The push-up was one of those exercises before I discovered my diastasis recti where I was like, “Holy hell, what is that giant dome popping out of my stomach?” I was so badass at push-ups before my twins. I’m not going to be modest here. I could out push-up almost anyone. It was my small claim to workout fame. After the twins, I was lucky to get 10! It was crazy. Once I figured out I had a bad case of diastasis recti, I understood why. Check yourself!
Push ups can be very hard on a diastasis recti. Gravity in that plank position adds pressure to your already weakened connective tissue. I worked closely with my pelvic floor physical therapist–Diana at Success Physical Therapy–in order to strengthen this movement. I still don’t always do them on the ground. I often choose to give my mid-line a break and use a bench.
To get your push up back after pregnancy–particularly if you have a diastasis recti, first practice engaging your core and using a wall or high counter top for your push-up surface. As you get stronger and gain more control of your core, you can position your hands lower and lower, eventually moving from the wall to a bench and then to the ground.
Be sure to watch for doming. Use a mirror, a video camera or a friend to be sure you aren’t causes stress. I had so much twin skin, the mirror test was hard on this one. It really helped to have someone with me to offer feedback.