Sorry guys. I came here to cry. I just went to my room, splinted my stomach really tight and did a few crunches(something I'm NOT supposed to do with diastisis recti) then did a few other stomach tightening exercises, got interrupted so I had to quit. When I got up (log roll style) and took my band off, my stomach muscles hurt like round ligament pain in my middle. So got on the floor again and tested myself for my separation ~which was down to only 2 finger widths,~ which I couldn't even find!!!! I almost cried. I am over four finger width separated now.
Back to the drawing board!!!
To repair diastasis recti after pregnancy, you need to build A LOT of strength back into your deepest abdominal muscle, your Transverse Abdominis, or TvA. When contracted, the TvA compresses the abdomen. (The TvA does not move bone.) Then after this muscle has regained adequate strength, you need to do specialized postnatal rehab exercises that train the muscle to function properly as a stabilizer. This step is critical for closing the mid line and flattening the abdomen after pregnancy. You need to train the muscle in conjunction with the others along its kinetic movement chain. In your case, the TvA must be strong enough to stabilize the forces of the Rectus Abdominis and the External Obliques.
If your mid line is very wide, more than 3 finger-widths, you can also add manual splinting of your mid line with your hands to assist your TvA. All of these exercises should utilize lower spine flexion.
Do not perform ANY abdominal exercises that lift/flex the upper body off the floor or against the force of gravity, as these moves will make the diastasis worse. No crunches (mini or otherwise), oblique pulses, roll-ups, roll-downs, most Pilates mat work, and yoga moves like “boat pose.”
Wearing a splint, or any type of external belly binder, during exercise goes against basic muscle specificity theory. This is because the splint ends up doing the work that your TvA should be doing. If a muscle does not have to work, it doesn't. So doing ANY exercises with a splint on will not activate or strengthen your TvA. In fact, if you exercise this way, your external muscles, the (Rectus and the Obliques) will strengthen, while your TvA remains weak, which creates/worsens the functional imbalance of your abdominal wall.
You can find out more about how to properly rehab diastasis by Googling my screen name.
Thanks for the helpful info. Although I do use a splint when I jog just because if I don't my back will hurt very badly. When I jog I would compare my stomach to a water balloon and the sloshing you would get from jostling it around. Any suggestions for my jogging situation?
Build core strength. When you run, keep your "internal girdle" slightly tight. In the mean time, if the only way you can run comfortably is when wearing an abdominal binder, then wear it. But try to pull your tummy away from the binder when you run, rather than relaxing your abs, and allowing your tummy to rest against the support garment. This way you'll build some functional core strength as you get your cardio workout.
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