Abdominal separation or diastasis recti is a common condition in the third trimester of pregnancy but unfortunately for some it may continue to cause problems weeks after child birth. I suppose women feel the pressure to get back in shape as soon as possible after child birth too and they can end up doing more harm than good if the trainer doesn’t know what exercises to avoid for a woman suffering from abdominal separation. So here are 3 exercises that you must avoid if you’ve been told or you suspect abdomimal separation.

1.Crunches will make abdominal separation worse!

man lying on the grass doing crunches

Crunches are the first exercise anyone starts with if they want to lose belly fat!I’m sure you’ve tried that at some point too. But they can be so damaging to the tummy muscles that have just undergone so much strain during pregnancy and child birth. Crunches impact the very muscle that separates in the middle causing that gap which is typical of abdominal separation or diastasis recti. I cannot stress the importance of strengthening the deep muscles of the core and the pelvic floor to recover from it.

2. Planks should definitely be avoided with abdominal separation

women doing a plank

Planks is another go to exercise that personal trainers love to give to their customers. Although this is a great exercise if done correctly, it puts tremendous pressure on the tummy muscles. And if the tummy muscles are weak (as in after child birth), it can have a follow on effect on your lower back causing lower back pain! So it’s not a good idea to start with traditional planks if you’re suffering from abdominal separation.

3. Any HIIT or high intensity jumping exercises are bad for abdominal separation

woman doing jumping jacks

As the word HIIT or high intensity interval training suggests that you’re doing these exercises at a high intensity. Often at times compromising on the right technique but also repetitively running or jumping routines will stress the pelvic floor. In fact some studies suggest that high intensity exercises must be avoided for 9-12 months if you’ve had abdominal separation after pregnancy! It’s because these kind of exercises put tremendous pressure on the pelvic floor muscles and the tummy muscles, thus straining them. For the muscles that have already undergone so much stress during pregnancy and child birth, the high intensity exercises can be quite damaging.

It’s very important to chose the right health professional to start recovery after abdominal separation after pregnancy. Because it’s not just the tummy muscles but also the deep core muscles in the back and the pelvic floor muscles that are affected. A lot of women who suffer from abdominal separation also suffer from pelvic floor dysfunction and back pain. We’re experienced in treating women with these issues and showing them the right path to recovery.