Writing post number four already? Seems like we just started this shindig. If you missed posts 1-3, you can click here for post one, here for post 2, and here for post 3. You’ll want to make sure that you read the posts in order or it won’t make sense! Because, overcoming Diastasis Recti is not something where you can jump in the middle.
Well, let’s see…
About a month and a half ago, I decided to start my own experiment and see if I could figure out how to dix my own DR naturally.
There was a little place on my stomach below my belly button that I couldn’t figure out why it would not go away.
I was making my gains everywhere else, but that spot still stuck out a little bit and to be quite honest, when I put on a bathing suit, I didn’t feel comfortable at all.
In fact, I hated being in a bathing suit, and I was never one to shy away from a cute suit.
One day, all of the sudden, it hit me that it could possibly be Diastasis Recti. Well, I did my research and did the at home DR test and sure enough, I had a gap in my lower abdomen muscles.
The diastasis recti test that you can do at home is as follows:
- Lie on your back with your feet flat on the floor while your knees are bent
- Put one hand behind your head and with the other hand place the first two fingers on your belly button
- Then exhale and lift your head just barely off of the floor and push down gently up and down your abdomen in line with your belly button
- If you have DR, then those muscles will gap. You will literally feel a hole there.
Be sure to refer to post one where I go over all the doctor info I gathered on DR and this test. This isn’t my test that I made up. 😊
When I did my test and I had a gap, I almost jumped up and down with excitement because I finally had an answer to my issues that I had been having.
What’s the latest since post three you ask?
Here’s the latest for my personal journey, and then we will go through the exercises I have been doing specific to DR.
In post three, we talked about my struggle with depression and how some days I really have to work on getting up and out of bed to get on with my day and take care of my family and my business.
Wowza, talk about just putting it out there, right? Well, I’m a firm believe in letting women know that they’re not alone.
That part was better these past two weeks. However, I am currently training for a half marathon, and my left calf muscle and my left hamstring have been having trouble with Charley horses.
If you’re not sure what a Charley Horse is, it is basically a severe muscle cramp. Girl, I am talking it feels like your muscle detaches itself from your bones and it rolls up into a ball.
Well, it really doesn’t detach itself, obviously but that’s what it feels like!
This means that I took a five day full rest from working out, running and everything that involved my legs because I needed to focus on getting that leg better.
Below is my progress pic from day 1 to day 44.
My progress is getting there, but it has slowed down a bit. Keep in mind, that this picture was taken after having meals and lots of water for the day. Day one pic was taken before breakfast.
With the exception of that five day hiatus I did my DR exercises 4 days a week. I got rid of just heel drops and I added in heel drops with overhead reach with a weight, I did cross body mountain climbers, and I did plank step outs.
Those were the three exercises that I did these two weeks.
The reps that I did were 5 rounds of 8 because with these exercises either being new to the mix or I advanced them based on my progress, that was the number of reps I could do with solid form.
To be honest, with the five day hiatus, I feel like I took a step backwards, but I have to remind myself that sometimes we take a step backwards to be able to take 2-3 steps forward.
Let’s breakdown the exercises I did:
Heel Drop with OH Reach:
Lying flat on my back, I would raise my legs straight up over my head and keeping the bottoms of my feet flat, I would lower my legs and reach up overhead with the weight or the ball at the same time.
I couldn’t go as far down with this one because my muscles would give if I went any lower.
It was super important that my muscles didn’t give and if that meant that I had less range of motion, then, that is what it meant and I was okay with that.
The weight that I used or the ball, I kept nice and light because the opposite (and at the same time) motion made things pretty difficult.
Next up, I did cross body mountain climbers which I introduced right at the end of the last round.
A cross body MC is bringing the knee up towards the chest, but crossing the foot under the body and under that planked leg. It really grabs those obliques and lower muscles and made a huge difference in my soreness factor.
I was able to up the reps to between 15-20 reps at a time which was a positive for sure.
Last exercise that I did these few weeks was the plank step out.
Getting in a full plank, I would step one foot out nice and wide, then I’d bring that back to center, then repeat with the opposite leg.
This one is killer and I was only able to do between 6-8 reps per leg.
With being on my stomach, it can make keeping that core from puckering quite a challenge as well. This is also why I kept the reps nice and low. There is the option of using a band around the ankles as well
This journey so far has been quite a trip.
I have one more post for this series that I will post in two weeks, but I know that I will for sure continue to incorporate these exercises into my normal routine because I want a very strong core.
One of the things that I have really learned over the past several weeks is to listen to my body.
Fatigue has been a real struggle for me and sometimes having to rest like I did for those several days was a very hard pill for me to swallow!
I’m super competitive, and not really with other people, but mainly with myself because I always feel like I could have done better. Which, may or may not be the case.
What’s great about this process so far for me is that it really hasn’t been too terribly slow in regards to the gains.
Do I think this could work for everyone? While I would love to think that, I’m not sure, honestly, because this experiment has not been fully scientific, it has been based off of my knowledge that I have from my current education and I’ve done it on myself. There isn’t anything to compare it to.
However, I do think that it wouldn’t hurt a mama to try this process should she like to give it a go.
Because, as long as you’re cleared to workout by your doc, these exercises are right in line with things that would be considered “normal”. They’re nothing crazy or super out of the ordinary.
One last reminder, that I have not changed anything in my diet or workout routine other than these exercises.
My workouts have remained right in line with what I have been doing. I wanted to keep that part very close to the same because I didn’t want it to skew any results; as this isn’t about fat loss, it was about seeing if I could fix my muscles naturally.
There’s so much to this that I could type for days and days, but I’ll stop at 1400 words and leave you with this…
As hard as it is, remember to not base your worth on what your body looks like. While I firmly believe that you have every right to try to change things that you aren’t comfortable with and lose unweighted weight or gain some killer muscle; when we base our worth on what our body looks like, it can get dangerous.
Believe me, I’ve been there. You’re worth more than what that scale says or what you think you see in the mirror.
You’re stronger that you think, and more beautiful than you even realize.
Post number five coming your way in a few weeks!
Be sure to Pin for later!