Diastasis Recti

Let's talk Pilates for Diastasis Recti and Hernia

Will Pilates help Diastasis Recti and Hernia?

Can you get stronger?

Can you pull those abs up and in again?


But you have to modify, and know what to look for and feel for.

My In and Up Diastasis Recti 4 week online course is perfect for women who need to heal a diastasis or hernia.

And for Pilates teachers who see clients with diastasis and hernia.

We start the next round on Monday July 22.

Pelvic Floor Health and Why So Many Adults Pee Our Pants

Am I really writing one of my last blog posts of 2017 about urinary incontinence? Yes, I am!

I was at CVS the other day, and happened to run through the underwear protection aisle (I lump all pad products, whether they be for menstrual blood or urine, together as underwear protection). Since my hysterectomy 21 years ago, I haven't needed to frequent that aisle, so I hadn't quite noticed the proliferation of new products geared to adults with urinary incontinence.

I mean, there were more products of the adult diaper variety than of the maxi pad variety.

Or, to be perfectly blunt, more adults are accidentally peeing their pants now then they were 20 years ago. And that should be of concern.

I. Your Pelvic Floor Is Part of Your Core

With all the discussions of core strength and debates over bracing vs. scooping in the fitness and Pilates worlds, you would think that all trainers are intimately acquainted with the basic structure of the "core". You would be wrong!

And with all of the adult diaper-type pads and pull-ups, you would think that people would be concerned that their pelvic floors are clearly not working. But no, we seem to just accept it and add more products to our weekly pharmacy spend.

II. Not All Core Exercises or Programs Are Good for Your Pelvic Floor

There is the rub! If you bear down too much doing any exercise, including ab work, you will be straining your pelvic floor muscles, not strengthening them. This includes sit ups, planks, and bridges, as well as yoga and Pilates exercises.

And heavy weight training, CrossFit or Olympic-style, almost always causes pelvic floor strain from inhaling and bearing down. Peeing while lifting, in some circles, is actually considered a badge of honor. 

III. Having A Baby Weakens Your Pelvic Floor

Why, oh why will obstetricians not discuss this? Even a perfectly healthy and easy vaginal birth will affect your pelvic floor, and a more difficult birth or very heavy baby will mess with you even with a cesarean.

But if you are still leaking urine a year later, that is a problem. Proper breathing and engagement of the pelvic floor in specific exercises will help. My In and Up! diastasis recti program is also great for Pelvic Floor strengthening independent of DR. 

A Final Note on Urinary Incontinence...

Peeing your pants is really not OK for grownups who are otherwise healthy. It really isn't! While Kegels are always useful, it also importance to work your pelvic floor while moving in varied positions, so you can learn to hold it in when you sneeze, run, pick up something heavy (including a child), and stand up. You ultimately need to work supine, prone, on your sides, sitting, and standing to increase functional pelvic floor strength.

Click here for more on breathing and your core.

Click here for more about Diastasis Recti, pelvic floor, and Pilates.

If you find yourself spending extra money on pads and special underwear to absorb leaking urine, I invite you to try my In and Up! program. Whether or not you have a diastasis, it will help!

The next round starts January 22. I would love to see you there!

Restore Your Core! 6-week Online Diastasis Recti Repair Program

Restore Your Core! 6-week Online Diastasis Recti Repair Program

This is the most effective exercise-based Diastasis Recti repair program you will ever complete. It will work whether you are a new Mom, or have had your Diastasis for several years. Starts Monday, January 16, 2017.

Your satisfaction is my guarantee, or your money back.

Since Diastasis Recti repair surgery is generally not covered by health insurance, so many women just learn to live with it. But you don't have to live with a Diastasis!

Learn how to pull your abdominal muscles back together and gain more usable strength through proper breathing, correct form, and full body exercises including Pilates and bodyweight training.

Do the right exercises, at the right time, in the right way, and your abs will pull together!

Throughout this program, we will be focused on safe and effective exercises that will fix your diastasis, as well as improving general strength, flexibility, and muscle tone. You’ll see the pre-pilates, modified pilates, and bodyweight strength workout moves that I use with all of my Diastasis Recti clients.

If you follow the program, I guarantee that your Diastasis Recti will be smaller in 6 weeks!

In addition to a smaller Diastasis Recti, expect to see an increase in energy, less back and neck pain, more bladder control, and much more! Read the testimonials below to hear what my clients are saying about my Diastasis Recti repair programs.

My Restore Your Core! Diastasis Recti Repair program will start on Monday, January 16, 2017. You will be added to a private Facebook group to learn the workout routines, and other pertinent information on January 16.

If you are ready to commit to this 6-week program, register below! Again, your satisfaction is my guarantee, or your money back.

The 6-week online training program will start on Monday, January 16.

What can you expect from this new on line program?

  • Convenient multi-week program that fits your busy schedule.
  • Accountability and a supportive approach that keeps you on track to accomplish your goals.
  • Affordable package option that is among the lowest cost options you’ll find (only $249 total).
  • The focus, quality, intensity, and commitment you’d expect from me, a Pilates expert and trainer with over 27 years of success!

Here’s how it works:

  • Six-week on line training program starting on January 16.
  • You will be expected to follow a 5-day per week, 15-30 minutes per day, workout plan that includes written workouts and hyperlinked videos.
  • Exercises will be appropriate for all levels with modified options for beginners. The workouts will include breathing exercises, pilates, and bodyweight training.
  • Participants will be required to pay in advance and fill out all health forms and waivers before the program begins.
  • Participants will be required to do daily check-ins with me via email or Facebook group.
  • The training program is payable via cash, check, or PayPal ($249 total).

Please register for the training program using the button below. I am only accepting the first 50 ladies who register and several spots have already been filled. The price is $249. Use the button below to pay and register.

Within 48 hours after you register, I will send you the health and liability waiver forms. Payment (in full) and all forms are due prior to the start of the program. Please let me know if you have any questions at all!


To pay using cash or check, or to ask any questions, call (347) 462-6932 or email using this form:

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Read what current clients are saying about my Diastasis Recti Repair Program:

"Lynda has made all the difference between my having Diastasis Recti repair surgery and my being able to avoid it. She has decreased my diastasis by half - from four fingers to two. I have never looked better. My waist is smaller and my leg muscles have become longer and leaner, and I love it! She also gave me the confidence to go back to the gym and do stomach exercises again, but this time with the correct form. Thanks Lynda, you are a true talent!"

Julie Satow

"I have been through what feel like a lifetime of change with Lynda and do not think there is a better Pilates instructor. I came to Lynda after having given birth to two small kids and never fully getting my body back. Lynda saw me through a surprise third pregnancy, as well as extensive complications and recovery afterward."

Courtney Smith

Pilates for Hernia and Diastasis Recti Workshop


Pilates for Hernia and Diastasis Recti Workshop for Teachers - Sunday, July 10, 2016 1-4pm at Real Pilates Soho

Training clients with hernia and diastasis recti requires a small shift in thinking and approach for many Pilates teachers. It is crucial at the beginning that these clients avoid increases in intra-abdominal pressure (IAP), yet almost all beginning Pilates exercises involve working with just that.
This is a really fun and useful workshop!

Register for Pilates for Hernia and Diastasis Recti Workshop – July 10, 2016

From the Last Workshop

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What is a Hernia?

According to the NIH,

A hernia is a sac formed by the lining of the abdominal cavity (peritoneum). The sac comes through a hole or weak area in the strong layer of the belly wall that surrounds the muscle. This layer is called the fascia.

Basically, a hernia is an area where the intestines start to protrude through a weak area in the abdominal wall. Hernias are named for location (inguinal – groin, umbilical – belly button, hiatal – upper abdomen, femoral – upper thigh).

Hernias are caused by straining while abdominal pressure is increased – it can happen on the toilet, opening a window, or even lifting weights and/or doing abdominal exercises incorrectly.

What is Diastasis Recti?

Diastasis Recti as defined by the NIH:

Diastasis recti is a separation between the left and right side of the rectus abdominis muscle, which covers the front surface of the belly area.

Most diastasis recti is seen in pregnant women, where the muscle separates as the woman’s belly expands, but I have also seen it in men, and is also present in some infants.

Pilates Can Help IF It Is Taught Correctly

Luckily, it is easy to modify exercises and cue your clients to work in a way that helps.
In this workshop, I will share the successful modifications and techniques that have made me lower Manhattan’s most sought out classical Pilates specialist for people with diastasis recti and hernia. This 3 hour workshop includes anatomy, lecture, and practice on mat and apparatus.
You will leave with many, many tools to help your clients literally pull themselves together!
*You must be a Comprehensively trained Pilates instructor to register for this workshop.
Cost: $150 without PMA CECs / $180 with 3 PMA

Diastasis Recti and Pilates


Diastasis Recti can be both helped or worsened with Pilates. Here's how Pilates can help.

Diastasis Recti as defined by the NIH:

Diastasis recti is a separation between the left and right side of the rectus abdominis muscle, which covers the front surface of the belly area.

Most diastasis is seen in pregnant women, where the muscle separates as the woman's belly expands. I have also seen it in men after abdominal surgeries.

But at the moment I am working with many women who worsened their diastasis through improper exercise techniques during and after pregnancy.

Basically, it is crucial that the transverse abdominis and pelvic floor muscles be strengthened to help hold everything together. The rectus will typically also start to pull back together. Sometimes it will stay, and sometimes need to be sewn.

Diastasis is typically measured in "fingers" - literally how many fingers will fit in between the two muscle halves. I have personally worked with women who have had between four finger and ten finger diastasis with great success.

In terms of exercise, the approach to both diastasis prevention and diastasis repair are similar.

During and after pregnancy, until everything is working properly, avoid exercises that cause an increase in abdominal pressure that will push against the abdominal wall:

  • traditional crunches
  • overhead presses
  • heavy weight lifting
  • intense abdominal exercises (in Pilates this would mean ab series, teaser, backstroke, short box, etc.)

If the muscle has already separated, it can be helpful to wear an elastic abdominal brace to physically hold the muscles together (which is what we visualize while doing exercises).

I encourage people who have a diastasis to try Pilates to strengthen your internal abdominal brace. Please make sure that your teachers are familiar with what diastasis recti is and how to properly manage it. If they ask you to do the hundred with your head up first thing, you are in the wrong place.

If you hear more about breathing, pulling "in and up", and not bulging at your abs, you are in the right place.

Remember that even if you do require surgery to repair the separation, proper abdominal and strength training will help you maintain your abdominal corset of support after.

As an illustration, a new client came in to see me about 6 months ago with a four finger diastasis after her second pregnancy. She had been seeing a personal trainer at her gym, who was giving her crunches and overhead presses to build up strength. Unfortunately, this made the diastasis worse.

It had been about a year, and her OB wanted her to see a surgeon for repair.

After just a few months of steady, twice a week Pilates sessions, she went to the surgeon. He told her there "was nothing to repair." Success! Just proper Pilates training.

If you live in NYC and have a diastasis recti that you would like some help with, please contact me directly. If you live downtown, you can also come see me at Real Pilates.

Seriously, I can help you!