How to improve your push-up by engaging your core

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.

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