Hi! Are you looking for a Diastasis Recti Exercise Program that will help you heal at home? Welcome to my review of the top three programs out there. After I had my second baby Hazel, my core was in unbelievably bad shape. I had a 4 finger separation between my abdominals and a pelvic floor prolapse.
While I was jumping through hoops to get my insurance to cover seeing a physical therapist, I began searching for way to heal at home. I ended up trying several programs and found one that worked!
After that, I tried a dozen more to make sure I would recommend the absolute best Diastasis Recti exercise programs out there. These are the programs that will help you heal your ab separation.
I walk you through what they all look like, how much time they take, when you see results and more in this video here. If you don’t have time to watch? Simply read on!
What Is Diastasis Recti And Is A Diastasis Recti Exercise Program Right For Me?
Before we dive into specific programs, I want to share a bit about what diastasis recti really is, that way you know if a diastasis recti exercise program will really benefit you.
Diastasis recti is the separation of your abs. It often happens during pregnancy and can result in some pretty annoying problems. If you are experiencing urinary incontinence, if your low back aches and your shoulders are rounded, if you look pregnant and it’s been a while since you had your baby… you probably have diastasis recti.
Check out this article about diastasis recti symptoms every mom needs to know to see if your symptoms line up.
Can I Fix My Diastasis Recti At Home?
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Yes, most women can fix their Diastasis Recti at home. Two of the Diastasis Recti exercise programs I recommend below have been medically tested and have found that over 90% of women have success in healing their ab separation at home. If you try a program and it doesn’t work for you, you can always speak with a physical therapist that specializes in postpartum or women’s health.
Diastasis typically needs to be healed in phases.
Phase One is typically more about correcting the way you use your core. In this phase you focus mainly on diaphragmatic breathing, body awareness and very gentle but progressive movements. You will see the first two recommendations for diastasis programs fit in this category.
Phase Two is about progressive overload and moving from working mainly the deepest inner muscles of the core to engaging and strengthening all of the core. This means your abs, your glutes, your hamstrings and those deep TVA muscles. You will see recommendation three fits more in this category. If you’re out of pain and looking to get strong and toned as you heal your abdominal separation, this is for you.
Can You Fix Diastasis Recti During Pregnancy?
You may not be able to completely heal Diastasis Recti while you are still pregnant. However, that doesn’t mean that you can’t find a huge amount of relief from your symptoms.
Learning how to move functionally and how to properly engage your core will cascade through every aspect of your life.
You will move differently when you bend to pick something up, when you step out of the shower and when you pick up your toddlers.
Diastasis Recti Exercise Programs can often help you relieve lower back pain and prevent leaking. If you are exercising during pregnancy, it’s good to have a system that will help you prevent diastasis instead of making it worse.
Diastasis Recti Exercise Program Comparison
Let’s take a deeper look at the three Diastasis Recti exercise programs that are the best on the market in 2023. I have personally tested each of these programs and am happy to share each one with you. What is important is that you have a program that is right for your stage of recovery, your available time, your favorite workout style and of course your budget. Enjoy!
The Best Diastasis Recti Exercise Programs On The Market In 2023
Best Diastasis Recti Exercise Program For Beginners: MUTU System
MUTU system was the first Diastasis Recti Exercise program I found and that I used when I had severe separation and intense pelvic pain. According the website in their clinical trials
- 94% of women with Diastasis Recti reported an improvement after using MUTU
- 92% of women who experienced bladder symptoms including urinary leakage saw and improvement after using MUTU
- 89% of women who experienced pain or discomfort during or after intercourse reported an improvement after doing MUTU
I believe these results because it was my lived experience. My diastasis improved, my embarrassing leaking went away and even sex got less painful.
Here are the pros of MUTU as a diastasis recti exercise program:
- There is a clear path through the workouts. Each week you have a checklist of tasks and workouts to complete.
- There is a ton of support through email and text. You will learn a lot through this written support.
- MUTU has clear instructions on how to properly do movements – which many programs I tried lacked. Because you move slowly in the beginning, you can really master doing them right.
- There are clear and consistent reminders of what to look out for when you might be pushing yourself too far so you always protect your body and not make things worse.
- It is one of the few diastasis programs that truly starts at a beginners level.
- Each workout has a pdf so you can do it without the video
- There is not as much variety as some of the other programs. There are really only 6 workout videos split into 3 simple core workouts and 3 intensive workouts which you rotate through in the 12 weeks.
- It is hard to stay focused for 12 weeks when you are repeating the same movements and watching the same videos over and over. I wish it was more robust.
- There are big jumps between the intensity of the simple restorative core movements and the more intense workouts. I sometimes felt like I was not ready to move forward and had to repeat certain weeks multiple times before I could move forward.
Why I like MUTU: When it comes to the basics, MUTU really shines. MUTU was the first program that was basic enough I could do it without causing more pain. When I started, I had tried other programs that began at levels too advanced and caused more pain and pressure. I needed an absolute beginners approach and the core workouts were exactly what I needed in the heal phase. If you have tried other workouts and still feel pain, then start here.
How Does MUTU Accommodate Pregnant Mothers?
Mutu provides a video and pdf guide for how to modify all the exercises in pregnancy. Again, you work through the same 6 videos, but this time adjust them to be safe for the pregnant body.
Cost: $132/ year or $28/ month
Best Diastasis Recti Exercise Program For A Clear LongTerm Path
Every Mother’s diastasis recti program is taught with a pilates and breath approach. It has separate workouts for pregnancy, postpartum, and beyond. There are several different paths you can take depending on your current needs. The classes are challenging but not too hard, and have a clear progression as they go. The program starts at the beginning and offers you a clear path towards healing. You need to have a yoga mat, light exercise weights, and resistance bands.
- The workout system is easy to follow. You choose a path, are given a calendar and start on day one. Each day you have a new workout video to do. And you move from day one to day 42 in a linear manner.
- I found the progression much better. There weren’t any places I had to stop, go back and start over. Most days have a different video – so there isn’t as much repetition. The videos themselves repeat a lot of the same movements, but there is at least SOME variation in each one.
- There is clear queuing and instructions. She teaches you a lot about your body and how to move your muscles correctly and with proper alignment.
- There is a very basic heal path that is appropriate for beginners, and then more challenging paths to move you towards being able to workout in any gym or class type.
- Though there is a bit of full body work, the majority is deep core work. This is important at the beginning, but not enough to close the full gap if you start out with more severe symptoms.
What You Need: For the Every Mother Program you will need a yoga mat, resistance bands and a few light weights. You can grab those on amazon if you don’t have them already.
Cost: $55.99/3 month membership or $119.40 for yearly membership
How Does Every Mother Accommodate Pregnant Mothers?
Every Mother has 3 separate guided paths for pregnancy. One for each trimester. Most days you will do a combination of core and pelvic floor exercises for about 10 minutes and then another 20 minutes of full body exercises. You do a lot of kegels, breathing and strength trainings in these workouts.
The Most Challenging Diastasis Recti Exercise Program: Bodi
Bodi is basically the netflix of workout programs. There are over 70 prerecorded programs and monthly groups to help you stay motivated and encouraged. I found that their pilates and barre options really took me to the next level with healing my diastasis recti. I moved my 4 finger diastasis recti gap to 2 fingers with the programs above.
It’s important to note, these are not specifically Diastasis Recti Healing Programs. However, they have a strong focus on building a strong and functional core.
Bodi helped me accomplish my goal of no DR gap!
I particularly found the Barre classes challenging, engaging and the full core workout I needed. You can see the many options for Barre classes within Bodi here.
- There is a clear path through beginner to advanced level with multiple 3, 8 or 10 week programs. Meaning the variety is unstoppable and never ending.
- The teachers are all certified trainers and teach you a TON about your body.
- You do not need any props or extra gear. You can use a resistance band if you want, but you don’t need anything else.
- The workouts are low impact, but also high energy. If you want to burn calories while you heal your DR this is the place for you.
- These workouts have the widest variety of movement and do the most to close the DR gap and trim the waist.
- You need to be a bit more aware of self regulating of your functional movement. Because of that if you are in pain because of your Diastasis, I think you should start with Every Mother or a Physical Therapist. If you are in no pain, this is a great option.
- Each program has its own strengths and weaknesses and ultimate goals. I worry that a mom could start with something too difficult and not be able to find the more beginner friendly classes if that is what she needs.
- It’s so tempting to want to jump into more challenging workouts early on. Remember, form and function is more important than being impressive.
What You Need: Yoga mat, 1 or 2 pound weights, resistance bands
Cost: The price starts at $178 for a year membership including 70+ workout programs, plus live workouts, plus you get supplements with your membership as well! This includes: Beachbody Performance Energize, a caffeinated drink to get you ready for a great workout, Beachbody Performance Hydrate, an electrolyte drink and Collagen Boost. It’s perfect for anyone who needs a boost to help stay energized and hydrated, and wants healthy-looking skin.
If you do choose Bodi, make sure to sign up with my coach ID: 2879532. I’m happy to spend 30 minutes with you talking about your goals, what you are working on, what you want to achieve and to help you find the right program to start with. Simply email me at contact @shebirthsbravely.com to set up your consultation!
How Does Bodi Accommodate Pregnant Mothers?
Bodi has a prenatal barre class that is amazing. It has four separate workouts for each trimester of pregnancy. The plus here being they are great classes, the con being that 4 workout to repeat over 3 months in not as much variety as needed. You could also modify most of the other pilates or barre classes to pregnancy if you wanted. But, I think Every Mother wins out for the best diastasis exercise program to use during pregnancy.
Diastasis Recti Exercise Program Conclusion
There is no one program that is right for everybody. If you are like me and benefit from having a very set path to follow then choose Every Mother. If those are too hard and cause you pain, go back a step to MUTU.
If you are past the healing stage, can engage your core and pelvic floor correctly when you move – then Bodi is definitely the best deal. When you follow their systems you will get incredible results, plus you get A LOT more value for the money you spend.
I do think MUTU is a bit pricey – over $100 for 6 workouts you do over 12 weeks isn’t a great deal. But – if you try the other programs and they cause pain, this may still be the right option.
Every Mother is a better deal, especially if you take advantage of the pregnancy paths.
For the price, you get the most with BODI, but you need to watch out, because you may or may not be ready for these workouts. They definitely start at a more advanced place than MUTU or Every Mother.
For moms that are looking for diastasis recti exercise programs to use DURING pregnancy, start with Every Mother. These are gentle workouts that will still bring you into a bit of a challenge. Plus the kegal work will help you know how to minimize tearing as you push your baby out.
However, if Every Mother classes are too gentle for you and you are wanting a more intense workout, even in pregnancy, then look into the Bodi classes. They are definitely more high energy and many of the programs can be adjusted for pregnancy IF you already know how to engage your core and floor.
I hope this helps you choose your diastasis recti exercise program. And remember, you can heal your diastasis even years later! I’d love to hear which one you picked and how it worked out for you!