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Diastasis Recti and BeachBody workouts

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CATHY_CRAM_MS
Posts: 9489
7/15/10 10:50 P

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For now I think it'd be best to just focus on doing the ab work featured at the link I posted. Planks and other ab exercises can require more core strength than you have right now to do them effectively, and you do want to avoid putting stress on your midline.

Don't worry, you won't make the diastasis worse, but I don't want you to cause any back muscle strain.

Let me know how the exercises feel for you-
Cathy


Catherine is the co-author of "Exercising Through Your Pregnancy" with Dr. James Clapp, and author of Fit Pregnancy For Dummies, published by Wiley Publishing in 2004. To learn more about these books or buy them online you can find them on www.amazon.com.

Cathy also provides Prenatal & Postpartum Fitness Information and certification courses to Healthcare Professionals. Click here to learn more.

BETSYMOM522
Posts: 2
7/13/10 6:04 P

 
 
Thanks for all of the information! I really don't want to make my situation any worse.

So, I did the DR test and pressed pretty hard to feel for a separation, but I couldn't feel any. But I still have that midline bulge when I do crunches. I tried looking for some mom fitness books at B&N and I could only find one, which seems like it will be pretty helpful, so I'm going to do the exercises that target the lower abs and see how that helps. I'll also do the ab exercises in the link. I'm also trying to work on my posture because I know that doesn't make the situation any better when I'm slouching. I haven't noticed any additional back pain since I started exercising. I've been very careful not to do anything that might cause injury. My husband is actually getting back surgery soon for a severely herniated disc.

Is it okay to do exercises like planks that require you to flex your entire core? I'm not sure how long I can do planks since I haven't attempted any yet. I'm going to start a new workout program that focuses more on muscle building to help burn calories and there are some planks. I've done one workout so far and it didn't have any crunches in it, but there is a separate ab routine that I will probably have to modify.

CATHY_CRAM_MS
Posts: 9489
7/12/10 9:39 P

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Thanks Tanya for the nice words-hope I can live up to them!!
Here's the scoop regarding a diastasis recti-every pregnant women has this condition, and it's a normal change that occurs to allow room for the baby to grow. Hormones produced during pregnancy cause the connective tissue that joins the two halves of the rectus abdominus down the center of your tummy (runs from lowest rib to pelvis) to thin and widen to allow your abdomen to expand. This thinning and widening is called a diastasis recti. It's not a tear (that would be a hernia) just a change in the distance between the rectus halves. There hasn't been any research that's shown that a wide diastasis (more than 2 1/2 fingers) directly causes problems with abdominal strength or back support, but because your abdominal muscles provide strength and important support for your abdominal/pelvic organs and spine, a change in the contractive ability of the recti muscles can theoretically put your back at risk for injury.

Ok, that's a lot of information, but the bottom line is don't get too worried about the diastasis recti you still have, as most women have the width of their DR return to near pre-pregnancy level within a year postpartum. The degree and speed of recovery depends on genetics, number of pregnancy, weight gained during pregnancy and ab muscle strength. You can help with muscle recovery by doing the exercises listed in Tanya's post below. This series of 5 exercises were developed specifically to help with postpartum ab recovery. I do recommend that you avoid any other ab exercises at this point, as most aren't going to focus on the areas that need strengthening. Most sit up type exercises put too much stress on your weakened abs, and can cause back pain. Any ab exercises you do shouldn't cause your midline to to become visible-if that's happening it's a sign that your muscles aren't strong enough to do the contraction and you're putting pressure on the diastasis.

Your tummy weight isn't going to affect the muscles in that area, but it will help your back to slowly lose any excess fat through diet and exercise. Take your time, and remember that your body has gone through a lot-be kind to yourself!

Please feel free to post any questions you may have about these exercises, and do keep me posted on your progress!
Cathy

Edited by: CATHY_CRAM_MS at: 7/12/2010 (21:41)


Catherine is the co-author of "Exercising Through Your Pregnancy" with Dr. James Clapp, and author of Fit Pregnancy For Dummies, published by Wiley Publishing in 2004. To learn more about these books or buy them online you can find them on www.amazon.com.

Cathy also provides Prenatal & Postpartum Fitness Information and certification courses to Healthcare Professionals. Click here to learn more.

TONKA_14
Posts: 17640
7/8/10 7:47 A

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Our wonderful Cathy Cram recommends a series of exercises developed by Shirley Sahrmann, a physical therapist who specializes in abdominal rehabilitation.

Here is an article that outlines the program.
Exercises to Help Repair Your Abs

Hopefully Cathy will also be along to further address your questions regarding using other exercise programs until the issues have improved.

Tanya


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