What happens after you’ve had a baby and your core is a mess, but you still want to get your heart pumping? This diastasis recti full body workout of course! Safe for both new AND experienced moms that have suffered diastasis recti (abdominal separation) after baby.
Just because you have the naughty word: ‘diastasis recti’ (or DR), doesn’t mean you can’t still find ways to sweat and tone your entire body, without causing more damage to your core. I know it can be confusing to navigate the world of DR with so little (and misleading) information online, so that’s why this workout has been on my ‘must create’ list for awhile. Let me make something clear, if you have DR, that doesn’t mean you can’t workout. It just means you might have to do things a little differently. And that’s ok!
Tone your upper body, lower body, and even core with this diastasis recti full body workout. Simple, compound movements the will not damage your core, instead, it will strengthen it!
Before starting with this routine, consult a physician to ensure you are cleared to workout. Then read the following posts if you haven’t already, which will give you a little more info about DR, exercises to avoid, and modifications to do!
Engaging your core the right way is extremely important during this workout (and every workout if you have DR). Focus on keeping your belly button cinched in towards your spine and up towards your ribcage. Bonus points if you want to strengthen your pelvic floor with kegels while engaging your core! Zipping everything in and upwards will help strengthen your transverse abdominals.
I have so many great workout pieces from Glyder Apparel, and wanted to share a few that are great for women with DR, who may be self-conscious of their post-baby belly. These pieces are loose and light, yet still stylish. Check out the workout below with links to the clothing that flatters and fits, even after baby!
Diastasis Recti Full Body Workout
Breathing Wall Sits
Start with your back against a wall, and bend your knees as if you’re sitting on an invisible chair, focusing on keeping the angle of your knees at a 90 degree angle, ankles directly under your knees. Now let’s focus on breathing and engaging that core! Start with a big inhale, pushing your belly outwards. After your lungs have filled fully with air, exhale quickly, bringing your belly button in towards your spine and holding it there for 3-5 seconds after all the air has escaped. Continue to hold the wall sit as you practice these breathing techniques for 12 repetitions
Wearing: Glyder Session Crop. Made with FORMAONE fabric, for the most comfortable high rise legging ever! These seriously feel like PJ’s!
Backwards Lunge Bicep Curls
Grab two hand weights (anywhere from 5 – 10 pounds depending on your fitness level) and stand upright, palms facing forward. Step back with your left foot as you bring the weights in towards your shoulders, executing a bicep curl. Alternate the backwards lunge (being mindful to keep your front knee in line with your ankle) and continue with the bicep curls for 12 repetitions.
Wearing: Glyder Noble Tank. Loose and light, with beautiful cutout details. This tank is a favorite of mine in both the gym and everyday wear. Comes in a variety of colors too!
Two Count Lunges
Start with your feet hip-distance apart, arms extended directly in front of your shoulders. Bend your knees slightly and hold for just a second. Then continue to bend your knees lower, executing a squat as your arms lift overhead (with your booty pushed back, chest up, and belly button in towards your spine). Hold here for one second, then lower your arms and lift back up to the slight bend/squat. The goal here is to complete a squat, but doing it in slow and controlled two count movements. In other words, lower down for two, then extend up for two. Do 12 repetitions.
Start with your feet hip-distance apart, holding the weights overhead. Step back with your right foot, then bend your right knee to lower down to the ground. Your body weight should be evenly distributed, then place your left knee down to the ground. Step your right foot in front of your body, and distribute your body weight to the right leg so you can power with that leg to return back to standing. Do this with the weights overhead the entire time. Repeat the sequence, this time alternating legs (stepping back with your left foot). Do 12 total repetitions.
Side Plank Hip Lifts
Start in a side plank – left forearm on the ground with your left elbow aligned with your left shoulder, right hand overhead. You have two options for your feet: 1. feet stacked one on top of the other like the photos at the top, OR 2. your left knee on the ground and bent at a 90 degree angle (this is the modification). Your hips should be lifted just slightly off the ground, and aligned with your body. Next, keeping the side plank position, lift your right hip a few inches towards the ceiling in a small but controlled movement. Lower your hip back to the original position and continue these hip lifts for 12 repetitions, then switch sides and do another 12 repetitions. Remember to keep your core engaged (belly button towards your spine).
Wearing: Glyder Boyfriend Tee. The stripes and detailed pocket are adorable with leggings or paired with jeans.
Weighted Dead Bugs
Ah core work. Crunches are a big no-no if you suffer from DR, but there are still core-specific exercises you can do. These weighted ‘dead bugs’ are great if you have mastered the core work in my posts here: Healing Diastasis Recti Part 1 and Healing Diastasis Recti Part 2.
Start lying with your back to the ground. Hold one single weight directly above your chest, with your legs off the ground and bent in a 90 degree angle, knees parallel with your hips. Keeping your back glued to the ground the entire time, start slowly bringing the weight overhead as you lower your feet to the ground, still keeping the 90 degree bend in your knees. Try to lower your feet as close to the ground as possible, without letting your lower back lift off the ground. Once your feet are at the lowest point, and the weight is directly overhead (without touching the ground), slowly return to the original position. Really focus on keeping your lower back on the ground and belly button in towards your spine the entire sequence. Do 12 repetitions.
Weighted Glute Bridge
Stay lying face up and place your feet on the ground, weight can rest on top of your hips. Exhale as you lift your seat off the ground (and squeeze at the top), also bringing your belly button in towards your spine (kegels encouraged as well). Gently lower your hips back to the ground and repeat the lift for 12 repetitions.
Wearing: Glyder Elevated Legging. A perfect high-rise legging with Forma101 high-performance fabric. I love the color and that mesh cutout. SWOON!
Complete this entire circuit 3-5 times. Feeling like you can add more repetitions to each movement? Go for 15 or more if you’re feeling like you need more of a challenge! This workout can be totally customizable to your fitness level, and a great option to even do pregnant (although you may need to eliminate any lying on your back exercises depending on how far along you are).
Questions? Drop them below!