Healing Diastasis Recti with Pilates

Oct 30, 2023

Diastasis recti is a common condition that many women experience after pregnancy. It occurs when the abdominal muscles separate due to the stretching of the connective tissue. This separation can lead to a variety of symptoms, including a protruding belly, lower back pain, and poor posture. While surgery is an option for severe cases, there are non-invasive methods, such as pilates, that can help heal diastasis recti.

Pilates is a form of exercise that focuses on strengthening the core muscles, including the deep abdominal muscles. By targeting these muscles, pilates can help to close the gap between the separated abdominal muscles and restore strength and stability to the core.

The Benefits of Pilates for Diastasis Recti

One of the main benefits of pilates for diastasis recti is that it is a low-impact exercise that can be modified to suit individual needs. This means that even those with limited mobility or who are recovering from surgery can still participate in pilates and experience its benefits.

Pilates also focuses on proper alignment and posture, which can help to alleviate the strain on the abdominal muscles and promote healing. By strengthening the deep abdominal muscles, pilates can also help to support the spine and improve overall core stability.

Key Pilates Exercises for Diastasis Recti

When practicing pilates to heal diastasis recti, it's important to focus on exercises that target the deep abdominal muscles without putting excessive strain on the rectus abdominis (the outermost abdominal muscles). Here are some key exercises to include in your pilates routine:

  1. Pelvic Tilts: Lie on your back with your knees bent and feet flat on the floor. Slowly tilt your pelvis towards your belly button, engaging your deep abdominal muscles. Hold for a few seconds, then release. Repeat 10-15 times.
  2. Leg Slides: Lie on your back with your knees bent and feet flat on the floor. Slowly slide one leg out, keeping your deep abdominal muscles engaged. Return to the starting position and repeat with the other leg. Repeat 10-15 times on each side.
  3. Modified Plank: Start in a kneeling position with your hands on the floor, shoulder-width apart. Engage your deep abdominal muscles and extend one leg back, keeping your body in a straight line. Hold for a few seconds, then return to the starting position. Repeat with the other leg. Repeat 10-15 times on each side.

Additional Tips for Healing Diastasis Recti with Pilates

In addition to practicing the key exercises mentioned above, there are several tips that can help enhance the healing process:

  • Start Slowly: It's important to start slowly and gradually increase the intensity and duration of your pilates workouts. This will allow your body to adapt and prevent any further strain on the abdominal muscles.
  • Listen to Your Body: Pay attention to how your body feels during and after each exercise. If you experience any pain or discomfort, modify the exercise or consult with a qualified pilates instructor.
  • Consistency is Key: Consistency is key when it comes to healing diastasis recti. Aim to practice pilates at least 3-4 times per week to see optimal results.

Remember, pilates is just one component of a comprehensive diastasis recti healing plan. It's important to consult with a healthcare professional, such as a physical therapist or a specialized pilates instructor, to develop a personalized exercise program that suits your specific needs.

With dedication and the right exercises, pilates can be a powerful tool in healing diastasis recti and restoring strength and stability to your core.