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  • Louise

Restore Your Core

Updated: May 4, 2023

Everyone can benefit from increased core stability, regardless of age, whether you are recently post-partum or decades on. It is never too late to improve your core strength and benefit from decreased risk of injury, better balance and stability and improved bladder, bowel and pelvic floor function.

Core strength rehabilitation class diastasis recti pregnancy

Deep core stabilisers are the first place to start. I like to think of working your way from the inside (or deep), out. Transverse abdominus is a band of muscle that acts to hold your trunk upright, your internal organs in place, and when it works in synchronisation with other core muscles, helps support your back. Rehabilitation of this muscle is particularly important postnatally. Diastasis recti is a condition where your abdominal muscles have separated during pregnancy leaving a 'gap' along the midline; anywhere between your upper abdominals to your lower abdominals. It is more likely to occur with multiples, the more pregnancies you have had or if you have carried a larger baby. This gap usually resolves with time (usually within 6-12 months), however some find it is still present and is affecting function longer term.

Deep and superficial abdominals core strength

Before progressing on to more advanced abdominal exercises, start by engaging and increasing the stamina of transverse abdominus. Laying on your back with your knees bent, feet on the floor, pelvis neutral (see picture), gently draw your belly button in towards your spine and hold for 10 seconds. Ideally you should be able to breathe normally throughout this hold. If you find you are holding your breath then chances are you are contracting your abdominus rectus, a superficial abdominal muscle that forms your 'six-pack'. If this happens, relax, take a deep breath and as you breathe out, imagine sucking in your lower belly as if squeezing to fit in to trousers that are too tight! You can use your fingers on your lower abdominal area for feedback that it is contracting and drawing in. Repeat holds for 10 secs working up to x 10 repetitions. Always ensure you have clearance from your healthcare provider before performing these exercises, and feel free to contact us for more information.

Deep transverse abdominus exercise diastasis recti

Exercises can then be further progressed to train deep core stabilisers to work in harmony and in a more functional way. Whether you are postpartum, a keen athlete, weekend jogger or gardener, it is worth investing in your core so that you can move freely and safely - it is never too late to start!

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