Two super funny looking words but such a huge problem with women, rectus diastis. This is that crappy problem we often get after having a baby or maybe just if we are out of shape and have put on belly fat, where your midline in the core starts to separate. It’s nagging, persistent and won’t just “fix” itself on its own, so I am here to give you 4 awesome exercises to help remedy it.
First, let’s identify where we are talking about. While laying flat on the floor, take your finger tips and place them about two inches above your belly button. While crunching your shoulders off the floor, you will feel the “ab” muscles contract. If you have rectus diastis, then you will also feel those ab muscles move apart and your fingers dip inward. Depending on the degree of separation, you can feel the gap be one finger width up to 4 fingers wide!
You may be thinking “OMG will I ever get this weird little problem fixed?“. I’ve got the solution for you!
If this goes unaddressed, then it will stay just as it is. You may feel some pelvic and groin pains. You may develop worse separation and belly fat fill the void. You may even have some lower back pains from the lack of proper core engagement. However, with consistent practice and time, it gets better, starts to close up and you start to have a core again! Hip Hip Hooray!
I am going to give you 4 exercises that I have found to be of great help in fixing this nagging problem with women. They can be done as a warm up, a cool down, or mixed in to other workouts. All four executed at once literally takes about 5 minutes! You can commit to 5 minutes a day to better your core, cant you?!
Exercise 1: Dead Bug
While lying on your back, raise your arms straight up and bring your knees to a table top position. The key is to focus on keeping the pelvis tilted forward and down while pressing the low back into the floor. This is key to get the effectiveness out of the movement. Always be pressing down in the low back girl! Now, extend the right arm over head and the left leg straight out. This is gonna feel like patting your head and rubbing your belly BUT you can do it! Do about 10 reps on each side for 3-4 sets.
Exercise 2: 1/2 Reverse crunch
Lay down in the same position as the dead bugs except relax the arms. Tilt the pelvis forward and down (remember always be pressing down in the low back!). Key here is to keep the legs squeezed together. Lower the feet halfway to the floor while maintaining a flat back. Drawing the belly button down, pull the knees back up to the table top position. Do about 10-15 reps for 3-4 sets.
Exercise 3: Heel Drops
Again, same position as 1 and 2. This is one that people often try to rush but I want you to make sure you do each rep slow and controlled. It’s gonna seem like your not doing tons here but what our goal is to move the leg through the lower half of the abdomen. Table top position, low back flat and pelvis tilted. Lower one toe down and tap the floor. Draw the belly button in and bring the leg back to table top position. Repeat the same thing on the other side. Do about 10 reps on each leg for 3-4 sets.
Exercise 4: Side Plank Needle and Thread
Finally we get to move from laying flat! On your side, lift to a side plank on your forearm. Make sure the body is in a straight line from head to toe. Using the top free hang, reach in front of your body and under the lifted side in a “crossing over” motion. Finish by bringing the top free hang back straight up towards the ceiling. Do about 10 reps on each side for 3-4 sets.
You would naturally think that doing regular crunches would solve this issue. False! That is the one movement you want to avoid doing until you can tell the core is starting to close back together and that finger width separation is starting to get smaller. Always opt for one of these 4 exercise instead of traditional sit ups or crunches.
Like I said, its going to take time and practice. Do these four exercises as a warm up or a cool down with your workouts about 3-4 times a week! You will start to notice some improvements in about 2-3 weeks! Happy core muscles means happy body!
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