Postpartum Abs + Core (Diastasis Recti Exercises)
The BEST advanced postpartum ab exercises for diastasis recti. Add this to your workout routine to repair abdominal separation after pregnancy, strengthen the pelvic floor, and build core strength. This postpartum workout uses a resistance band to target the deep core muscles, but you can perform the moves with just your bodyweight if you don’t have one available.
Mastered our Beginner Resistance Band Postpartum Workout? Then it’s time to scale it up to this ADVANCED version!
This is the third installment of our Advanced Diastasis Recti Workout Videos. So far we’ve shared an advanced bodyweight workout and advanced pilates ball workout and you’ve asked for more.
Today’s workout adds in a resistance band to increase tension and strengthen the core post pregnancy. This is one of my favorite tools to help make the mind-muscle connection necessary to start repairing diastasis recti.
Don’t have a resistance band? You can substitute a throw towel or perform the moves with just your bodyweight.
Download Our Free Postpartum Workout Plan
Safely return to exercise after baby with our FREE postpartum workout plan. Whether you’re 6 weeks, 6 months or 6 years postpartum, these are the best workouts for rebuilding strength after baby.
Postpartum Ab Exercises FAQs
Diastasis recti is common in women who have experienced pregnancy. Diastasis recti occurs when the rectus abdominis muscles (six-pack ab muscles) and linea alba (connective tissue) separate as your belly grows during pregnancy. This abdominal separation can range from mild to severe.
Every postpartum healing experience is different. Talk to your doctor or midwife for medical clearance before returning to exercise after giving birth, especially if you had any complications. I personally started doing the beginner version of exercises like this one around 2 weeks postpartum and scaled up to the advanced version a few weeks later. Start where you are and do what you can!
A combination of strength training, low impact cardio (such as walking), and safe core exercises. The best postpartum ab workouts repair diastasis recti (or ab separation) by strengthening the deep abdominal muscles that wrap around the torso like a corset. Start with transverse abdominal breathing (TA breathing) and progress from there.
If it’s an option available to you, I recommend this to everyone who’s been through a pregnancy. I learned so much about my body from my sessions with Dr. Sari (Motion MN). Other reasons to see a pelvic floor PT include symptoms like bladder control/urinary incontinence or fecal incontinence, urinary or fecal urgency, heaviness/pressure, pain or fear with return to intercourse, constipation or issues with bowel movements, or just wanting guidance with return to exercise and strengthening your core.
10-Minute Advanced Postpartum Ab Workout with Resistance Band
Strengthen and tone your abs after pregnancy with these postpartum abdominal exercises.
These resistance band ab exercises are specifically designed to heal diastasis recti, strengthen the pelvic floor and glutes, and rebuild your core muscles after baby. That said, these are great resistance band exercises for everyone.
Add this diastasis recti workout to your postpartum workout routine as you feel capable, starting with 1-2 times a week and scaling up to 3-4 times a week. I recommend alternating this workout with our other diastasis recti workouts videos to avoid workout boredom.
A long loop resistance band. You can use just your bodyweight if you don’t have a band available.
Note: for today’s workout, we’ll anchor the resistance band around a stable object, like a pillar or pole. The end of a staircase or a secure door handle works great. Use what you have available!
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I love adding a long loop resistance band to postpartum workouts to increase tension and build core strength.
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Follow along with the guided Advanced Postpartum Resistance Band Ab Workout on YouTube, led by certified personal trainer and certified postnatal fitness instructor, Lindsey Bomgren.
Your Workout Looks Like This:
- 5 Advanced Resistance Band Exercises for Diastasis Recti
- Timed Intervals (40 seconds of work, 20 seconds rest; complete as many reps as you can in the timed interval)
- Repeat Each Exercise x2 (back to back — see if you can increase the intensity on the second set)
- Glute Bridge and Band Pull Down
- Modified Side Plank and Back Row
- Lateral Lunge and Knee Drive
- Overhead Lunges
- Overhead Oblique Pull
5 Advanced Postpartum Ab Exercises With A Resistance Band
Glute Bridge and Band Pull Down
Targets: Glutes, hamstrings, hips, core and pelvic floor.
How To Do A Glute Bridge and Band Pull Down
- Anchor the resistance band on a solid object. Lay on the floor so your head is near the anchored resistance band.
- Lie flat on your back, feet planted under knees. Raise both hands straight overhead, stacked above your shoulders, and grasp the resistance band.
- Press through your heels to lift your glutes off the mat, squeezing your glutes as you lift. As you lift upwards, pull your arms down towards your thighs, creating tension with the resistance band.
- Exhale, slowly lowering your hips to hover an inch above the mat and releasing tension on the band as your arms return to overhead.
Modified Side Plank and Back Row
Targets: Obliques (muscles along the sides of your torso), lower abs, outer glutes (gluteus medius), and hip flexors.
How To Do A Modified Side Plank and Back Row
- Anchor the resistance band on a solid object. Lay on your right side, facing the band.
- Start in a modified side plank or knee down side plank on the right side. Right forearm on the mat, right shoulder stacked over right elbow and right knee on the ground. Grasp the band with your left hand.
- Pull your belly button towards your spine to engage your abs, then lift your hips off the mat, floating your top (left) leg off the mat. Hold at the top, thinking about pressing your bottom knee into the mat to engage your glutes.
- Inhale, releasing tension on the band as you extend your left arm away from the body.
- Then exhale, pulling your left elbow towards your ribcage, squeezing your back muscles to pull the band towards your body.
Modification: Rest your left toes on the mat if floating the top leg is too intense.
Lateral Lunge and Knee Drive
Targets: Gluteus medius (the outer part of your butt used for side-to-side movements), quads, hamstrings, hip adductors and abductors, hip flexors, calves and core.
How To Do A Lateral Lunge and Knee Drive
- Anchor the resistance band around a solid object. Step inside the resistance band so it is looped around your hips.
- Step your right leg out to the side as you push your hips back, bending your right knee while leaving your left leg straight. Think of performing a single leg squat with your right leg while your left leg remains straight. Knees and toes are pointing forward.
- Then, drive off your right foot to reverse the movement, exploding back up to center. Drive your right knee up, forming a 90-degree angle. Balance on your left foot and hold for a breath.
- Then repeat, stepping out with your right foot to perform another lateral lunge.
Targets: Deep transverse abdominal muscles (TVA), pelvic floor, glutes, quads, lower abs, obliques and shoulders.
How To Do Overhead Lunges
- Anchor the resistance band around a solid object. Face away from the anchor.
- Start standing, feet shoulder width apart, holding a resistance band with both hands, palms facing out away from your body. Raise your arms so both hands are extended overhead, stacked over your shoulders.
- Brace your core, keeping a long neutral spine and taking care not to let your ribs flare out, as you step your right leg out in front of you. Lower down so that the right thigh is parallel to the ground, 90-degree bends in both knees.
- Exhale, pushing off your right heel to return to standing.
- Inhale, stepping your left leg out in front of you and lowering into a lunge.
- Exhale, pushing off your left heel to return to starting position.
Overhead Oblique Pull
Targets: Obliques (along the sides of your core), upper abs, lower abs, pelvic floor, transverse abs, and shoulders.
How To Do An Overhead Oblique Pull
- Anchor the resistance band around a solid object. Stand to the right of the anchor (so your left hip is closest to the resistance band).
- Start standing, feet shoulder width apart, resistance band clasped between your hands. Extend your arms straight overhead. Think about decreasing the air between your ribs and hips to reduce rib flare.
- Inhale, letting the belly expand, keeping some slack in the band.
- Exhale, squeezing through the muscles on the right side of your body to pull the band towards the top right corner of the room, over your right shoulder.
- Inhale, releasing tension on the band as you bring your arms back overhead, returning to starting position.
Pin This Workout: 5 Postpartum Belly Exercises with Band
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