Diastasis Recti, How to Workout?




Learn More about a Diastasis Recti Modifications Core Workout or Diastasis Recti During Pregnancy.

Having trouble getting a flat stomach? Or your pregnancy left you with Diastasis Recti, also known as Rectus Diastasis?

Traditional Ab exercises will do more harm than good if you have diastasis recti, an abdominal separation.  You should not do planks, quadruped positions, twisting or crunch positions in which you contract the rectus abdominis.


After pregnancy if you are left with the separation– it does not always mean you need surgery!  There are some exercises you can do to narrow this connective tissue and put it in the proper place.  But know that doing traditional core exercises like crunches can make it worse and not help it heal.  Because your abs are no longer contracting effectively, you need to heal your muscles from the inside out starting with the pelvic floor and transverse abdomens.

Here are 8 core exercises that work the inner core and not the rectus abdominis, modified for Diastasis Recti. 


If you have been diagnosed with Diastasis Recti and your doctor recommends you exercise, Moms Into Fitness provides modifications for Diastasis Recti. Our software will customize the workout for you.  Go here for your Free Workouts!


209 comments:

  1. Nice!! I haven't tried these yet (I don't have Diastasis Recti), but I am going to try these exercises anyways. Love your work outs! They make my muscles feel like I have had a deep tissue massage the next day, and not so sore. Keep it up!! :)

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  2. I don't have DR, but my ab muscles have ALWAYS been extremely weak. I'm really at my lowest weight in years, and my daughter is now 16 months old, but I have just never had good core control. It kills me because I'm small and petite, but my lack of muscle control in my abs keeps me from looking as small as I am. Drives me crazy! I think I'll switch to these exercises until I start to feel they are getting stronger. Thanks, Lindsay!

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  3. How do you know if you've mastered the exercises to move on to more difficult ones? Do I have to only do the first CFS method section as long as I have diastasis recti?

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  4. Laly, I love it!

    Heather, this would be the perfect workout to start with and gradually build your strength. It comes from Boot Camp 2 which has 6 preogressive core workouts.

    Kaitlyn, yes, stick with this workout and CFS Phase 1 until you've mastered it. Basically once you feel you can always pull in the inner core, consider it mastered. But I do recommend checking the DR every 3 weeks to see if the gap is closing!

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  5. Lindsay, I have DR (I'm 6 weeks away from having baby #2) and did with my first pregnancy (but I didn't know it). My question is: Are all the core workouts in your first Postnatal Bootcamp DVD approved for people with DR?

    Thanks,
    Woman with messed up abs

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    1. Postnatal Boot Camp actually does not have any diastasis recti modifications. Sorry about that!

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  6. Hi Lindsay! I had DR with my first (and only so far) baby. I was able to close the DR and get a FLAT tummy with your workouts. Thank you so much for all that you do, it has made such a difference in how I look, how I feel, and most importantly my self esteem. The sense of accomplishment in achieving a better body than before my baby is great. Since I had DR with my first, does that mean I will have DR with the second? I know how to fix it (thanks to you!) but is there any way to prevent it?

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    1. Hi, how long did it take you to close your DR?

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    2. Not necessarily! But the intra-abdominal pressure is what creates the DR and sometimes there is just nothing you can do about it:(

      But the good news is your core is stronger this time and might be able to withstand some of the pressure!

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  7. Hi Lindsay,
    I am 8 weeks post-partum and I have DR. I have been doing DR exercises from your site and book for the last two weeks but the gap is still not closing. How long does it take for DR to heal? Does it mean I can't do any core exercises until I close that gap or what core exercises I can do in addition to the DR exercises?
    Thank You

    Denise

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    1. Denise, hi! Yes, it is best to stay away from traditional ab work until your diastase is healed. Have you been tested by your doctor for diastasis? Maybe he/she said something at your postpartum checkup?

      I have seen cases where the DR closes in a few weeks and some in a few months. I guess it depends on the severity. Let me know and we will make a plan:)

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  8. Hello! I am hoping you can help me! I am so disappointed and confused. I am 8months post partum with baby number two. I had DR with both. I knew i had it because it was obvious when i would sit up and such. I brought it up with my dr and no one ever told me either time that there were exercises to help it and things to avoid!! I work out a lot and just now found out that i have been dping every single thing that i am not supposed to do. Nothing hurt so i thought i was fine. Now i find out that i could have made it better and may have instead made it worse! UGH! So, i guess i am wondering what this all means since i am 8 months post partum with baby number two. Can i still make it better. Since i work out so much, have i really been making it worse? What can i do?

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  9. I see how you just recommended your free workout to Sarah. I signed up for it and the first thing I see is twisting elbow to knee during warm up and plank positions which are a big NO NO for woman with diastasis recti. Please provide some clarification.

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  10. Jamaica, you are correct! That is bad for DR! BUT there should be a link to the DR workout below the "regular" workout. Do you see it?

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  11. No I do not. I have an email that says click here for workout and then when I do, there is an intro with a HIIT routine below, and a calendar attachment and a cardiovascular attachment. There are no other links or mention of DR.

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  12. Ah, you must have clicked the Superfit Section when signing up. Email Jess at the moms@momsintofitness.com and she can switch you over.

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  13. Hi, Lindsay,

    THANK YOU so much for being there with material on diastasis recti.

    I do have a clarification question:

    Essentially, you recommend that women with DR do NOT do any other work except for the video you posted above until their DR is healed - that is, do NOT go on to the CFS method or your Core Fitness video? I have done those, and have the strength to keep my back on the floor and plank and what not, but I notice that while my obliques and transverse seem quite strong, I still have this pouch around my navel when I stand and a deep cleft (though it is narrower) when lying on my back "hollowing out my stomach".

    My main question is, should I STOP doing all your other workouts and do only the video above until that gap closes up? Will it really close up? Because I thought I was using the obliques and the transverse muscles to pull the rectus back to the center, but that the connective tissue would always just be shot.

    I have noticed that if I stop exercising for as little as a week (if we are traveling), then it undoes all the work I put in before that trip. Is that normal?

    Also, do you recommend sleeping in a belly splint (like the Tupler Technique)? And is what you do significantly different and/or better than the Tupler technique?

    Thanks.

    We enjoy watching your videos. My seven year old says, "She always seems so happy?" And my one-and-a-half year old likes to lie on her back and wave her arms and legs in the air with me when we put your DVD on.

    Again, THANKS!
    Suzanna

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  14. Suzanna, you have some really great questions! First, ket me ask if you have a hernia? From your description of your tummy it could be the DR or a hernia.

    And yes, you should always do transverse work no matter what! And it can be done a number of different ways. But I do not recommend doing any twisting motions (usually the ones that go with obliques) as this can make the DR worse.

    But it sounds like what you are doing is helping you. And yes, you can close the gap in most cases. But let me know about that hernia first and we will go from there.

    I have never studied the Tupler Technique although I do know of it, I cannot confirm what is different. But I do not believe in splinting because your muscles do less work when splinted, even sleeping. BUT if it makes you feel better than you should go for it!

    I appreciate your questions, and I hope I have tackeld them! Let me know about yes/no hernia!

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    1. What if it is a hernia?

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  15. I am 11 months out from baby #2 and just got diagnosed with DR. I have the CFS method that I'm starting and I'm excited to start seeing some results!

    My question is should I skip the ab exercises in your other videos until I can get through all the phases of the CFS?

    ~Stephanie

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  17. Hi Lindsay! I had twins 20 months ago and had a four finger gap which is now closed to about a finger width, thank God!! Even though it's closed to a 1 finger gap, which is supposed to be normal, my tummy still protrudes- I do have about 15 lbs to lose so maybe it's that??? So I'm confused as to whether or not I should be doing regular exercises (like the elbow turn move in the warm-up) or stick DR friendly moves. Also, I noticed when doing the DR exercises my belly isn't hollow while doing the moves which require your legs in the air and pushing them out. I'm under the impression that anytime your stomach pokes out, that's a no-no for DR. Is this true, or have I not mastered those particular moves?

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  18. Michelle, what great questions! Yes, protruding of the stomach is something we want to get away from. But it could just be you core is not to full strength yet (and let me emphasize yet!)

    If you are to 1 finger gap you are ok to move forward with "traditional" ab exercises. And make sure you do not have a hernia! Some of your comments lead me to believe we need to rule that out.

    And yes, the 15 lbs will help with the protrusion. Keep up the great work. It sound slike you have made great progress!

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  19. hi lindsay.
    i had twins 8 months ago. they were huge: boy 8lb 11oz and girl 7lb 4oz. Almost 16 pounds of JUST baby. it has RUINED my body (i feel like). and i have what i think is probably a pretty severe case of diastasis recti. i talked to my OB about it and he just told me to do light crunches and all would be well. i am thinking... he doesn't know what he's talkin' about. ;) so... i thought i had saw a 2 pack dvd set on your site when i looked a couple of months ago that might include the workout for this. is that still available and can i do all the exercises on those dvd's? i have about a 3-4 finger gap to close up and also i VERY protruding belly no matter what i do!! so frustrating!

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  21. Lindsay,

    Thank you for taking the time to answer our Q's! I have both your DVDs dealing with DR. I recently found out I am pregnant with baby #3!! Can I still do your workouts while pregnant? Also, I have DR as well as loose belly skin, will working out only improve the DR?

    Thanks again!

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  22. EM, congrats on #3! Our Pregnancy DVDs have DR modifications on them. You can get them on Amazon or momsintofitness.com/dvds. Let me know if you ahve any concerns about the DR as you belly grows!

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  23. Hey Lindsay

    Been doing your dvds for years, and I love them, and am so looking forward to Pretty Fierce. Your download series really helped me get back in shape after baby #3 was born 20 months ago. My problem is that I think I am finally realizing I have DR. I have about 3 finger separation, but when standing my tummy above my belly button really sticks out - sometimes looks like I am 3-4 months pregnant even though I am at my lowest weight and best shape in years. I asked my GP about it, but he didn't seem to know much, just said yeah it looks like DR but the only thing you can really do is surgery. Which I know isn't true! He couldn't even refer me to a physical therapist. So, I guess I need to do CFS? I tried it about a year ago but have to admit that I didn't stick with it - think I was in denial about having DR! I have a couple of questions for you: I see a lot of talk about hernias - how do I tell if I have one, and what does it mean? Also - I know planks are a no-no, does that mean no push ups? Any help/advice you can provide is much appreciated!!!!

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    2. Hi Lindsay!

      No worries on the delayed response - as you can see, I am no better! Got caught up in putting on my daughter's 7th birthday party and am just now getting back to my list of things to do.

      I sent a message to the moms @ mif along with some pics. Any help you can give is greatly appreciated. Thank you SO much!

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  24. Hi Lindsay,
    I have DR. My twins are almost 2 1/2 and my oldest is 4. I was wondering if you could tell me where to begin. Is there a recommended dvd to begin with ane then what?

    Thank you,
    Gretchen

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  26. Gretchen, sorry I mispelled your name! trying to multi-taks this morning:) For the DVDs or free tril go to www.momsintofitness.com

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  27. Lindsay, I cannot say thank you enough for what you have done for me. I will try to keep this short and sweet, but your videos were a God-send. When I got pregnant with my sweet baby boy last October, I was 126 pounds. By the time I gave birth in July, I was 182 pounds and had a good size pooch. This made me depressed since I was always a naturally thin person who could eat whatever I wanted. At my six week check up, I asked my doctor if I had diastasis recti and what I can do to fix it. She basically told me to do crunches and everything you're not supposed to do to correct it! While researching about it online, I found your website and ordered your Bootcamp video. I also took tips from your meal plan. Fast forward to six months later and I am at my pre-pregnancy weight, and I can see a HUGE difference in my stomach. The gap is almost totally gone-- and I have abs again!! I am in better shape than I was in college-- when I used to compete in pageants. I just ordered Fitness Bootcamp 2 (it should be here tomorrow), and I tell everyone who will listen about how awesome your dvd's are. These are the first workout dvd's that have ever truly worked for me. THANK YOU, THANK YOU, THANK YOU for giving this new mommy knowledge and giving her all her condifence back and more! Keep up the good work and keep changing lives :) -Danielle

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  28. Danielle, your message choked me up! I am so glad I could help you! And better than in college, who knew, right?!?! Check out the Free Trial of Pretty Fierce - you will LOVE it! http://www.momsintofitness.com/shop/pretty-fierce-lean-out/

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  29. Hi Lindsay, I have been looking at your site and reading all the remarks. I see a lot of questions about hernias. I want to start your work out but I do have an umbilical hernia. Are there any precautions I should take? I developed it about a year ago. My doctor just told me to strengthen my abs but, never told me how. I have measured my stomach with the technique you mentioned here and I am able to insert 3 fingers. Thank you so much. I am so excited to finally find a solution. Linette

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  30. Hi! i was wondering if, once the gap is closed, you can go back to doing normal exercising including crunches etc.? What is considered closed? I've heard if it us less than 2 fingertips? I have only ever been able to fit 1 fingertip since 6 weeks PP. Thanks

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    1. Jules, yep, it sounds like you can move forward with "traditional" core exercise!

      Normal is 1-2 fingers. I myself have about 1/2 a finger, but everyone is different. Hope that helps!

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  31. Hi, I just started the free workouts for week 1 for Diastasis Recti. I had my 4th child almost 3 years ago at age 45. I want to go ahead and purchase your Postnatal DVD pack so I can play them on my TV rather than on my computer, but want to make sure I understand everything completely. Since I have DR, can I do ALL of the exercises on the two DVDs with the DVD pack, or only certain ones? If so, do you say which ones are appropriate for DR? Thanks so much--I am really excited about closing this gap and getting in shape.

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  32. Katie, hi! There is a calendar that comes with the 2-pack, it will instruct you on what you can and cannot do with DR. You should test yourself every 3 weeks and see if you can progress. The core workouts are progressive, so as your core gets the integrity we add in some more difficulty to keep making the core stronger. But all together there are 2 core workouts you can do until you see progress with the DR. Hope that helps!

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  33. Hi, Lindsay! I thought my DR was closing and I had mastered the modified exercises, so I moved on to the next core workout. But now it looks like I've lost my progress and the gap went back to two fingers. Is this normal? Or do I need to go back to the DR workout? (I did it for a month) Thanks, Danny. :)

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    1. Danny, good news! 2 fingers is normal! But it wouldn't hurt to test again in 3 weeks to make sure it stays that way.

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  34. hey lindsay! been doing the DR workout and i really think it's helping. i purchased the post natal boot camp for beginners and i have a question about the calendar. day one says to do "core 1" and "workout 4" for example... so is the core 1 on the postnatal core workout and then the "workout 4" on the bootcamp part? i thought that was right but then later on there's a day when you do "workout 4 and workout 9" and the bootcamp part only has 5 parts. so, i'm just confused by which workouts are the "core" and which ones are "workout". does this makes sense??? :) i hope so....

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    2. lindsay,
      thanks for your quick reply! :)
      the thing i bought was the downloads of postnatal boot camp w/ the CFS workout included (which has intro, phase 1-3) then the other two i have are this: postnatal boot camp: 5 workouts (they all say mif: 1 Toning Intervals, etc, through mif: 5 CardioPump). it stops there. there's only 5.
      then the third thing is: core workouts 1-6 w/ the cool down and warm ups on this one.
      so, maybe i have a different package, but my thing only has the 5 workouts. which is why i was confused about the calendar. i don't have anything that goes to number 10.
      i'm not sure if i have the advanced calendar. maybe i do. i bought the beginner package and the calendar i have says "new mom- beginner" at the top.
      what do you think?
      thanks!
      dawn :)

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    3. It looks like you are missing some downloads! No wonder it was confusing. Contact Jess at themoms@momsintofitness.com and she will take care of you.

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  35. hi lindsey. im samantha. i have a 4 finger seperation. will this require surgery to fix? ive lost so much weight and its been a year and a half since my 2nd born. ive been doing exercises the last 2 days just realizing of my diastatis recti because i tested myself after not having a flat tummy being skinny again. i have no pain while doing thses exercises and my insides are feeling sore. will stomach elevators help as well?

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  36. Hey, it;s been 6 years since my last baby and I just found out I have this after watching your video. When I test it, I can put nearly 4 finger in the space. I am otherwise in pretty good shape and workout 6 times a week and do lots of crunches. Now I know that I should not do them. Is it too late to start trying to fix it? Is surgery my only option? Thank you.

    Annie

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  37. Hi Lindsay,
    Thank you for putting together workouts specifically for us, moms. I had followed your prenatal exercises all throughout my 3 pregnancies. I have developed DR ( 2.5 fingers width apart) after my last baby. I would like to purchase your workout package and would like to know which one you recommend for someone who is 6mo post partum, looking to lose around 10-15lb, have DR and don't have much time for workouts. I would say that my fitness level is moderate. I used to workout or dance 3-4 times a week but haven't been working out consistently since my second baby.

    Thanks in advance,
    Kristen

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  38. You have really given me hope to get a flat belly again :) I had DR after my first baby but didn't know it. I still looked 3 months prego even when she was 1 year. I got pregnant again soon after and am 3 months post partum. Reading the comments you mentioned hernia's. I have a bulge when I go to check my DR, I'm not sure how big the gap is since I still have weight to lose on my belly but I think it is large. Where should I start. IS that bulge a hernia? It doesn't hurt at all so am I safe to do the above video? I really want to start getting back to normal exercises but glad that I realized I needed to heal the gap first. Any advice would be good!

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    1. It sounds like you could have a small hernia. Unfortunately not something I can diagnose, you should go to your OB. Usually small hernias are just that. But bigger ones need surgery. As long as the exercise doe snot bother you I think you can do it, then confirm once you see your doc.

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    2. Thanks for the reply :) I will ask my doctor when I see him in a few weeks. So far I think the exercises have helped. I am at a two finger gap at the widest part instead of 3.

      Krissy

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  39. I have DR (3 finger shallow gap at some places, 4 finger deep gap in others) as well as a hernia. Is it possible to close the gap while having a hernia?

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    1. It is, but it also depends on the placement of the hernia and the size of the hernia. Is it a small hernia?

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  40. Lindsay,

    My 2nd baby will be 5 months tomorrow. I have DR with a 3-4 finger gap. I have lost all my baby weight, but want to tone up and correct the DR. Would beginning the Pretty Fierce workouts be a start, or would you recommend just the DR workouts before beginning those.

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    1. Pretty Fierce will be perfect for you! Do the Pretty Fierce Weight Loss series, you will tone right up and hopefully get rid of the DR. THere are DR directions all along and you will check yourself every 3 weeks.

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  41. I have a slight DR. About 2 finger widths of my small fingers 1 of my husbands big finger.I have your Boot Camp dvd and started Week 1 and but the core/Pilates section looks like it would make my DR worse. Should I skip the core section or where do you show your modifications? I can't seem to find it on the dvd.

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    1. Our Postnatal Boot Camp DVD does not contain the DR modifications, so you are correct. Email Jess at themoms@momsintofitness.com and ask for the DR modified Core Workout.

      Try this DR workout for 2-3 weeks then test yourself again. I think you will be ready to do the regular ab workouts on Postnatal Boot Camp after just a few weeks of the DR workout.

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    2. Hi Linday,
      I have been exploring your blog and am excited to think that maybe, just maybe I can get rid of this excess weight and belly that makes me look 4 months pregnant when I am not pregnant at all! I would just appreciate some clarification on which dvds are good for someone like myself with DR and umbilical hernia. I thought from the description underneath the bootcamp dvd in the shopping section that there were modifications for DR. I am just not exactly sure where to start. My last child was born in 2008, and with my hernia, I am not sure what exercises are going to help me get rid of my soft, squishy tummy!
      Thanks!
      Lyn

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    3. Lyn, hi! Does you umbilical hernia cause you discomfort? Is it small or needing surgery? I ask because a small one should not get in your way of helping the DR. Larger ones sometimes only surgery can repair.

      But it sounds like you are good to go if you are looking for exercise. Go for the Postnatal 2-Pack with Boot Camp 2 and CFS Method. It will be perfect for you! Follow the calendar and in no time you can probably move to the more advanced core workouts.

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  42. Hi Lindsay,
    I am 37 years old and have been working out regularly for about 20 years. After my first baby, I was in the best shape of my life. Since having my second baby, 20 months ago, my body is in great shape except for excess fat around my belly button. I have been suffering tremendously from bloating, pain and intestinal issues. I have been seeing a gasroenterologist for a year now and had every medical exam known to man, with no findings. Can this bloat be caused by DR? I don't seem to have more than a finger width of separation. I have been working out regularly (mixing it up with cardio,weights & abs.),with no results. My questions are 1. can these symptoms be from DR or weak muscles? 2. What can you recommend to get my stomach in shape. I'm hoping it isn't too late, and extremely discouraged and insecure.

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    1. Meredith I can hear your frustration. We will get you figured out, I promise.
      1) Do you have a hernia?
      2) Have you been tested for your gall bladder? I ask this one because I perosnally experienced what you are talking about and had my gall bladder out when #2 was 3 months old.

      Email Jess at themoms@momsintofitness.com and she will make sure we connect and get you figured out.

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  43. Hi Lindsay,
    I have 2 boys, ages 6 and 8. I have always been in good shape, and was a competitive gymnast for many years. After I had my boys, I had surgery to repair an umbilical hernia. The doctors also told me I had DR. They told me not much could be done about it. I feel self conscious at the beach because although I feel confident everywhere else, I feel my stomach protudes too much. I purchased your dvd's last year, and thought they were great but didn't notice a huge difference. I was also training for a marathon at the time. Can my gap be closed after all those years of having my children? And do I have to stick with just the DR portion of the video until my gap starts to close? I was unsure of this last year, and did not find those exercises challenging, so moved onto the harder ones right away. Maybe that was my mistake? how do I know when I can progress to the tougher tummy exercises? Thanks so much for your help! You look fantastic and I would love to get my "6 pack" abs back too :(

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  44. Hi Lindsay, I am 36 years old and have 3 year old twins. After they were born my body went right back to normal very quickly, without exercise...100 lbs with a flat tummy. I recently had another child almost 4 months ago and with this pregnancy I have DR.

    I have been using your workouts for over a month now, my gap has closed to a 2 finger separation. I know this is considered normal, but it is definitely not normal for me. When I wake up my stomach seems pretty flat but as the day goes on it seems to bulge and make me look pregnant. I have never experienced bloating before. Is this bulge due to DR? Since my gap is 2 fingers and supposedly considered normal, I have not been doing the modified workout. I'm wondering if I should continue the modified version for DR. Also wondering what the best workout for me is?

    By the way, I have never faithfully exercised before I found your videos! I love them!!

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    1. I think I just replied to you via email. Sorry for the delay in my response!

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    2. Sorry, I didn't receive email? Can you resend? Thanks

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    3. I resent to Jess, and she emailed it to you I think on 4/25.

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  45. So I just stumbled across your site and am very intrigued! I had baby #3 10 months ago and just completed the P90X program (including all their ab work which is TOUGH) but my abs don't look anything like they used to :( My stomach pre kids was very flat almost concave and super tight. Now, even after being in the best shape of my life, it seems to bulge out, especially above my belly button and I still have that little "butt" right around my belly button. I can feel a 2 finger gap so now I'm wondering if I have DR? Even after doing the hardcore P90X ab workout for the last 3 months, do you think I should go back and do basic exercises? Where do I start? What plan/workout of yours do you recommend? I feel so confused and overwhelmed but excited the potential to getting my core back exists! I was afraid it was lost forever.

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  46. Hello,
    I have 13 month old twins. I have always been pretty fit and pushed myself and ran a half marathon when the twins were 7 months old, I had a C section too!. I weigh less now than I did before the twins and I am smaller in clothes sizes. However my main issues is my stomach. It is fairly flat but i have this stubborn soft part above my belly button. It just won't budge. I had diastasis recti after the twins of about 2 fingers. I feel a little fed up. Am I able to send pics of my stomach? What would you advise. I'm from the UK. Thanks Steph

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    1. Good for you! And wow a half when the twins were 7 months old!

      You can absolultely send pics, just use the envelope icon at the top of my blog. Jess will make sure I get the pictures and we will get you figured out!

      Have you done any inner core training for the pelvic floor and transverse abdominis?

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    2. Hi Lindsey,

      I have been doing your exercises for the diastisis recti every night for around 4 weeks now. I used to do pelvic floor put stopped a few months ago as I felt that I didn't need it, I take it I'm completely wrong haha. I'll send some pics of my stomach for you. Thanks again
      Steph

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  47. Hi Lindsay,

    I've been following your workouts for the past two years since the birth of my daughter. I've progressed to your advanced workouts and generally feel strong. However, I still have a 1 finger separation that I would love to get rid of! My doctor told me that I will probably always have it. I'm otherwise happy with my abs, except for the fact that they pooch out instead of in when I contract them and they have this separation. Is there anything else that I can do?!

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    1. Cara, hi! So glad you have been with me for 2 years! 1 finger is quite normal. Email Jess by using the envelope at the top of my blog and tell me more about the pooch when you contract, she will get it to me and we will get you figured out.

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  48. Hi Lindsay,
    I am 4.5 months post partum with very bad DR - either I am measuring wrong or I can shove 7 fingers in the gap while testing. Is there hope for me? I think my DR never had a chance to heal after baby1 as baby2 was born 18months later. I eat healthy and exercise. Which dvd is best to get started? I look about 5 months pregnant right now and feel horrible.
    thanks kindly!

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  49. I just purchased the Boot Camp 2 and Pretty Fierce Weight Loss. I hope these are good for me! Been using your tiral DR workouts since I wrote last week and they are great.

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  50. Is there anyway I could send you an email asking you a question?

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    1. Sure thing! Just use the envelope icon at the top of my blog! Jess will connect us.

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  51. Hey Lindsay! I downloaded the free trial back on the 23rd having come across your site through a google search (I believe I was looking for core work and maybe how long to get rid of belly fat, something like that.) Haven't watched it yet and now I'm wondering if I chose the right trial. Last night, I looked into DR and realized I most definitely have it (4 fingers, eep!!) Well, now I know it's not belly fat, just sad muscles! (Been working out hard for the past 3+ months, lost the weight, but that tummy won't firm up. Now I know why!) Problem is, the "baby" is 6yo as of yesterday - and my oldest is 12! Think the exercises above will work for me? And should I have chosen Pretty Fierce Lean Out as my trial knowing I have DR? I'm also assuming I better cut back on the cardio portion of my LA boxing workouts - we do a lot of crunches & planks! :(

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    1. Karen, hi! Yes, you should back off those crunches and planks for now!

      No matter that baby is 6yo! It's never too late. And now that you know you have DR we can train your core the right way!

      Pretty Fierce: Weight Loss would be the best trial for you. It has all you need to help with the DR! You can signup directly for PFWL trial here http://www.momsintofitness.com/shop/pretty-fierce-weight-loss/

      Let me know if it helps!

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  52. Hi Lindsay! I have 2 boys (5 and 1.5) and I believe I have DR. I am pretty active and do quite a few different exercise videos along with running almost on a daily basis. I want to correct this before the next baby if possible. I'm trying to find the 4 workouts that you have mentioned to other ladies, but am having a hard time. Any help would be appreciated! Thanks so much!!

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    2. Thanks for the response, Lindsay! So, I tested myself again for DR and (assuming I'm doing it right!) only have 1.5-2 fingers gap. Yay! But I am going to try out your Pretty Fierce Weight Loss trial, and soon I hope to buy it. Looking forward to some fierce results ;) Thanks again.

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  53. I am in great shape after giving birth to twins 15mo ago--lost the weight, etc, but have a 1 finger diastasis. It isnt that noticable while standing, but when I do "regular" abwork, the whole belly is really rounded/doesnt stay flat...there is only a small "football" ridge when I do an extended leg ab work...so I DONT do that! Are planks a NO-NO? I hear varying things about planks and also if a one finger is actually OK to do regular work again?

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    1. Twins, congrats! Actually I think you are ok, 1-2 finger widths is quite normal. But it sounds like you need to learn to train your transverse abdominis and pelvic floor. It is your inner core, since most of us tend to "ridge/pooch" out when doing core exercises. To get a flat belly we need to pull them in from the insdie out by training the TA and PF. I think your should try Pretty Fierce: Weight Loss, the free trial gives you a 10 minute Core Workout that teaches you all of this stuff http://www.momsintofitness.com/shop/pretty-fierce-weight-loss/

      You can also try Pretty Fierce Lean Out as well, but it is a progression from the link above, so it only gives reminders on activating your TA and PF. It does not teach you how.

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  54. Hmm, couldn't reply to your post. Thanks, Lindsay! I'll give the Weight Loss trial a go. Thanks for the response! :)

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  55. Hi Lindsay! I am a mom of two little ones - a 2.5yo and a 6mo - and the first was born via cesarean, leaving me with a horrible skin "curtain" hanging over my scar. The bottom of my stomach looks like melted wax; it looks disgusting to me :(. Is there any way to fix it or get rid of it? I am pretty convinced that it will never go away :(. I am also overweight and gained a lot of weight during each pregnancy - with my first, I started at 215lbs and ended somewhere over the 260lb mark. A good portion of that was water weight, which I lost within twn days of the birth, but the rest I had to work to try to get rid of through some slight dietary improvements. With my second, I started at around 210 and ended at just over 260 again :(. I am breastfeeding, so weight loss is somewhat difficult for me (can't go at it too much or the detox affects my milk, as well as my supply, and my appetite is all over the place, leading to eating in a not-terribly-healthy way sometimes), but I know I need it badly. My knees are in pain from carrying so much weight around. I'm extremely unhappy with my body and my self-esteem and self-confidence show it, big-time. In addition to all of this, I believe I have a DR issue, because I could SEE the center of my stomach pop out hugely during my second pregnancy (can't remember whether it happened with my first as well). I've not yet found the instructions for self-testing to determine how big the gap is, but I'm sure it's still there. And overall, I have zero core strength: terrible posture, back pain, bulging stomach, issues with carrying my children around... it's not good.
    Can you help me? Please? I really want (and need) to get into better shape and to heal myself before I get pregnant with baby #3. We'd love to have more children, but my body is practically falling apart. The last few months of my second pregnant were awful - extremely painful, my back went out on me at one point, my entire pelvis was aching and repeatedly popping out of alignment despite continued visits to a chiropractor who specializes in pregnancy care, and I had several emotional breakdowns in the last month or so while waiting for my body to go into labor naturally. I don't want another miserable 3rd trimester.
    Thank you ahead of time for any advice you can offer me. I need to DO something, and you seem like someone who can point me down the right path.
    ~Amy

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    1. Amy, hi! I am so glad you asked! I think if we can start strengthening your core it will eliminate some of your issues, and help you with #3 when the time comes. And core training will help that skin, promise!

      Let's start here:
      1) Go to the Pretty Fierce Weight Loss Free Trial, click free trial under the video here http://www.momsintofitness.com/shop/pretty-fierce-weight-loss/
      2) Try Core A
      3) Try Tabata, see if you can do 10-15 minutes. If it is painful, stop.
      4) Let me know how that goes via email themoms@momsintofitness.com
      5) We have several toning workouts, which toning and cardio will get you where you want to be. We can figure out the best plan for you!

      I look forward to hearing from you!!! Sorry for the delay in my response, we were on vacation!

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  56. Hi Lindsay,

    I have your workouts for DR, but wondering if I could send you a picture to see if you think I definitely have DR or hernia. Thanks so much! Katie

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    1. I can sure try! Use the icon at the top of the blog and shoot us an email. thanks Katie!

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  57. HI! I have been checking out your site and I am very interested but not quite sure if I have DR. I can fit 2-3 fingers in above my bellybutton. I have been told I have an umbilical hernia and I am planning surgery. I am curious to know if hernias can be corrected with exercise or not and also--are DR exercises appropriate for someone with an umb hernia. I am short, 5'2" and weight maybe 125lbs. but no one would say I am heavy. I work out with medium to heavy weight. My second child was pretty big--9lbs. and I was HUGE! Thanks for any input I miss my pre baby stomach so much and I know it will never be the same but a little closer would be great.
    -Erin

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    1. Erin, hi! Good question! Hernias can only be healed through surgery...so I am guessing your 2-3 fingers is the hernia?

      What does your doctor say about core exercise with the hernia?

      Delete
  58. Hi, I have a 2 year old and I'm not sure if I have diastasis recti. I had a C-section and was afraid of working out postpartum after hearing some horror stories and I'm finally ready to get back into shape. I'm naturally small - 5'1 and 105 lbs, but my stomach is soft and nowhere near the tone it used to be. I feel like if I have diastasis recti it is very minor because I can't fit my fingers far down but it seems like there is a small indentation. Is it even possible to have DR this far postpartum or would it have healed by now? And if I strengthen my core through DR exercises will I ever be able to do regular ab exercises again or will that just put me back at square one? Thanks so much!

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  59. Hello Lindsay! I am thrilled to find your website and DVD's. I am 35, have 7 kids, and definitely have a DR as I was doing traditional situps after births before I knew any different. I went through a Tupler Technique class, and it helped some, but I am ready for some variety and your DVD's seem to offer that. I just got the original BootCamp DVD, but it doesn't mention anything regarding a DR...so I wondered if all those core workouts are safe for a DR, or if you recommend something different. You are very inspiring to me and I appreciate all you've put together.

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  60. Hello. I came across your site and happy I did. It seems really promising along with positive reviews of it working for others.

    I'm a mother of three boys. I'm 5'8 and 127lbs. I had three csections as my boys were 9+lb babies and tied my tubes after our last. Unfortunately my stomach stretched badly over the three pregnancies as they were huge. I had my last child aug of 2012. I found out in June I have DR. They're saying mines the worst they've seen (3-4) and deep. I'm in physical therapy now with diff exercises they're giving me. I hate it as it gives me a pooch especially after eating. :/ I'm tall and skinny and having this poochie deformed belly depresses me. They say if pt doesn't help surgery will be my only option which I don't want to have. I'm hoping I can try your workouts nd maybe it'll help some also. What would be best for me to try? Thanks

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  61. Hi I am almost a year postpartum with my first baby. He was big and i carried all out in front. I had a 4 finger DR and in the first 2 months got it down to 2.5 than i was stuck there for 7 months with no change. I tried the Tupler Technique which in the first 3 weeks got me down to 1 finger. It has been 6 more weeks of the Tupler Technique and No more change has happened. I hate the splint (you are supposed to wear 24/7) and am feeling disheartened by no improvement and not sure what to do. I am an acrobat (aerial silk) and am not sure when it is ok for me to begin training again, It uses so much core! I don't want to do damage to my abs or give myself a hernia. I am very aware of my body and my transverse muscle. When i lay on the floor to check my DR there is a slight push out still around my bellybutton (I am pretty certain it is not a hernia). I want so much to get back in shape and perform again, please help. What does healed feel like? Should there be no ridges anymore when I check the DR, can it really go back to 0 fingers? Can i stop wearing the splint? Do you think i can do other exercises or start to train aslong as i am keeping my transverse really engaged? Or do I need to heal the DR fully? Thank you

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    1. Aerial silk, I am so impressed! Those skills looks amazing, something I have always wanted to try!

      In my opinion, 1 finger width is "normal". I have almost a finger myself. There will be a ridge of sorts since there is connective tissue in the rectus (the outermost layer - the six pack).

      Also in my opinion you should get rid of the splint. It sounds like you are very in tune with your body and have a pretty strong core. Instead of relying on a splint, I want you to tely on your musculature since you no longer have the DR. Does that help?

      Delete
  62. Hi. I am 10 weeks pregnant with my 3rd baby. I have DR from my first two pregnancies. Over the last few years, I've done all the wrong ab workouts thinking that they would help me get my tummy back in shape. I've only just learned about the core exercises you teach to help with DR. I'm wondering what exercises I should be doing while pregnant? I know my DR will likely be worse after this pregnancy and I want to do everything to help prevent worsening DR. I may also have a hernia though I'm not sure. Thanks!

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    1. You are right - we can try to prevent a further gap, but healing it will not happen until baby #3 has arrived. And there are just a few exercises for right now:
      1) Sit down and lean back on your elbows, perform 10-12 pelvic tilts
      2) Add a kegel to #1 so it goes kegel, then tilt, perfrom 10-12
      3) From this same position - leaning back on your elbows - do 1 leg scoots. Try to think about the tilt and kegel while you do it.

      If leaning back causes any discomofort let mw know and we will re-asses!

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  63. hii.. dear lindsay..i had three c sections and my youngest baby is three months old.. and i have this DR and its abut four fingers gap :(i can do the tilt but i cannot hollow my stomach the area right after my boobs gets hollow complety but the area above my belly button doesnt move at all.. it stays there buldging out :( though a part of it i can suck it in but most of it stays there? what can i do? pls pls pls help me

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  64. Hi Lindsay, I also am a mother of 3 children. I am now 10 months post partum. I currently weigh less than I did before I got pregnant the first time, just because I ran 1-3 miles in between each pregnancy. I did have diastasis recti of 3-4 finger lengths apart but now I'm down to 1-2 finger lengths apart, by doing similar exercises to the ones you have shown in your video above. I always had an innie belly button before I ever got pregnant, but my belly button popped during each pregnancy, and now it is still half in, half out. Would this be because I still need to finish closing up this separation, or is there any other exercises that I could do to get it to go back in the whole way?? Also how can I get the loose skin on my belly to tighten up and make my chest firmer after nursing?

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    1. Well that is great you are "normal" 1-2 fingers now. Good job on the hard work. As for the belly button it is hard to say because everybody is so different. I don't have an answer for you on that:)

      I bet once you start integrating more core exercises, and a variety of core exercises, you will see the skin tighten up. But I think you have the green light to move to more advanced core exercises - as long as your doctor says the DR is gone!

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  65. Hi Lindsay... So... Since around mid-March I've been doing a combo of your Postnatal Bootcamp and CFS method exercises on average about 2-3 times a week AND weight watchers. I had a pretty serious case of Diastasis Recti because of having ginormous twins (total weight of JUST babies was 16lbs!) so yeah, my belly is pretty seriously messed up to say the least. Anyway, just saying that after working pretty hard this time, i've lost about 15 pounds and i have about 10 more to go to get to my goal, and my 4 finger gap in the DR has closed to a 2 finger gap! (YAY!!). When I started these videos, I could not even hold a regular plank (or modified) 10 seconds and now I can hold it a full 60! So, I am SUPER happy with feeling better and getting well. My problem is that I still have a pretty noticeable pouchy belly... kangaroo pouch. I mean, my legs are getting skinny, my arms are getting skinny but my belly, no matter how hard i work on it, is STILL very pouchy and has a weird jello-ish feel when i press on it (it feels weird even when I am doing a crunch or engaging the abs). What do you think I should do? Did having the really BIG twins just mess me up for life?? I mean, i DO NOT expect to have a 6 pack but it's just very depressing and discouraging to work so hard and still have a pretty sizeable belly poking out that still looks 4-5ish months preggo when the rest of your body is smaller.... BLAH.... Do i need to go to a Dr or will I just have to come to the realization that I will have to have a tummy tuck in the end??
    Thanks for any advice!
    Dawn

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    1. Dawn, yay for you on the hard work! And 16lbs of just baby!

      Check with your OB on the weird belly feeling and see what he says. Then we can look further into that.

      I would assume as you continue you will see the pooch get smaller. But let me know what the doc says about the weird feeling. And maybe we cans witch up your workout program too, add some more intensity.

      Nah, I wouldn't say surgery. I have seen so many women - even with twins - happy with their stomach after they have accomplished their weight loss goal.

      Again, congrats to you for working that core strength!!!

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  66. Hi Lindsay,

    I am 40 years old and my youngest is 14 and I have just found out that I have torn my tummy muscles or have DR from doing my excercises incorrectly.. It sounds like all this is for Mum's who have been pregnant not so long ago.. is this a normal thing that I have done? Do you hear of this regularly or am I a one off silly woman who didn't take care of her muscles properly to learn how to use them more effectively?? My tummy is quite sore.. should I try these exercises for DR..?
    Kind Regards
    Meg

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    1. Meg, hi! I think you and I were emailing…if not let em know and we can help you out!

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  67. Hi Lindsay,

    I am about 5 1/2 months post partum and discovered this morning that I have about a 1- 1 1/2 finger width gap. Should I be doing DR workouts or go to regular ab workouts?

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    1. 1 1/2 finger widths is considered normal. I would assume moving to normal core routines unless your doctor has diagnosed you with Diastasis. But it never hurts to ask your OB or healthcare professional!

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  68. Hi Lindsay,

    I have one child who is now 4 and a half. I have DR at 2-3 fingers width. I have some belly fat too but the protrusion is the biggest factor and I look about six months pregnant if I breath out. How do I know if I have a hernia though? My belly button sticks out instead of in now and feels odd like there's something invisible pushing it when I press.

    Please help. Is there any hope?

    Bonnie

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    1. Bonnie, I think the best route would be talking to your OB. Smaller hernias are hard to see, and if your belly button feels different it tells me your OB would be your best bet!

      And yes, there is hope. Let me know what your OB says and we will get you on an appropriate schedule.

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  69. HI Lindsay! I've just realized that I have DR. My youngest daughter is 15 months old and she is my 4th child. I am at about a 4 finger width separation. I'm confused where to start exercising correctly. I was doing the 30 day shred Jillian Michaels DVD but the core work there is making the DR worse. On the other hand I saw your You tube video that goes through some basic movements to help with the DR, but what else can I do to work other problem areas like muffin top and buttocks workouts?

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    1. 4 kiddos, you must be busy!

      So 4 finger widths…you should check with your OB…not trying to scare you…but get a diagnosis from him/her.

      And then you will have to modify all of your workouts. No crunches, no planks, no twisting motions. And you will need to work the inner core until the DR is better. We definitely have some core workouts like you talked about that teaches you to use your inner core while helping the DR. Here is the youtube link http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Z-WeIZmLyo4

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  70. Hi Lindsay, I just purchased Bootcamp 2. I have about 2-3 finger width separation. I'm a little confused if I can follow the calendar considering the DR. What workouts can I do and for how long until I can dive into all the other ones?

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    1. You should stick with Core 1, modified for diastasis recti until the condition is better. We recommend you do the self-test every 3 weeks to see your progress. Then you can move into Core 2, Core 3 etc.

      Hope that helps!

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  71. Hi Lindsay,
    I am 10 weeks postpartum and have a 3 finger separation. I had a medical practitioner tell me that there is no chance of closing/repairing my separation while breastfeeding. Is there any truth to that in your experience? I intend on breastfeeding for a year but am feeling very discouraged.

    Thank You.

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    1. To be honest I have never heard that breastfeeding can hinder repair of a separation. You do have more hormones while you are breastfeeding, but I otherwise have no knowledge on that.

      Did your medical practitioner recommend you exercise?

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    2. She's a physiotherapist and is extremely conservative advising me what I'm able to do. Right now I'm only allowed to be doing the elliptical and spinning. I was super fit before and during pregnancy so I'm itching to get back to running and more aggressive activities. I am ordering your bootcamp with modifications for DR. I am also getting a second opinion from a sports medicine physician, because not being able to exercise for a year while breastfeeding is not an option for me. Thanks so much for your advice and I look forward to doing your bootcamp!

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    3. Well it sounds like you are seeing the right people!

      Stick with the first 5 minutes of Core #1, as long as the physician says it's ok. The movements don't use the rectus abdominis and should be ok for DIastasis Recti. Let me know how it goes!

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    4. I got a second opinion once my practitioner told me it wouldn't heal while breastfeeding and my 3 finger gap has closed to 1 finger! I've been religiously doing your 8 minute DR video on youtube and the 5 mins of Core #1 since my DVD's arrived. I know 1 finger is considered normal, but I still feel the core instability and weakness doing certain moves. I'm extremely encouraged and will progress safely until I am doing everything again!! Thank you so much for your resources and videos - it brought me much solace when I was very discouraged. Christina

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  72. Hello Lindsay,

    I've recently came across your website after doing research on DR. I've had four pregnancies; my first being when I was 18 and my last pregnancy (when I was 26) in June of 2012. I never worked out a day in my life until I joined the Army back in 2009. I first noticed (on my own) that I had DR after basic training which was after my second child. After being released from the Army while pregnant with my third child, I stopped working out all together. It wasn't until July of 2012 that I began truly interested in health and fitness. I was doing it on my own for several months, then I sought out a personal trainer. Trained with her for 5 months (just to get the right techniques down), then I moved onto to do Crossfit. I now want a career in health and fitness and will begin school here shortly. BUT, I do feel limited when it comes to reaching my full fitness potential due to having DR. I've been doing regular core exercises for a year now, and granted my stomach has gone down in size the pouch is still there around my belly button. I just went for a CT scan today to see if I have an umbilical hernia, although I have a feeling I don't have one. My questions for you are, 1) Is it too late to heal my DR ? My youngest is 1.5 years old. I have a 3 finger gap. 2.) Does the towel exercise work? Where you wrap a towel around your abdomen and while lifting your head to do a crunch you also pull the ends of the towel in order to squeeze your abdomen? 3) Is there anyway that I can purchase JUST your core exercises for DR? I've tried looking for the free videos, although they seemed to have been taken down or something. I have started doing the exercises in the video above the past few days. Also, could I as leg weights to the exercise? Would that help strengthen the transverse abdominals?

    Thank you in advance for taking time out of your day to answer my questions. :)

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    1. I love hearing about your fitness journey!!!

      1) Never too late
      2) As long as you rely on the towel and not your abs. Although I would say there are better exercise modifications.
      3) Boot Camp 2 had core modifications for DR. We are also releasing a new Interval Workout DVD with the above 8 Core Exercises workout. Also found here http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Z-WeIZmLyo4.

      But you are really fit so I might recommend modifying everything and using the core exercise modifications in the above video until it is better. So until it is healed, no more crunches-planks-twisiting-pushups etc!

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  73. Hi! I stumbled on your website and great information on DR. I had baby #3 three months ago and realized I had DR after baby #2 just 18 months ago. SO... it never healed and we were (surprised) with pregnancy #3. The separation is at least 3 fingers. I would love to try to heal this without surgery.
    My questions: 1. What would you recommend for me? I'm sorry, but I'm confused after looking on the site and seeing different videos that are offered. What should I start with to heal DR? I love to work out and have at least 20 pounds to lose as well as my pooch :) 2. This is the first I've heard about a hernia and to watch out for that... how do I know if I have one? 3. Wearing a band during the day/exercising/or at night seems to feel good, but is it helpful? I see conflicting information online about it. And, is there a certain kind I should get?
    Thanks so much for all your help. I am looking forward to starting one of your programs!!
    Lori

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    1. Hey Lori! I am assuming you are no longer pregnant…right?!?!

      1) Our Postnatal Programs offer modifications for Diastasis Recti since crunches and traditional ab training make it worse. We have some core exercises that do not work the rectus, where the separation occurs.
      2) Hernias, you should ask your doc! They have nothing to do with one another, but some women think they have DR and it is a hernia.
      3) If it feels good I say wear it. But do not depend on it, as your muscles tend to use it as a crutch. Maybe wear it until the DR is healed.

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  74. Hi Lindsay,

    I purchased your Post-Natal Boot Camp DVD for beginners. I was checked by my NP 6 weeks after my c-section and she stated that I do not have diastasis recti. However, I myself feel a 2-3 finger gap, along with a bulge in my entire lower abdomen (that becomes worse in the evenings). I am now 4 months post partum and am back to my pre-pregnancy weight. I am 106 lbs and 5'6", so this protrusion in my abdomen is very unflattering (especially when my tummy was flat as a board before my pregnancy). I also feel like the exercises I am doing may be making it a bit worse. What should I be utilizing and/or staying away from in the DVD's I purchased? My boot camp DVD came with the CFS Method as well.

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    1. Andrea, hi! It might not hurt to get another evaluation from your NP or doc, I would recommend it. Also have them check for a hernia.

      Stick with CFS Phase 1 (although skip the plank in phase 1). Then let me know what the doc says and we can go from there!

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    2. Hi Lindsay,

      I was checked by a general surgeon for a hernia today, and he could not find one after performing an ultrasound. He believes it is diastasis that has left the right side of my adbominal muscles more pooched out than the left. :( What would you recommend as for me to do at this point on? If there are DVD's that you have created that would better suit my needs, please let me know so that I may purchase them. Thanks for your time and responses!

      Andrea

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    3. Andrea, hi! Ok, I can recommend our Diastasis Modified Core workouts. Do not perform the core workouts on Postnatal Boot Camp until the DR is healed. You can do the CFS Method Phase 1 (if you purchased the Postnatal Boot Camp 2-pack) or there is a new core modified workout on our Postnatal Slimdown (coming late Dec 2013). The workout you would need from the SlimDown is on youtube:
      http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Z-WeIZmLyo4

      Keep me posted!

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  75. Hi lindsay,
    I actually bought boot camp 2 in june through ur Mif App in my android phone, so wat are the workoutss that im supposed to do from that series, since I have a DR? and also I am not able to download core #1 from the app even after trying for umpteen number of times....what could be the reason? Can u plz do something about it? Thanks in advance

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    1. Core #1 should be working now! Sorry about that. It was actually my fault as I updated some Diastasis recommendations in that workout and forgot to update the app side!

      Stick with Core #1 until your DR is healed.

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  76. I have an umblical hernia+diastisis recti.Is it safe to do diasis recti exercises when I have hernia?

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    1. It depends on the size of the hernia…what does your doctor say?

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    2. Hernia is big that's what my doctor said.

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    3. I wish I had an answer for you but I would recommend asking your doctor if it is ok to exercise.

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  77. Hi, Lindsay! Baby #3 was born 6 weeks ago via c-section. I really enjoyed your pregnancy workouts and am now eager to get my core back in shape. After my second child was born I had a 2 finger DR. I was in PT to correct it and did so successfully. My doctor has cleared me for light exercise now. Unfortunately I now have a more severe DR of 3 fingers. My incision area is still a little tender but mostly feeling good. Where do you recommend I start (is what workouts?) And is it too soon? My core feels so weak right now. My lower back hurts and my upper back hurts too from hunching over while breastfeeding. Looking forward to hearing from you!

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    1. Rachel, congrats on the new baby! And you are so right, exercise will eliminate that back pain, usually. I think (in regards to core diastasis modifications) you can start with this core workout:
      http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Z-WeIZmLyo4

      It is from our new Postnatal Slimdown DVD, shipping out late December!

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  78. I need a little help deciding which workout to order. I am almost 18 months post partum on my 3rd and I've got back in really great shape from doing P90X (I'm now in a modified maitenance version of this plan) and I run about 10 miles per week. I want to keep those up for cardio and lifting, but I still have this lower pooch that won't budge (I used to have the flatest stomach EVER before kids). Is there a core/ab DVD that does not include all the other workout stuff, just focuses on the post baby core and get those TA muscles in high gear? I know that's the key to my success but I have yet to find a good plan that really seems to work, that isn't super long (I already workout about 60 minutes a day) so I need something quick and easy I can slip into my existing workout plan.

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    1. So glad you have gotten into really good shape after #3, yay!

      I would recommend one of two DVDs for you, both work progressively whether you have diastasis recti or not (not sure from your post if you have DR):
      CFS Method - sold on Amazon as a single DVD
      Postnatal SlimDown - there are 5 progressive core workouts (plus some HIIT, toning workouts when you are short on time and need a quick fix)

      I hope this helps!

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  79. Lindsay, I think you are the answer I've been searching for! (This is a long post, so grab a snack, ha!) Our stories are somewhat similar...we tried for several years to get prego, went through miscarriages, failed IUI's, failed IVF, then a spontaneous pregnancy with our first born...20 months later our second...22 months later our third! I've never been much of an exerciser, until I had some rough pregnancies (I had kidney stones and stent surgeries with two) and big babies, then promised myself that I wanted to get in shape so I could feel good again! I'm a little disappointed in my OB because when I had my annual recently, I expressed my concerns about my protruding belly and how I am so self conscious about it (I still look 5 months preg). She sort of blew it off and said that because of my stature, the size of my babies, and how I carried them, I will never get rid of the pouch and if I wanted to get my core stronger, just do lots of planks....So, I've been doing planks, along with zumba and various dvd's, and of course I feel that my belly has gotten worse. Now I know why! I would love to send you a pic of my belly so you can tell me if you've worked with anyone that has had success with a belly like mine. I'm 5'3, about 114 pounds. I had our last baby 18 months ago, and had about a 3-4 finger gap a few months after she was born. It is now about 2. Once I found your website, and a couple other articles I googled, I stopped the planks, got checked for a hernia, and am ready for a change! (I do not have a hernia.) I'd love any kind of feedback on what kind of a routine I should start with, and how to keep up my other workouts so that I still get some cardio in and can keep my upper body strength since I'm now learning that push ups are a no-no as well. I have also stopped going to zumba because I realized that we do all kinds of twists, crunches, and pelvic movements that I shouldn't do. I am so so thankful that you actually take the time to talk with your readers and genuinely want to help them!! You are the first resource I have found, after hours and hours of searching, that seems to truly want to help women with diastis! Thank you, and sorry for the long post!

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    1. kj, wow! what a great success story! and 3 babies later!

      grrrr...i feel for you on your core issue! and i have the greatest thing ever for you...our new postnatal slimdown dvd (shipping out dec 31st) would be perfect. you would follow amy who does all the diastasis recti modifications i.e. no planks, no pushups no crunches etc. and there is a diastasis friendly core workout that works your inner core, not the rectus abdominis which can worsen the condition.

      look back on the blog tomorrow (friday) - there is a steal for free shipping + free digital copy!

      and yes! feel free to send a picture to themoms@momsintofitness.com!

      Delete
  80. What do you suggest for my Lindsay? Does this advice apply to me also or just to kj? Help!

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    1. I am so sorry, I don't know how I missed your earlier post:( But I just answered it above!

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  81. Hey Lindsay!
    I have DR and a hernia...just had my second baby. I got DR and the hernia with my first baby. I will have to have surgery to repair the hernia after I am dkne done having kids. I want to order a set od your dvds but am not sure which to get. I like intense workouts, as I ran in college and enjoy a good sweat. Which would give me that, but also provide to necessary mods for DR? Thanks so much!

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    1. I would either say the Postnatal SlimDown or Pretty Fierce Weight Loss, both are great for diastasis. I am assuming your hernia is not bothersome and your doc says it is ok to exercise?

      You can try Pretty Fierce here http://www.momsintofitness.com/shop/pretty-fierce-weight-loss/

      Just click Free Trial. Not sure how new your baby is, so you may want to start with Postnatal Slimdown (shipping Dec 31st). Both have great intensities!

      Delete
  82. Ps..I desperately want my tummy to be flat again, so please help! I already signed up for the freework outs and the hernia had has never caused me pain.

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    1. I would recommend Postnatal SlimDown. It will modify exercises for diastasis recti, and as long as your doctor says it's ok to exercise with your hernia, it will be perfect!

      Delete
  83. Hi there,

    I am hoping you can help. I have a 3 finger diastasis since Baby #2 (now 4.5 months old) which was about 1cm after my first baby. I have been seeing a women's health physiotherapist and doing recommended exercises daily since 6 weeks PP; only the muscle strength has improved but not the diastisis. She has since referred me to a specialist who I will see in a month. I have been wearing a splint for a few weeks as much as I can but no change still :( Is there any hope for me or do I just need to be more persistent? Am getting lower back pain now and it really impacts my ability to do normal things. Can you help? TIA :)

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    1. I am so sorry you are getting low back pain, that can really hinder your daily life! Is there any other issue, like a hernia?

      Persistence with diastasis recti is best. I have seen women get better in 2 weeks and a few more severe cases in 4 months.

      Try this diastasis recti modified workout for the next week and see if it hurts or helps. And let me know what your specialist says!
      http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Z-WeIZmLyo4

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  84. I have 2.3 fingers diastasis. I think I'm making it worst, how I don't know but I have been stuck at this width of diastasis for six month. I think me stomach vacuuming worsened it. I have your boot camp 2 DVD but I think I'm doing something wrong because it is not closing. Should I do the cardio and toning section, the core workout, do I do everything.... Pls help me..

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    1. Hey there! Stick with Core 1 on Boot Camp 2 since it has the diastasis modifications. Stay away from planks and pushups within the workout.

      Do you have a hernia? It could be the cause of no improvement. What does your doctor say about your diastasis?

      Delete
  85. Hi! When we close our DR can we get back to standard crunches or it will make a new DR? And do you think that only doing this workout will close it or we have to ware Tupler splint or something like that? Thanks!

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    1. Jasmina, hi! The diastasis is usually cause by intra-abdominal pressure. So doing standard ab work should not create the diastasis again. Depending on what your doctor says you should be able to go back to "traditional" workouts!

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  86. Hi Lindsay,

    I have DR after three kids and was working on it by following the CFS method and doing the CMJ workout. Now I am pregnant again, 10 weeks, and bought your pregnancy DVDs. The instructions say not to do the core exercises including crunches, planks and push ups. My DR is not healed yet but why couldn't I continue to try and heal it and do the crunches and other core exercises in the CFS method? How will my pelvic floor get stronger for childbirth and won't the DR be worse after my next delivery if I avoid core exercises? I appreciate your advice. Thanks. ~ ACW

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    1. That is a very, very good question. While in your first trimester you should be ok to continue the CFS Method. But after your first trimester you should not lie on your back. Our 2nd trimester core exercises have you upright - but they will be activating your rectus abdomens (since you are sitting at an angle) and that can worsen DR.

      Run it by your OB and see what he/she recommends, their opinion will supersede mine.

      And congrats!

      Delete
  87. Hi Lindsay,

    I am 12 weeks postpartum and itching to get back to working out, however, I'm afraid of doing regular core work just yet in case my abs haven't fully healed. I have a 1.5 finger width separation....is that close enough together to be considered "healed?" Or should I continue doing modified ab work? Thank you so much for your reply!! I love your blog :)

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    1. 12 week precious baby, I want one:)

      Sounds like you should be good to go!

      Delete
  88. Hi Lindsay,

    I have an 8 month old little girl, and am starting to get into working out again. I have a smell fleshy bulge above my belly button whenever I do a crunch. I have done the finger test, and cannot even fit one finger. Would DR cause the bulge? Or is it just fat?

    Thank you!

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    1. If you cannot fit a finger I do not think it is DR. Have you been checked for a hernia? Otherwise it can just be loose muscles and extra fat that pregnancies leave us with.

      Delete
  89. Lindsay,
    I just found out I'm expecting #4. I've healed from my previous pregnancies, but wondering if I should/can continue doing ab work to PREVENT diastisis? I have your CFS method and that seems very gentle and maybe a good option to do during pregnancy? Any thoughts are much appreciated.

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    1. So glad you asked! That is a very, very good question. While in your first trimester you should be ok to continue the CFS Method. But after your first trimester you should not lie on your back.

      Continue to self test for the condition as your pregnancy progresses. You may not get it again or it may not occur until late in the pregnancy (and then you should not do any core exercise). Run it by your OB and see what he/she recommends, their opinion will supersede mine.

      Delete
  90. Hi Lindsay,

    I had my 4th child last April. I have had about a 2 finger gap in my stomach, but I also have been doing some of your core workouts. It has gone to a 1 finger gap and I feel that it is on its way of healing! I am back down to my pre pregnancy weight of 106, so I am not concerned with really losing any more weight, but I do have this "pooch" in my lower abdomen as well.

    My question is, once the diastasis has healed, how long does it take to get rid of this pooch? Do I keep doing the core workouts? I am trying to be hopeful that I will be able to get rid of it one day but it's hard to be when the pooch doesn't seem to budge! Are there specific workouts I should be doing and does it usually take awhile for the pooch to go away? I still probably have a little time before the diastasis is completely healed, I just was wondering what specific things to keep doing to really work that pooch too. I feel I am pretty healthy so I am just at a loss. I guess I should be patient :)

    Thanks for taking the time to share so much information about this condition! I had no idea what was wrong with me until I stumbled upon your sight. I appreciate your reply! Thanks! Laura

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    1. Laura, that is fantastic! Yay!

      Actually I think you are ok treating your core with "normal" core workouts (under 2 finger widths is considered normal). And if you doctor thinks the DR is gone, then it is time to challenge your core with a little more intensity.

      BUT make sure you use all those inner core muscles - just like you have learned to do - with any new exercises you add. What are you wanting to do? Most of our programs progress the core (core a,b,c etc.) so you don't throw too much at it at once.

      Delete
    2. So how do you know for sure that your diastasis is completely healed if 1-2 fingers is normal? Mine has gotten to about 1 finger, but about 1.5 right where my belly button is. Also, if I am standing and I lean back, my stomach still "cones" up so it still doesn't look normal. Does that mean I still have it? I noticed that coning in my 2nd pregnancy. I have been doing your core #1 repair. How do you know you have mastered it and are you supposed to do that every other day? I was doing it every day.

      I have your postnatal boot camps and I just received your postnatal slimdown. With 4 little ones under 6, I have limited time obviously so 15-20 min is probably my max for a day. I am motivated and excited to try your new dvd!

      What do you recommend on the postnatal slimdown for a typical day or week? Are you supposed to try and do the total body workout and the cardio as well as the core repair all in one day if you want or do you switch them up on different days. My main goal is to make sure the diastasis is healed and then work on getting rid of this extra skin and pooch I've got! Will this dvd be the best for that or should I try one of your other dvds?

      Sorry for all the questions. I do appreciate your time greatly!! It is SOOO helpful.

      Delete
    3. I wouldn't worry much about the coning. If you crunch up and only fit 1 finger, you should be fine! I have almost 1 finger myself. But a doctor's diagnosis trumps all!

      Slimdown is definitely for you right now! Quick and efficient. There is a calendar for the Slimdown, did you get a chance to go to the url on the disc? It will send you an email with a printable calendar and 1 you can download to your mobile calendar.

      If you haven't had a chance here is the url www.momsintofitness.com/postnatal3

      Delete
    4. Lindsay, you are the bomb for responding to all of our questions!! THANK YOU for taking the time! I am loving your postnatal slimdown! The calendar on my phone is so great and helpful on when to move on to the next session.
      THANK YOU again!

      Delete
  91. If exercises with the outer ab layer can cause DR, should people always avoid exercising those muscles? Even if they don't have DR? I have even seen it in men and my husband and I are wondering when it is ever helpful to workout those other ab muscles. Also, I am 19 weeks pregnant with my 1st. I do not ha e DR but I am afraid if I do planks and crunches and stuff like that (even the ones on ur 2nd trimester videos) I will cause DR. Should I only do the TvA exercises?

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    1. April, hi! Diastasis is only cause by intra abdominal pressure i.e. pregnancy. In most cases you cannot cause DR by doing ab exercises - you can only make it worse doing ab exercises if you already have it. Does that make sense?

      A preventative measure is strong ab muscles, but anybody can get it.

      Delete
  92. Thanks for all this wonderful info. I've got three girls (13, 9, 4). I'm 31 and average weight and height. Thankfully I don't have DR but want to tone everything up. My question is how often should I do the exercises? Is every day OK or should I let the muscles rest and repair for 48 hrs like other muscles? Thanks so much! Also I'm going to be ordering your Boot Camp - excited for it to get here!

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    1. Hey Vanessa! If your goal is weight loss I recommend 5 days/week. But if you are just looking to tone up - which sounds like it in your message - 3-4x/week is sufficient.

      It depends on the program but training the same muscle group should happen every 48 hours. Some programs are broken into upper and lower body so you can do toning everyday. My Boot Camp DVD is total body workouts, so I recommend Days 1, 3 and 5 with cardio on days 2 and/or 4. Enjoy!

      Delete
  93. Hi Lindsay... I have DR and just started the Postnatal Slimdown (4 days/ week)... I was wondering if I could (or should) work out my abs every day doing the DR exercises? And would this help repair the DR quicker? Or should I keep it to 4 days a week?

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    1. Gina, hi! I hope you are enjoying SlimDown! Yes, I would keep it to 4 days per week. But you can always do standing TA activation (pulling your belly button in) and all the postural cues on a daily basis. SOmetimes that is the hardest part! Took me months to train my core properly!

      Delete
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  95. Hi, I am 44 and had my little girl in November 2013. I exercise regularly and back to my pre pregnancy weight except for a few pounds. I asked the midwife to check my tummy after giving birth as I had a separation after giving birth to twins ten years ago.I wasn't given any info on it back then but assuming it went back itself quickly as I did get my flat tummy back and cant remember doing anything different exercise wise. I was almost four cms separated this time. I am now 1 cm I think. My physio told me to do planks??? Can I now do normal ab workout or should I still be avoiding planks, crunches etc with a 1cm gap? One very confused and frustrated mam desperate to get her flat tummy back!

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    1. I would also like to add that I have downloaded your first workout that was emailed to me and started doing it, I can actually feel my tummy muscles engaging again!!! I wish I had found this earlier, but how do I get core 2, 3 etc? Am I ok to start these with a 1cm gap? I am in the UK. Thank you.

      Delete
    2. Hi there! Well I am so glad you found us! And yes, if your physio recommended moving onto traditional ab work I think you are ok. Diastasis Recti is defined as 2 or more finger widths…and it sounds like you are below 2 finger widths.

      Progress your core in a healthy way i.e. don't go directly to 2 minute planks and plank jumps! You can find Core 2and Core 3 on our Postnatal SlimDown DVD or the download. The downloads are available in our app and the DVD is available on our website www.momsintofitness.com or Amazon (or Target, but you are in the UK.)

      Keep me posted on your progress!

      Delete
  96. I am going to order from amazon, if they do it on uk amazon that is. Going to stick with your free download for next three weeks though as I can feel it deep in my tummy working. So just to be on safe side will hang on before jumping to the next levels. I am doing your workout every other day combined with an hours walk minimum daily with baby and some pilates stretches, . I have never felt or looked fitter I think haha

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  97. Hi Lindsay! I am THRILLED to have found you!!

    I have 2 sets of awesome twins via IVF. 7 yo twins were 7 lb 6 oz and 6 lb 13 oz, and I carried them straight out in front like a giant protruding watermelon. 3 yo twins were 5 lb 14 oz each, and I carried them the same way. My abdomen is complete mush! I had 10 looong weeks of strict bedrest at the end of each preg, so my entire body got pretty weak. I have a huge DR with a 6-finger separation. I also have an umbilical hernia, which does not cause pain. I still have 25 lbs extra weight around my middle that I am desparate to lose (have not tried hard until recently). I have been running on the treadmill for the past couple months, so I am in overall decent shape now, but my core is very weak, and these extra pounds need to go.

    My OB said I would need a tummy tuck to fix the DR, and I am excited to think I might be able to firm it up with your exercises instead! I don't have time or desire to recover from a tummy tuck!

    I have ordered your PF Weight Loss and started your DR core exercises from online. I am so psyched to see results soon! My 2 questions are:

    With this huge of a DR, is it ok for me to do the PF Weight Loss 5 d/wk as long as I stick to the DR restrictions? And secondly, is it beneficial to do the DR core exercises twice daily (am and pm)?

    Thanks SO much!! Lisa

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    1. Wow, Lisa! 2 sets of twins. One of my IVF friends has 2 sets as well, so unique and fun!

      In regards to the core exercises, with the 6 finger width separation you need to adhere to what your doctor recommends. Did he/she say it was ok to exercise? Shoot me an email via themoms@momsintofitness.com and let me know what he/she said in regards to exercise.

      P.S. I love your energy…it even comes through in your typing!

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  99. Hi Lindsay!
    I just found you online yesterday through lots of google searches trying to figure out what's wrong with my tummy. I've spent hours and hours reading and watching your videos and you've been so helpful so far! I had my 2nd baby 9 months ago and am back to my pre-pregnancy weight and body fat %, but my tummy will just not go flat. The top half is fine, but when it gets closer to my belly button it bulges and looks like I'm a few months pregnant. I do have a small umbilical hernia, it's not big or painful, but I can't have that fixed until I'm done w/ kids. I've done the DR test and I have a 2 finger gap. I always thought that was normal so I started doing ab exercises right away after having my baby. I've started noticing my abs pitch out like a tent in a lot of the ab exercises I do. My outer abs are strong, but because my tummy is pooched I've started wondering if maybe I need to focus on strengthening my inner core muscles in order to pull that pooch in??? I'm wondering if I strengthened my outer abs outward instead of inward if that makes sense.

    What would you recommend? Should I start doing your 8 core exercises with the DR modifications until I have a 1 finger gap? Also, that video doesn't say how often you should do those core exercises. Like the woman above, I have the same question - is it beneficial to do them every day or even twice a day? Or should I only be doing them every other day like I've seen you say in some of your other ab videos?

    Any guidance you have for me would be very much appreciated. I'm bound and determined to have a flat tummy again!!! Thank you!! Colette

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    1. Hey Colette!

      I definitely think you can benefit from training your inner core. That cone shape happens quite a lot, and you are so right, you are using the outer rectus abdomens when that happens. But the goal is to have the rectus, transverse and obliques all work together.

      Those 8 core exercises are ok to do more often, maybe 4-5x/week. Doing them twice a day could undo the integrity by overtraining.

      But you can always perform the kegels and the transverse activation (think next time you are sitting in the car about saying hut - breathe normally). Eventually a lot of this will become habit…it took me about 3 months to get my act together:)

      Delete
  100. So I have been doing the CSF Phase 1 and the Core 1 every other day for 3 weeks and I have gone from 3 fingers (and crooked..one side higher than the other, is that weird?) to a bit less than 2. (And lost almost 2 inches!). Now, I want to move on to Core 2, but it seems that the gap is not as closed up higher near my rib cage (more like 3 still), but is closed more near and below my belly button. Should I move on or should I focus more on tightening the upper part? also, although the gap is narrower lower down, it still seems rather deep. Have I perhaps done the exercises wrong by not concentrating enough on my upper abs when I pull in?

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    1. Rebecca, hi! Yay for you!

      So it sound alike you need some individual attention from a physiotherapist or physical therapist. The crooked recti and gap up higher aren't totally "abnormal" but I think some special attention looking at your posture and muscles could really, really help!

      Delete
  101. I can't find the calendar for postnatal slim down. Help

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    1. Email Jess at themoms@momsintofitness.com and let her know if you want the printable calendar or mobile device calendar. I am unsure if you got the workouts via digital or DVD, so Jess will help you. Enjoy!

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  102. Hi Lindsay, I gave the CFS method DVD right now, but I was wondering how often I can do these exercises? Can I do them daily? Or is that too much?

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    1. I usually recommend every other day. Phase 1 could be 4-5x/week. I hope that helps!

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  103. Hi Lindsay,

    I am so thankful I came across your site, the information on DR is so helpful. And hard to find elsewhere.

    I was wondering, where do I start? I am fit and exercise on a regular basis, but I do have a 3 finger DR and have been avoiding all stomach exercise until I was educated on how to properly fix the DR first.

    Should I start with your CFS method dvd? Or find a work out on your site? Just wondering where I should begin?

    Thanks!!

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