Pilates Classes to Heal Your Diastasis Recti
Diastasis recti occur when the muscles in the middle of the abdomen separate. This separation is most common among pregnant and postpartum people and causes the belly to stick out or bulge due to stretching during pregnancy. Some men may also experience diastasis recti. This bulging can affect not only one’s appearance but can also cause lower back pain, stress incontinence, digestive disorders, and hernias. One way to address diastasis recti is Pilates, which we offer at Club Greenwood.
Pilates focuses on six principles: concentration, control, centering, flowing movement, breath, and precision. These principles lend themselves to improved flexibility, strength, balance, and coordination. It also focuses on muscles you don’t use in your daily routine, which makes for a great workout! Because it is low-impact, the injury risk of Pilates is low—another reason Pilates is a great option for pregnant and postpartum people.
Pilates as Preventative Measure for Diastasis Recti
Pilates is a fantastic preventative exercise when it comes to diastasis recti. After around three months of pregnancy, you should avoid rectus abdominis exercises, such as crunches and forward flexion (forward bending). You want to refrain from ab exercises because your stomach is working to create room for the baby, meaning you do not want to tighten this area. Work your transverse abdominis instead, as this part of the body will support your abdomen and aid in pushing out the baby when the time comes. Pilates is a wonderful exercise to work this part of your body while giving you a deeper awareness of the body. Pilates is low-impact and targets your core stabilizer rather than overworking the rectus abdominis.
Postpartum Pilates and Healing Diastasis Recti
Pilates is a good exercise postpartum for the same reasons it is a good preventative measure. Again, when working on getting rid of diastasis recti, rectus abdominis exercises can worsen the condition. Pilates works the transverse abdominis, which can help you regain strength and reconnect your abdominal muscles. It may be difficult to feel your abdominal muscles the way you did before pregnancy. Pilates can help you regain that mind-body connection.
It may take quite a while to heal your diastasis recti fully, so be patient with yourself and do exercises that will support your healing. The best way to heal safely is by working with trained professionals. They will be able to help you move the correct areas of your body and avoid causing further damage.
Check out this personal journey from Club Greenwood’s Director of Pilates, Kim Myers, on how Pilates helped her with diastasis recti. If you are struggling with diastasis recti, join us at Club Greenwood’s Pilates Studio for one of our classes; view our Pilates schedule here.
Join us at Club Greenwood, the premier health club in Greenwood Village, for an array of fitness classes, including Pilates. We offer private, semi-private, and group Pilates classes. Our instructors provide a welcoming and safe environment for everyone. Let us help you heal your diastasis recti and feel your best!
*Remember to consult your doctor about diastasis recti, especially if you have concerns about developing a hernia.*