Diastasis recti is an all-too-common problem that affects both women and men. The condition can be caused by internal pressure on the front of your abdomen around your belly button as a result of obesity or pregnancy, causing the connective tissue in your abdomen to separate or weaken. Certain exercises can often mitigate or correct the problem. Talk to your doctor if you notice pain or a bulge in your abdomen.
This exercise is recommended by certified athletic trainer Lisa Stone, and is performed by lying down with both legs bent at about a 90-degree angle with the soles of both of your feet flat on the floor. Put both hands on your lower stomach around your belly button, and be sure that the fingers of both of your hands are pointing down toward your genitals. Breathe out and use a slow and controlled motion to lift your head and shoulders off the ground while pressing down on your lower abdomen with your hands and fingers. Repeat as directed by your physician.
A study published in 2005 in the "Journal of Women's Health Physical Therapy" noted that exercise can help treat diastasis recti by strengthening the affected muscles, making it harder to separate the muscular tissue. Begin by lying down on the ground on your back with both legs bent and both feet flat on the floor. Tighten the muscles of your lower abdomen and lift your hips off the floor. Perform 10 repetitions, or as directed by your doctor or therapist.
Lie down with both legs bent and both feet flat on the floor. Breathe in and slowly begin to exhale while simultaneously straightening one leg and sliding it down on the floor. Use the muscles of your lower abdomen to help stabilize your straightened leg. Extend your leg as far as possible without serious pain, then inhale and return to the starting position. Repeat using both legs.