What Exercises Help with Diastasis Recti?

So…. let’s cut to the chase.

What exercises REALLY help with Diastasis Recti?

Remember that Diastasis Recti is the division of the rectus abdominis down the vertical center, along the linea alba. More on that HERE.

So… you want to bring the muscle pieces back together, and there is a lot of NOISE out there on what you should and shouldn’t be doing.

Some places will say “do this one exercise 10 minutes a day for a month and you will be completely recovered.”

This is a very irresponsible statement, as nothing is guaranteed and every body is different. Besides the fact that it doesn’t address form and function of this “miracle exercise.

Some places will tell you to just do tough ab work and the muscles will strengthen and therefore come together.

Also misleading, as most “hard core” exercises drive the muscle fibers further apart.

So what do you do and who do you believe?

Here’s what we teach here at CarrieFit and within The ABC Method, which is what we teach to trainers and coaches.

The foundation of your house is ABC. Anything not in ABC will not do you any favors, and in fact will hurt your progress. So, every movement, position, posture, and direction will include Alignment, Breathing, and Core Engagement.

Then with that, we have a short list of modifications when you are starting out, just so we can take the time to focus in on the important stuff…. The ABC’s.

  • when lying on your back, keep your head and shoulders on the floor.
  • keep one leg or foot on the ground in lying, sitting, or standing positions.
  • keep at least one knee down in every kind of plank
  • limit twists to absolute abdominal control (at first, we usually don’t twist from the center until we learn the function)
  • no weights, pulling, or pushing, above the shoulder line, especially no pull downs or pull ups.

The, you learn the methods and go into the “next steps” protocol, where you learn where your specific modifications and your exercises should be.

For clients, head over HERE to learn more

For trainers, head over HERE and let’s talk about The ABC Method for your clients.

Help for Sway Back

Have you been told you have sway back? Lorosis? I’ve never met anyone with “sway back” that didn’t have an anterior pelvic tilt and a shortened psoas. Check out this video on why that matters and what to do next:

Check out your alignment and see if this is the issue. If you are working on correcting your Diastasis Recti, let’s work on alignment issues!

If you’re not part of this group yet, make sure to join us in the conversation: https://www.facebook.com/groups/carriefitdiastasisrecti

Should I Wear a Waist Trainer or Girdle for Diastasis Recti?

Waist Trainers and Girdles, like these:

Have a long history of causing problems in women’s bodies, such as:

  • passing out from difficulty breathing
  • pelvic floor prolapse
  • hernia

These super-squeezers do not “train” the waist at all. They don’t teach core engagement or help with actual healing of any muscle or tissue.

What they do is cause more problems with a temporary appearance of a smaller waist.

On the other hand, sometimes, we need a little support while we are working to heal. Sometimes, in moving, working out, or in core recovery, we need a reminder to engage and a little lift so that our muscles don’t feel lax.

That helper would be a splint. This is the one I recommend:

This splint is available through Recore HERE.

When putting it on, just make sure to fasten it to the point of support, not pressure.

And keep working on your ABC’s throughout!


Should I Do Cardio with Diastasis Recti?

Should I do cardio with Diastasis Recti?

How do I approach cardio training?

Simply put, cardiovascular exercise is important to your health. There are just a few things I want you to consider when approaching your cardio exercise if there is a Diastasis or core function issue.

  1. We always start with ABC (TM)
  2. How does this cardio feel?
  3. What should I adjust to maximize results?

So, first of all, in all positions, postures, and movements, we start with ABC. We adjust all things to fit into our ABC’s, whatever that is today.

In other words, if we are struggling to get into good alignment from standing still, how does that change when I am moving? Can I fix the position and how?

Can I perform correct breathing while doing this cardio exercise?

Can I perform this cardio exercise with proper core engagement?

If any piece of The ABC’s is out of place, we have a functional, foundational problem and we have to adjust and start again.

Sometimes, that means moving to low impact rather than high. Sometimes, it means changing the movement altogether. Sometimes, it means spending some more practice time in The ABC’s.

If you’re struggling with your cardio and Diastasis, just go back to the beginning. Refer to the book or the course and reset your ABC’s.

You WILL get back out there. Safely.

New Collections on Moxie

NEW! Collections on Moxie.xyz/carrie

I’ve been asked about FIRST WORKOUTS and HOW TO PROGRESS, so I made you some collections on my moxie site!

The collection “YOUR FIRST 10” is for you when you’re first “released to exercise” by your doctor or therapist, after pregnancy, injury, or surgery. This is perfect for those first core activation workouts.

The collection “PRACTICING PROGRESSIONS” is for when you are working through recovery, with the book or the course, and you go into the “exit protocol” or “next steps protocol,” and you’re ready to work toward progressing your core exercises. Use this mindfully!

Both collections are part of my overall page, which includes 2 fresh workouts every week and a whole lot of past workouts! You get all of this as a subscriber!

Join now!

What would you like me to include on my next workout?

Why Should Trainers be Concerned with Diastasis Recti?


  • “I’m not a postpartum specialist. Why should I worry about clients with Diastasis Recti?”
  • “How come I’ve never had a client with Diastasis Recti?”
  • “I just wait for the doctor’s note, They will tell their patients what to do.”
  • “I can’t do anything anyway, right?”

Trainer or fitness professional, we need to talk.

This IS your business, and your role is what’s best for your client.

Take a look at the graphic above. These are GROSS underestimates of the Diastasis Recti and core issue, because they are highly under-reported, under-diagnosed, and under-treated. In western medicine, Diastasis Recti is not part of any check up ever, including and particular to the postpartum check-up, and as you can see, chances of her having Diastasis Recti post pregnancy are very high.

A client may get answers if she asks. Many times, it takes persistence and more than one office visit.

Even so, western physicians often do not offer solutions.

We are working to change that and be a referral partner, but many physicians are not open to it or default to their own specialty rather than considering referrals.

This is changing and I have met several western medicine doctors who see the problem and want to be part of the solution.

YOU can help by being an advocate. Tell your client to be an advocate for herself, too, and to continue to seek solutions.

YOU can be one of the solutions.

As you can see, Diastasis Recti is also not just for new moms. Moms can continue to struggle with Diastasis Recti for months or YEARS (sometimes they find me when they are grandmothers), and many have never gotten help or a solution. Many have been told that they are “just fat” or “just weak.”

Can you see how this type of dismissal can lead women (and men) down the wrong path?

Men are struggling, too, and not getting much help if any. Many of them will try “hard core” workouts, become distressed, and find me after doing further damage to the situation.

So, if you’re wondering why you’re not seeing Diastasis Recti in your clients or participants, you’re simply not attuned to some of the signs.

  • protruding abdomen
  • complaint of “weak” core
  • back pain
  • digestive / continence issues
  • the obvious space in the rectus abominis wall.

If you’ll take the time, you’ll probably find, as I did when I decided to check every client, that the degree and level of injury is widespread and deserves our attention.

I recommend not waiting for an official diagnosis, because anything official is rare. Empower the client to perform a self examination and journal for you what she feels in her abdominal walls.

Importantly, don’t give up on this client. You will need to do things differently, such as modify workouts and use a specific protocol like The ABC Method to help her. You will need information. You will need a referral list (physical therapists, chiropractors, and holistic doctors are good to have as partners).

If you agree to become a learner by her side and help her through this, imagine the long term effects that has on her life and on you as an ever-evolving professional.

The ABC Method can help, and you can learn this method directly with me. Our clients deserve better answers. That’s up to us.


Who When and What? The ABC Method Certificate for Professionals

This week, Carrie went over what The ABC Method Certificate Course is and who should take it. See the full video here:

The ABC Method is a full fitness integrations system for anyone working with women or men struggling with core dysfunction and/or Diastasis Recti within the fitness sphere.

We have LIVE face time, as well as resources, to help you implement the system into what you are already teaching, all with ongoing support.

See more at theabcmethod.com

Register NOW for an open session, or contact Carrie to schedule a private session for your group.


Mind Body Energy

I would consider myself a student of mind body energy, and there are practices all over the world and all through history to help mind body connection.

What I have also found in the modern era is a seeming disconnect, either from being “stuck in our head,” from trauma, or from not using those connections we made in infancy.

Which brought me to find experts in Chakra and Reiki recently.

Chakras are energy centers that correlate to places in the body along the spinal column. Reiki practitioners help move energy through these areas.  Interestingly, Chakra practice is from India and Reiki Practitioning originated in Japan. The history of each practice is separate, but so aligned that they are often taught together, and seem to make sense together.

A lot of my work has brought me to look at root, sacral, and solar plexus chakra. For some people, reconnecting to these chakra or being able to envision the energy in these areas may help with pelvic floor and core engagement.

I recently got some energy work done by a Reiki practitioner, and I have to say, it was pretty amazing. I could feel the chakra areas and the energy moving around them. That being said, I have been actively working on my internal mind body game since I felt cut off post surgery 10 years ago.

I figure it’s all part of the practice, and no one is “wrong” when it comes to finding internal energy.

What about you? Are you able to access areas of the core through energy work?

Side Effects of Diastasis Recti

What are some other side effects of Diastasis Recti, other than the appearance of a bulge?

Because the core as a whole is compromised with separation of the rectus abdominis, any of the following side effects are possible (it’s a possibility, not a definition of the issue):

  • back pain
  • pelvic pain or discomfort
  • indigestion
  • constipation
  • pelvic pressure
  • core instability
  • chain weakness (spinal, hip, shoulder, and more)

Make sure that you take the self examination and work on your next steps in order to help yourself recover from Diastasis Recti, and don’t forget to reach out for more help.