdomen, which can reduce the separation of the abdominal muscles.

Poses like Cat-Cow, Bridge, and Child's Pose are particularly beneficial.

Additionally, practicing deep breathing techniques during yoga can also help engage the transverse abdominis muscle, further aiding in the healing process.

Resistance Training for Diastasis Recti Recovery

Incorporating resistance training into your routine can be beneficial for recovering from diastasis recti and strengthening your core muscles. Resistance exercises, such as planks, squats, and deadlifts, can help engage and activate the deep abdominal muscles, which can assist in closing the gap caused by diastasis recti.

However, it is important to start with low resistance and gradually increase as your strength improves. Always consult with a healthcare professional before starting any new exercise program.

Low-Impact Cardio Exercises for Diastasis Recti

Engaging in low-impact cardio workouts, such as swimming or brisk walking, can be a safe and effective way to improve cardiovascular fitness while minimizing strain on the abdominal muscles affected by diastasis recti.

These exercises increase heart rate, improve lung capacity, and burn calories without putting excessive pressure on the abdominal area.

Research shows that low-impact cardio exercises can help strengthen the core, promote weight loss, and enhance overall well-being for individuals with diastasis recti.

Example Diastasis Recti Workout


  • March in place for 2 minutes to get the blood flowing and loosen up the muscles.
  • Perform pelvic tilts by lying on your back, bending your knees, and gently tilting your pelvis backward and forward for 10 reps.

1) Belly Breathing - 2 sets of 10 reps

  • Lie on your back with your knees bent and feet flat on the ground.
  • Place your hands on your belly.
  • Inhale deeply through your nose, allowing your belly to rise as you fill your lungs with air.
  • Exhale through your mouth slowly, engaging your deep abdominal muscles and allowing your belly to lower.2. Toe Taps - 2 sets of 12 reps

2) Toe Taps - 2 sets of 12 reps

  • Lie on your back with your knees bent and feet lifted off the ground.
  • Lower one foot at a time, tapping your toes lightly on the ground.
  • Alternate legs and focus on engaging your deep abdominal muscles to avoid any bulging or doming in the midline

3) Pelvic Tilts - 2 sets of 10 reps

  • Lie on your back with your knees bent and feet flat on the ground.
  • Slowly tilt your pelvis forward to flatten your lower back against the floor.
  • Hold for a few seconds, then tilt your pelvis backward, arching your lower back slightly.
  • Focus on engaging your deep abdominal muscles throughout the movement.

4) Seated Abdominal Squeezes - 2 sets of 12 reps  

  • Sit upright on a chair or stability ball with your feet flat on the ground.
  • Place your hands on your belly.
  • Take a deep breath in, then exhale and engage your deep abdominal muscles by squeezing them towards your spine.
  • Hold the contraction for a few seconds, then release and repeat.

5) Side Plank Hip Dips - 2 sets of 10 reps on each side

  • Start in a side plank position, with one forearm on the ground and your body in a straight line.
  • Lower your hip towards the ground, then lift it back up to the starting position.
  • Focus on keeping your abdominal muscles engaged and avoiding any bulging or doming in the midline.

6. Dead Bug - 2 sets of 10 reps

  • Lie on your back with your arms extended towards the ceiling and your legs in tabletop position (knees bent at 90 degrees).
  • Slowly lower one arm back towards the floor while simultaneously extending the opposite leg out straight.
  • Return to the starting position and repeat on the other side.
  • Focus on maintaining engagement in your deep abdominal muscles throughout the movement.

7. Pelvic Clocks - 2 sets of 10 reps clockwise and counterclockwise

  • Lie on your back with your knees bent and feet flat on the ground.
  • Imagine your pelvis as the center of a clock.
  • Slowly tilt your pelvis and rotate it in a clockwise direction, stopping at each hour mark (12, 3, 6, and 9) before returning to the starting position.
  • Repeat in a counterclockwise direction.
  • Focus on maintaining control and stability in your core muscles throughout the movement.


In conclusion, incorporating specific exercises into your routine can greatly help in the recovery of diastasis recti. By focusing on core-strengthening exercises, such as planks and bird dogs, you can effectively target the muscles affected by this condition.

Pilates movements and yoga poses also provide gentle yet effective ways to heal diastasis recti. Additionally, incorporating resistance training and low-impact cardio exercises can further aid in your recovery journey.

Did you know that a study published in the Journal of Women's Health Physical Therapy found that women who performed targeted exercises for diastasis recti experienced a significant reduction in the width of their abdominal separation?

So, don't wait any longer, start incorporating these exercises into your routine and take control of your recovery journey.

Byron  Lam

Byron Lam

Chiropractor, CCSP®, FR® Spine

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