So have you freaked out because you have a diastasis recti and don’t know what exercises you should do?
First, of COURSE, you should do the Tupler Technique® for at least 6 weeks WITHOUT other exercises. This will adequately strengthen your trasnverse, start healing your connective tissue, AND close the gap without possibility (and PROBABILITY) of stalling your progress.
I did have one client who played soccer – she LOVED it. Soccer is a fantastic sport – I have my own son in soccer. However, the moves, dives, positions she would put her body into would compromise her diastasis recti, which was 4 [fingerwidths] on top, 4 in middle, and 3 on the bottom. She progressed with me in 6 weeks only one fingerwidth of closure in the middle because her transverse was not strong enough to sustain the other movements she was doing. Sad also because her “belly” was the last piece of the puzzle for her.
So lets talk about what you CAN do. I have addressed this also somewhat HERE talking about planks, pilates and push ups, You also already know CRUNCHES are a joke and should be avoided at all cost, but there really is so much more to talk about! Having read a couple forums and discussion boards I see this is a topic of concern.
- DYNA BANDS: I LOVE dyna bands (also called resistance bands but WITHOUT the handles). I do sitting exercises for arms with my clients with these and also standing ones.
- WEIGHTS are ok. They tend to be harder on their joints and you can readily change them as fast as you cant let out or bring in a band based on the ability of your trasnverse to stay AT THE 5th FLOOR THE ENTIRE TIME.
- WORK ARMS DIFFERENTLY: When working arms I find it beneficial to see which arm of my clients is the weaker arm (usually but NOT always is the hand they don’t use as often). To work the arms with the same weights in most cases just seems silly to me. People tend to have better developed shoulders, biceps and forearms on the side of the hand they use most. So why work them the same? Better to even them out then to end up with weird compensations in your body to make up for the unevenness.
- SQUEEZE SHOULDERBLADES: Also its important to make sure you do arm exercises that will not ROUND your shoulders. We women tend to have VERY rounded shoulders and horrible posture because of nursing, computer work, holding kids… Exercises that will facilitate squeezing the shoulder blades together will be VERY beneficial for the postural element…which will help your whole appearance (and SAVE your back).
- PILATES: This will surprise many based on my outspokenness on the pitfalls of Pilates, but SIDELYING pilates are for the most part pretty great! I do avoid the scissors for the most part with sidelying as I find the transverse becomes disengaged quite easily. The Windsor Pilates has some great sidelying options – just be ON GUARD of your transverse becoming disengaged…then you will know you should NOT be doing that one…skip to the next. (By the way – Joseph Pilates had a diastasis recti – I would estimate at about 4 fingerwidths. There is a great picture we show at the workshops..)
- WEIGHTS with legs are fine AS LONG AS you can hold the transverse at the 5th floor. If you can’t, cut the rep short, or do the reps with less weight.
- RUNNING/WALKING: It is FANTASTIC to be doing walking and running while doing the Tupler Technique, even in the 1st 6 weeks. I put on my shape up shoes and walk with my hubby every chance I get – good for the body and the soul.
- KICKBOXING beware – Many of these move need to be done only AFTER the diastasis is closed. However, there are SOME tweaks you can make – not punching ACROSS your body, but right in front will eliminate the danger or SHEARING your diastasis recti. Kicks can be ok – just beware the ones that go from the left to the right side of your body – which will also cause shearing. They are fine After you close the diastasis. However, there are many kicks that stay on one side and these should be fine with your diastasis recti (as LONG AS your trasnverse can stay at the 5th floor).
- KARATE AND TAEKWONDO– I would say the same as above. Most of the martial arts you will want to do AFTER you close your diastasis recti.
- STEP class GREAT!
- SPIN class GREAT!
- ZUMBA GREAT!
- AVOID THE ABS they do in these classes.
- Yoga – mostly great.
- Avoid the Chataranga or modify it by putting one knee on the ground.
- Watch in the Triangle that you don’t let your transverse out of the 5th floor position.
- Avoid the abs they do in those classes, and don’t get in and out of poses by jacknifing!
- Most the ones I see CPTs do with clients or in classes involve a side to side motion. AVOID THOSE as they will shear the diastasis recti and make it bigger.
- You can lay on your side, body elongated and in a slight pike position, and do the Tupler Contractions from 5th to the 6th floor. Make sure your waist is elevated.
Basketball – great! Beneficial to do more AFTER the first 6 weeks of the Tupler Technique® program.
Soccer – great! Beneficial to do more AFTER the first 6 weeks of the Tupler Technique® program.
Swimming – Beneficial to do more AFTER the first 6 weeks of the Tupler Technique® program.
Water aerobics – Beneficial to do more AFTER the first 6 weeks of the Tupler Technique® program.
Tennis – WAIT UNITL AFTER the diastasis recti is closed!! To much side to side shearing of the diastasis recti.
Baseball – great! Beneficial to do more AFTER the first 6 weeks of the Tupler Technique® program.
Golf- WAIT UNITL AFTER the diastasis recti is closed!! To much side to side shearing of the diastasis recti.
What other exercises do you have questions on doing with a diastasis recti or after you have closed it to avoid reopening? I’m ALL EARS!!