Castle Personal Training is a Corstorphine, Edinburgh based company who specialise in weightloss/toning and Pre and Post Natal exercise.
I still get a lot of emails from women asking me how long it will take to fix their stomach separation. I’ve written about Diastasis Recti a lot, just go through the old blogs, but keep getting asked to be more specific so here we go;
If you suffer from any of the above you simply HAVE TO click this link or the one below as I can help you fix it fast and cheap!
The answer depends on several things such as;
How much separation you have. A 5cm gap takes a little longer to sort than a 2.5cm gap does.
How long ago you gave birth. Because of the way maternity pay works in the UK moms tend to come to me at one of two stages. Soon after they’ve given birth or 2+ years after giving birth. Separation is easier to fix within the first few months after giving birth but even years later it can be fixed. I currently have a client who has had Diastasis Recti for 23 years and we’re closing that gap every week!
What your exercise routine was like before and during your pregnancy. If you did the right exercises pre-natal you’re more likely to have good core muscle activation post-natal and that makes life a bit easier later on.
Whether you’re doing the right exercises or not. By working the correct muscles, back, obliques, glutes etc. and making sure you’re breathing correctly rather than focussing on “direct-core” exercises, such as leg raises and crunches, you’ll get results faster.
The right exercise.
The effort you put in. This is the single most important thing. It sounds obvious really but a lot of people seem to miss this one. The “New mom package” that we do comes with a 7 minute home routine. All the ladies that religiously do the home routine 4-5 times per week in addition to the PT sessions see results much faster than ladies who don’t.
On HealthyPostNatalBody.com we get emails from people saying their core is much stronger after 20 days but the Diastasis Recti gap will take a little bit longer to close completely for most people.
Let’s look at some real numbers.
As a rule; Say you have been relatively active during your pregnancy and you have 2.5-3cm of separation 6 weeks post-partum. If you start a sensible routine, do 10 minutes per day 3-4 times per week and 2 strength sessions targetting the right muscles, you can get that sorted within 12-14 weeks.
This does not mean you’ll have a rock-hard stomach after 14 weeks, but your separation will no longer be an issue.
A while ago I had a client that came to me soon after giving birth, bought some Personal Training sessions but then didn’t do the home routine, cancelled loads of sessions, and after 3 months found their 4cm separation had “only” gone down to 2cm. Now this is obviously still quite a drop but their separation could have been down to within normal levels (8mm and less).
On the other end of the spectrum; I just had an email from a client who came to us for a program 4 weeks ago. She gave birth to her 3rd over 2 years ago. She was in good shape, other than having very little core activation and her separation which was still 3cm.
She has been doing a 30minute session twice a day 4-5 times per week, training like an athlete, and found that her 3cm was down to 1.2 after just 3 weeks.
Recently I temporarily took over a client from another Personal Trainer to fix her DR and she did 2 sessions a week for 2 months + a 10 minute home routine 3x per week and she is now happily training with her old PT as her separation is fixed and her core is good to go for full on training again.
It can be done, it all depends on what YOU put into it.
Almost all of my clients on the “new mom package” find that they have no Diastasis Recti anymore, their posture has improved and they are significantly stronger and more toned after their 24 sessions. They can then go about their merry way and can do whatever they want.
I hope this helps but, as always, feel free to send me an email if you do think of a question that you’d like an answer to.
Here’s an exciting update for everyone suffering from Diastasis Recti.
I have launched healthypostnatalbody.com An online resource full of exercises and circuits to help you heal your Diastasis Recti, improve your posture and help heal, and prevent, back and neck pain. We also have 2 forums, one for expert post-natal exercise advice and a forum where members can make suggestions for improvements. And, the best news, you get 3 months completely FREE access. Cancel anytime.. Even better, after 3 months it’s only £8/$10 a month.
You can sign up here.
And for those of you really keen on more info, the Healthy Post Natal Body podcast can be found here. Email email@example.com and I answer all and any questions you might have…without selling you anything!
Credit “Moms into fitness” for the great image of the Diastasis Recti.
Hi there I’m no where near you but I’m interested in fixing my 4cm gap. I’ve watched lots of you tube videos and found a good little workout for exercises that specific ok will fix the gap but I’m interested in what workouts/exercises I can do along side it. I love exercise, gym, running, weights, spin, swimming. I feel to scared to anything as I don’t want to make it worse. What do you suggest I do and what weight exercises would be best to help myself along. Thanks so much Laura
Thanks for the comment.
Obviously I can’t assess you from here but as a general rule;
Only run if everything feels comfortable. If it feels too wobbly in the belly area then give that a miss for a while.
Spin is fine, but don’t over exert yourself.
Strength training really is the way to go. All my Post natal clients do strength training.
Squats, lunges, bent over row, etc. are all fine. Posture and core activation is key though. If at any stage you don’t feel like you’re in control of your core/belly when you do an exercise then it’s time to stop. Make sure you breathe through every exercise, don’t hold your breath at any stage.
Try to avoid exercises that “fold you over” such as crunches and avoid things like front-loaded planks as your core won’t be able to support that yet.
As I mentioned though; take it easy to begin with, focus on strengthening and activating your core, and when your body tells you to stop then don’t push through it 🙂
Any questions please feel free to email me at firstname.lastname@example.org
Can I get a routine for diastasis recti pls .. I’m doing yoga n 8 months post partum but yet have the pooch which is about a 1 1/2-2 finger gap..pls help with the routine thank u
I don’t do online routines as I can’t assess your separation online, but I’m more than happy to give you some suggestions if you send me an email (email@example.com) . If you’re looking for an online program then Jessie Mundell is more than happy to sell you hers.
Does the “pregnant look” subside when you’re able to decrease your gap? I just started pelvic floor exercises for my core a week ago. I’m 7 weeks postpartum. I’m 120 lbs (5 lbs more than my pre pregnancy weight), have a 3 finger gap and look 5 months pregnant. I’m wosnering if I’m always going to look this way even if the gap closes a bit.
Yes it does subside. Most of my clients end up with a completely flat stomach, sometimes under a little layer of fat tbh ;). There is no reason why you would still look pregnant if you keep doing the correct core exercises:)
I am in the military and I am ten months postpartum and my primary care physician said I didn’t have diastasis recti so I started back working out. I lost weight but my stomach got bigger and it really hurt to do sit ups and push ups. What can I do to lose my belly and be able to take and pass my pt test?
Thanks for your comment. I’m working right now but will post something later this evening (UK time).
Obviously I can’t diagnose you online but, in very simple terms, it sounds like your core is not doing what it’s supposed to do. This can lead to your back taking all the strain and that will lead to back pain.
I spend about 4-6 weeks with clients getting all the muscles activating again, especially focussing on the glutes, obliques and TVA. Once they all work as they should then you can strengthen them up.
If you send me an email (firstname.lastname@example.org) I’ll send you a little home routine that you can do which will help you really recover and get back to full fitness.
Hi, I’m a mom of 4, my youngest is just turning 1. I currently still look 3 months pregnant, which has never happened after any of my other pregnancies. I actually went back to my pre-pregnancy weight usually no longer than 4 months post-partum. I have been working out and am getting a lot of back pain after doing squats and my core just seems weak overall and I believe I have a 2-3 finger gap. I am wondering if you have any online exercises that I could do to close that gap and strengthen my core?
Thanks for your comment. I’m launching something in January that’s made for people like yourself but if you send me an email ( email@example.com ) then I’ll send you over something to get you started
I am 7 months postpartum and my stomach still looks kind of round with the sides bulging. I am Nigerian and in my country most women are unaware of diastasis recti. Many women just go about their day to day activities with wobbly Tommies. I hate it so much and don’t want to live like this. I am a petite lady and that is the more reason it is very annoying. Please what can I do?
Thanks for hiihrh
Thanks for your comment.
If you go to http://www.healthypostnatalbody.com and sign up for your free trial there we can get it sorted for you 🙂
I have had four kids, the last one needing a c section. I got lucky, and my belly returned to its flat toned state with only a faint white line to remind me of the surgery. Then I had abdominal surgery, and my stomach is flat until it gets to my belly button. Everything below that looks like a poochy shelf. I look funny with my entire body being toned, including my upper abdominals, and having this pooch. Also I have an umbilical hernia.
I’m sorry to hear that.
Is the shelf the scar from the surgery? That can happen with abdominal surgery and is one of the major drawbacks to surgery. If it’s not just skin then you’re likely able to help reduce it with exercise. My healthypostnatalbody.com site might be able to help in that case.
The umbilical hernia is something that can really only be resolved by surgery. Unfortunately quite often doctors see this as an aesthetic procedure and are not always keen to recommend surgery to fix it but it’s always worth pushing for it if it bothers you.
Thanks for replying, Peter. The shelf is above the scar (which still looks great, just a light white line) The shelf isn’t loose skin, actually is very firm pooch. I nearly have a four-pack in the upper abdominals then when it hits my belly button, it sticks out about an inch an a half. I have a pic, but it won’t let me post it on here.
Sent from my iPhone
Apologies for taking a few days to respond.
I’m happy to have a look if you’d like to email me the picture;
Peter@castlepersonaltraining.com or firstname.lastname@example.org
Sent from my iPhone