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Diastasis Recti and Back Pain Friendly Core Workout

Do you have Diastasis Recti (abdominal separation) or Back Pain?

On today’s episode of Live Lean TV, I’m sharing a gentle core routine that is suitable for people with a torn linea alba (connective tissue down the center of the abdomen) or back pain when performing ab exercises.

Before we jump into the workout, I’ll show you how to do the self-check to see if you have the tear.

If you are still unsure after performing the self-check it is best to see your doctor and ask them to check for you.

Pregnant with my 2nd child December 2018

Diastasis Recti is a condition commonly associated with Pregnancy. It is defined as a separation down the linea alba (connective tissue) along the midline of the abdominal muscles.

I do not have the condition, but I want to help mamas who do.

The first thing you need to know is that Core exercises are NOT necessary during pregnancy. In fact, working your abs while they are in a super stretched out state (as they are in the 2nd and 3rd trimesters of Pregnancy) is more risky and harmful than beneficial.

My advice (and what I personally followed), is to do NO CORE WORK DURING PREGNANCY.

Women with the separation should NOT engage in intense core training like you may have seen in some of my other videos such as Intense Lower Abs or 10 Minute Flat Belly Workout.

Back pain is another issue that could prevent you from following these workouts. If you are here for back pain, play the video and skip ahead to 3:06 to follow the workout. The same moves that help heal Diastasis can also strengthen your core to prevent back pain.

This core workout is gentle and safe for beginners and/or people with core or back injuries, BUT, if you feel any pain while doing this please STOP and seek help from a professional.

This video is intended for general populations and/or people with minor or mild cases. If your case is severe I urge you to seek help from an in-person therapist, doctor, or trainer.

If you do test positive for Diastasis Recti there are some things you need to AVOID.

Avoid any exercises that cause:

Intra-abdominal pressure (pressure from the inside pushing out)

Straining (any exercise that is too challenging and causes you to strain)

Outward Contractions (flexing your abs out instead of in)

Belly bulging (any move that causes your belly to bulge or form a cone shape)

But don’t worry because there are core exercises you CAN do, that are both safe and beneficial for helping you heal and strengthen your core.

So that’s what we’re going to do today.

First Exercise: Lying Corset Breathing

Lie on your back on the ground with your knees bent and feet flat.

Place your fingertips on your belly to bring your focus and awareness to those muscles.

Take a deep breath in and expand your belly.

Exhale and flex your core muscles towards the center and down. Imagine you’re wearing a corset and you’re tightening it with your breath.

Second Exercise: Heel Drops

Lift your knees up over your hips. Engage your core to close the gap under your lower back.

Slowly and carefully lower one heel to the ground while maintaining core engagement.

Alternate sides, all while focusing on keeping your abs engaged.

Third Exercise: Side Knee Drops

Bring your knees and feet together in the midline.

Allow one knee to fall to the side and relax your abs.

Lift that knee back to the center, imagining you are zipping up a jacket.

Squeeze your inner thighs together at the same time as flexing your core.

Do not do this workout rushed or on the clock. I want you to take it slow and focus on feeling the sensations you should be feeling (i.e. NO BACK PAIN, and feeling that your abdominals are flexing towards the midline)

Bottom Line: Keep your core workouts SAFE rather than sorry…

You must honor the starting point you are at and be careful not to make the problem worse.

In other words, doing ab exercises that are too intense will only open the gap further, aggravate your back pain, and set you back further from achieving flat abs.

Repeat each of the 3 exercises 3 times, for 10 reps each. You can follow this workout 3 times per week, or every other day. I recommend at least one day between workouts to allow your core to recover before working it again.

With that said, if you’re wondering what the best workout program is for you, based on your goals, your fitness level, and access to equipment, go take the Live Lean Body Quiz so we can help you select the best program for you to accomplish all your goals.


Start by taking our FREE Live Lean Body Quiz to get access to the best program specific to your goals, current fitness level, and access to equipment.

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