Many women experience abdominal diastasis in the later stages of pregnancy. Abdominal diastasis occurs when there is a split between the two sides of the rectus abdominis muscle. The rectus abdominis is the muscle group closest to the skin. It runs vertically down the abdomen. The transverse abdominis muscle is below the rectus abominis, and it is the muscle that should be strengthened when abdominal diastasis occurs. This "internal girdle" will help pull the split sides of the rectus abdominis back together. Speak with your physician for guidance on how often you can perform exercises.
Seated Abdominal Contractions
The seated abdominal contractions or seated transversus exercise teaches you how to contract the transverse abdominis muscle in an easy position. You will simply sit in a chair with your feet on the floor. You should sit up straight with your shoulders in line with your hips. You will pull your belly button in toward your spine and hold the position for 30 seconds, or work up to 30 seconds. You will then work on quick abdominal contractions. Every time you breathe out, you will pull in your abs and hold for one second before releasing the abs as you inhale. Work up to between 50 and 100 reps.
Supine Transversus Contraction
The supine transversus contractions are similar to the seated contractions, except it is done lying on your back. It is harder to contract your transverse abdominis muscle in a supine position, according to Pilates-Pro.com. Begin by lying on your back with your knees bent and your feet hip-width distance apart on the floor. You will pull in your belly button and hold for 30 seconds. It is important that you keep your lower spine and pelvis in a neutral position so do not tuck your pelvis to flatten your lower back during this exercise.
Heel Slide with Belly Scoop
The heel slide with belly scoop exercise combines a pelvic tilt with a heel slide. Moving the legs as you maintain stabilization in your abdomen will strengthen the transverse abdominis muscle even more than the other exercises, so you should learn to contract the ab muscles before trying to include the leg movement. The exercise is done lying on your back with your knees bent and feet on the floor. You will pull in your abs and slide the right heel forward along the floor until your leg is flat on the floor. You will bring your leg back up to the starting position with your knee bent. You will then slide your left heel forward along the floor before bringing it back to the bent knee position. Do five reps per leg and work up to 10.