Wow. It’s been 51 days since I started this experiment and it has absolutely flown by. 51 days ago, I started an experiment on myself to see if I could overcome diastasis recti naturally.
This experiment started with some research through medical journals and papers put out by MDs to see if this was even possible.
While there is some conflicting information on whether or not is it possible to naturally help those muscles sew themselves back together, I wanted to give it a try to see if I could help those muscles heal in my lower abdomen.
It has been quite a ride and it has not been easy at all. In fact, it’s been quite hard, both mentally and physically.
Before we go any further, I would suggest that you read these posts in order:
Once you have read those posts, come back here and we can continue our conversation.
Reading those posts will really give you an understanding of where I’m coming from as I continue this post.
This experiment has been hard from the physical perspective because those abdominal muscles are so weak that it makes the abdominal exercises extremely hard.
However, over the course of the past 51 days, I have really made some great strides in strength of my abdomen.
I did some thinking on this and I really think that a lot of it had to do with the fact that my picture was not taken in the morning, I had two meals in my belly, and I was a bit hormonal at the time which caused some bloat.
Here is my progress pic for day 51:
You’ll notice that there is a marked difference from day one to day 51. This picture was taken in the morning time before I had breakfast or a lot of water.
If you’ll look closely at this picture, you’ll see that you can see the outline of my abdominal muscles and then some baby abs and the extreme beginnings of a 6 pack.
Not only that, when I lie on my back and do the DR test, the gap in my lower abdomen is not as wide.
This tells me that I am either well on my way to healing those muscles or simply strengthening those muscles has helped flatten them.
Do I think they will ever be fully sewn back together on their own?
And, I believe I have made a difference in that injury. At the very least, my abdominal strength has a marked improvement.
Here’s what I do think – I do think that if a mama decided she wanted to try the same experiment on herself that I did, and follow what I did, then, as long as she is cleared for exercise from her doc, I don’t see what it would hurt.
If you do decide to dive into this and you want to try what I’ve done, then you will need to realize that this process is going to be slow and it is going to be a hard process.
Just like anything else worth having, you must work for it and be patient.
So! What have I done?
I’ve stuck with doing my exercises for 5 days and rest for two. Remember, I haven’t changed up my diet at all, nor am I in a deficit. I am counting my calories to make sure that they are at maintenance level so that it does not skew my results.
The 2 exercises that I have really focused on these past few weeks are:
- Heel Drops with OH raise with DB
- Cross Body Mountain Climbers – but this time with one leg stable on the ground and the other foot hovering.
Let’s go over these exercises in a bit of detail
Heel Drops with OH Raise with DB
I have kept heel drops for most of this experiment because this exercise is one that I can really feel in my lower abdomen.
These were simply progressed, and reps were varied.
Example: I started out with just a heel drop with my hands under my butt for I think it was 8 reps. Then I would increase reps and I made it up to 20 reps. Then I started adding in the weight or the ball passing between my hands and feet. Starting at 8 reps and over the course of time, working up to 15-20 reps.
I increased reps, then I increased intensity and lowered the number of reps. Then I’d increase those reps. Once those increased reps were done solidly, I’d increase intensity.
See the formula I’m going with here?
Do more, then increase intensity and back off on reps. Then work on doing more of those…. Rinse and repeat.
Second one for this round is Cross Body Mountain Climbers
Now, this is a perfect example of increasing intensity after increasing reps.
I had been doing this on sliders in the gym, or if I did my exercises at home, I would have two pillow cases under my feet to help my feet slide.
The reps for this exercise had reached 15-20 each leg, so I decided to increase intensity.
Taking away the pillow cases, I planked with one foot as my base and the other foot was elevated off the floor.
I would then keep that foot elevated and bring it across my body like a normal cross body MC and then bring it back. Never putting my foot down I would complete between 8-10 reps. Once I did 8-10 on one leg, I moved right to the other leg without rest to keep the abdominals loaded.
It’s pretty killer!
So… What’s my conclusion after this experiment?
My conclusion is this…
I do believe that DR can be improved (maybe not cured, but definitely improved) with specific exercises to the affected area.
Do I think that it can be fully fixed naturally?
I’m not entirely sure. Because, again, I’m not an MD and this wasn’t a fully scientific experiment/study. This was just something I wanted to try on myself.
My Diastasis Recti improved immensely over these past weeks. I do believe that the gap in my muscles is smaller and that it might continue to improve as I keep these exercises and the others I’ve done in my routine.
I know that abdominals is one area that mamas feel really conscious about.
It’s where we carried our littles for 9 months and our bodies take quite a beating during this process.
As hard as it is, I really want you to work on seeing yourself as beautiful.
Yes, even while you’re unhappy with how your abdominals and body looks. Really look at yourself in the mirror and work to see beauty that is staring back at you.
You’re strong and you are taking charge of your health and life and that is something that is worth celebrating.
I’ve found that with my clients, those that are looking to lose weight, focusing on other goals other than just weight loss has really helped them overcome and work through body image issues and feel beautiful.
Believe me when I say I can feel you in regard to being self-conscious about the way your body looks.
It has been a real struggle for me to share these pictures with you because my abs were once my pride and I’d run in a sports bra, or I’d have no worries walking around in a swim suit.
Because they don’t look the same as they used to has been a really hard thing to overcome. But you know what?
It’s coming along.
No, my body doesn’t look the same, but I’m stronger than I ever have been and my son is healthy and strong. And, my husband likes the way I look so that’s what matters, right? 😊
I hope this experiment has helped you, mama.
You’re an incredible woman! You’ve got this.
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