Mommy Tummy: Top 10 Exercises to Fix Diastasis Recti

Mommy Tummy: Top 10 Exercises to Fix Diastasis Recti - sharpmuscle
12 min read
Updated: April 29, 2023

Diastasis recti, commonly known as “mommy tummy,” is a condition that affects many women after childbirth. It occurs when the abdominal muscles separate, creating a gap in the midline of the abdomen. This separation can lead to a protruding belly and other related symptoms such as lower back pain and poor posture. Fortunately, there are exercises that can help to fix diastasis recti and improve core strength and pelvic floor function.

In this blog post, we will discuss the top 10 exercises recommended by fitness experts to address diastasis recti and achieve a stronger, healthier core.

SharpMuscle created the top best exercises for mommy tummy that specifically ensure that your stomach becomes flat again.

Being a mother is such a beautiful thing. You start thinking that for once in your life you finally know what it has to do with the rest. But why belly fat workouts?

After all the hassle and preparation of being a mother, you will soon realize that you have gained so much weight and your stomach is doing nothing to hide it at all. Not to mention the extra skin you really want to see.

According to a recent NPR article “Leveling the post-pregnancy belly within 10 minutes of pregnancy”, which is because of the excess skin and fat.

Meaning separation of the stomach which may occur during. Your pregnancy, when the baby grows causes separation between your abdominal muscles and leaves the core unsupported.

Normal vs. Diastasis recti - mommy tummy - sharpmuscle
Normal vs. Diastasis recti

Called “diastasis recti”, it is a term that is increasingly used in relation to postnatal fitness, and according to an excellent graphic by the NCBI, the rectus is approximately 2.7 cm between the two sides of the abdominal muscles, or A difference of more than that suggests “diastasis-aware” workouts. 1

Every big problem is always solved and a big stomach is not too big of a problem. There are so many ways to regain that flat stomach.

To fix Diastasis Recti, you should perform exercises targeting your deep abdominal muscles and pelvic floor muscles. Do these top 10 best mommy tummy (mommy pooch) exercises daily to see a visible change and feel better.

Top 10 exercises for mommy tummy

Let’s get this out – “mommy tummy” is a derogatory term. Keep reading to see the best exercises to lose mom pooch!

  • Bicycle crunches
  • Scissor kicks
  • Reverse Crunches
  • Flutter kicks
  • Leg kicks (Standing Toe Touches or Kick Crunch)
  • High knee pull
  • Knee tuck crunch
  • Slow burpees (Half burpees)
  • Windshield Wipers
  • Hip dip plank

Step-by-step guide to 10 exercises

Say goodbye to that mommy tummy with these simple steps. Here are 10 exercises you can use to strengthen your abdominal muscles while your baby is lying or playing on the floor next to you.

1. Bicycle crunches

Bicycle crunches - sharpmuscle
Bicycle crunches
  • Lie flat on the floor with your lower back and knees bent. Make sure your feet are on the floor and your hands are behind your head.
  • Contract your core muscles by pulling them into your abdomen to stabilize your spine.
  • With your hands gently holding your head, pull your shoulder blades back and slowly raise your knees to a 90-degree angle, lifting your feet off the floor.
  • Exhale and slowly, first of all, go through a bicycle pedal motion, bring your knee upward while straightening the other leg, keeping both of them higher than your hips.
  • Rotate your torso so that you can touch your elbow with the opposite knee as it comes up.
  • Turning the alternate bend to the other side, extend that knee towards your armpit and the other leg until your elbow touches the alternate knee.
  • Aim for 12 to 20 repetitions and three sets.
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Hip: Your torso should do all of the rotation. Your hips should not be rotating, you should move your legs straight back and forth. During the maneuver, keep your lower back pressed to the floor.

Neck: Do not pull your head forward, rotate your torso. If you find yourself straining with your head and neck to get your elbows to contact your knees, then rotate as much as you can with your torso.

2. Scissor kicks

Scissor kicks - sharpmuscle
Scissor kicks
  • Lie on your back on an exercise mat on the floor, your feet in front of you and your arms outstretched, palms down.
  • Bend at your knees, raising your feet about half a foot above the ground for your starting position.
  • Keep your legs straight with your knees slightly bent, raise one leg upwards until it is at a 45 degree angle and your foot is pointing towards the ceiling.
  • When raising the other leg, lower the leg that is below, and keep your heel a few inches above the ground at all times.
  • Breathing regularly, continue alternating legs for a complete set in this scissor fashion.

3. Reverse Crunches

Reverse crunches - sharpmuscle
Reverse crunches

Just by doing crunches you are not going to have a flat stomach or mommy tummy. You have to do other exercises as well and this reverse crunch is a great alternative to basic crunch.

  • Start lying on your sides with your arms.
  • Raise your legs so that your thighs are perpendicular to the floor and your knees are bent at an angle of 90 degree.
  • To bring your knees towards your chest, exhale and raise your abdomen.
  • Hold for a beat in this position, then slowly bring your feet back to the starting position.
  • Moving slowly with complete control is the key to vomiting crunch.
  • This keeps the abs under tension for a long time and prevents you from stretching your lower back, which can happen if you increase the rips.
  • If you are bending your lower back while bringing your feet down, this is a sign that you are not walking in a controlled fashion.

4. Flutter kicks

Flutter kicks - for mommy tummy - sharpmuscle
Flutter kicks
  • Lie on the floor with your back. Keep a yoga mat if you want.
  • Make a fist and place them in the middle of your glutes and leave behind for a slight lift.
  • Raise your feet about 5 inches above the ground and keep them straight.
  • Keeping your legs straight, raise one leg up while lowering the other.
  • For general practice, count the three movements as a flutter or a representative.

The flutter kick targets a belly pooch and helps build muscle in the core and legs. This practice can be difficult for beginners.

You can engage them in small fast movements by lying on your back, raising your feet at 30-45 degrees and moving your feet back and forth.

Any exercise done incorrectly will hurt. If you do them with improper technique then they will cause you back pain. Here are some tips to improve your form and execute an effective workout session.

  • Raise your head slightly above the ground.
  • Adjust your hands to find a sweet spot for your rest.
  • Tighten your abs.
  • Place a yoga mat below
  • Be careful with your antics
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Reps counting tip: Rotate your legs three times, count 1 2 3 and complete one rep. For example, 1 2 3 = 1 representative, 1 2 3 = 2 representative and so on.

Reps tip: 15 reps with low intensity. Take a 15 seconds break. 15 reps with moderate intensity.

Circuit training tip: Start your set after 30 seconds of rest on your lower core and quads. 3 sets of 15-20 reps. Medium intensity – high intensity. 10-15 seconds rest.

5. Leg kicks (Standing Toe Touches or Kick Crunch)

Leg kicks - Standing Toe Touch - Kick Crunch - sharpmuscle
Leg kicks (Standing Toe Touch or Kick Crunch)
  • To do “Standing Tow Touch”, start standing tall.
  • Then kick your right leg up and touch your left hand to your right toes.
  • You are basically making a big circle with your hand as you raise your leg up to touch your toe and hand together.
  • Keep your chest up!
  • Lower the leg down and then kick your left leg up and touch your right hand to right toes.
  • Pull your abs, hips and glutes as high as you can to work.
  • Only kick as much as you can control. Beginners cannot touch their hands and feet completely together.
  • Do 3-4 sets of a total of 15-20 reps of each leg.

6. High knee pull

High knee jacks- sharpmuscle
High knee pull
  • Start by standing with feet shoulder-width apart. Spread your hands straight up in the air.
  • In one motion, raise your right knee up towards the ceiling while pulling your hands down towards the sides of your waist.
  • Without stopping, reverse the motion by bringing your right foot back to the starting position and raise the hands upward.
  • Continue to alternating knees as quickly as possible you can.
  • Perform 3 sets of 30-50 reps each side.

Tip: Make sure to bring the knees to your chest and crunch your abdominal muscles. Tighten your core and keep your body as upright as possible. Avoid leaning forward or back too much.

7. Knee tuck crunch

Knee tuck crunch - sharpmuscle
Knee tuck crunch
  • Start sitting on the ground or on a weight bench.
  • Place your hands one inch behind your back and your fingers forward.
  • Your feet should be on the ground.
  • Raise both legs above the ground and raise both legs as you lower your upper body together.
  • Be sure to get full extension on your hips and feet.
  • With control, bring your feet back to your chest without touching the ground with your feet and return to the starting position.
  • It is counted as a representative.
  • Complete 3-4 sets of 15-20 reps.

Knee tuck crunch challenges your balance and core stability and really works your rectus abdominis, aka six pack muscles. If you are looking for a new step to add to your routine, try this.

8. Slow burpees (Half burpees)

Slow burpees (Half burpees) - sharpmuscle
Slow burpees (Half burpees)

Half Burpees, Slow Burpees, Planck Jumps, Jump Backs – what you call these are mommy tummy hard core belly fat as well as leg burners. They are half a burden because no push-ups (you are welcome!), Which means you can get them out fast, right?

  • Start in standing position.
  • Bend your knees, place your hands slightly in front of your feet and move your feet back to a higher plank.
  • While completing one repetition, jump or step your feet to the starting position.
  • Repeat for three sets of 10 to 15 reps or a time interval of one minute for 3-4 sets.

9. Windshield Wipers

Windshield Wipers - sharpmuscle
Windshield Wipers
  • Lie on your back with arms at 90 degrees to your shoulders, palms and arms and actively push the palms to the ground to stabilize your shoulders and spine.
  • Straighten your knees and flex your feet. As much as possible, maintain a 90-degree angle to the hip throughout the movement.
  • In a slow and controlled motion, lower your legs and feet to one side. Drag your belly button to your spine. Your spine will rise slightly away from the ground, as you bend it, but try to press it into the ground as long as possible.
  • Attach your stomach to the starting position to lift your legs back.
  • Repeat, lower on the other side. This completes one delegate.
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When people talk about the windshield wiper stretch, they can talk about the static stretch, which borrows from a yoga pose.

They can also talk about the difficult and challenging exercises done while hanging from the pull-up bar. Both of these movements stretch your hips and build muscles in your lower abdomen to help ease lower back pain.

All in all, a great full mommy tummy move, especially effective if you experience back pain or have trouble stabilizing your lower body during exercise.

It can help you to stretch your lateral abdominal and side hip flexors, or it can work your lower abdomen and front hip flexors and even help lower back and shoulder joint flexibility.

Tip: You can make it really challenging by increasing the speed, but do not allow your feet to touch each time. This forces you to flex your side hip flexors and stops movement as soon as you complete it.

10. Hip dip plank

Hip dip plank - mummy tummy - sharpmuscle
Hip dip plank
  • Start out in a plank position with the mat on your toes with your belly on the mat.
  • Keep your back straight.
  • While holding down your belly button, bend your left hip until it touches the mat slightly and then returns to the plank position.
  • Then turn so that your right hip touches a bit and the plank returns to position. This completes one delegate.

The fat-burning version of the traditional forearm, plank hip dips (with hip rotation!) Strengthens your abs, obliques muscle and lower back, waist-whistle, resulting in scalping furthering your mommy tummy (mommy pooch).

Bottom line

Mommy tummy (better known as mommy pooch), you know, that soft jelly belly that falls just below a woman’s belly button—it makes you look a few months pregnant.

An abdominal condition called diastasis recti may be the cause of that round — even still-pregnant look — belly months or years after giving birth. The rectus muscles are the ‘strap’ muscles that extend from the ribs down to the pubic bone. They help keep us upright and keep our abs in.

Diastasis recti affect women in everyday life. Weak support compromises the back and core, linked to pelvic floor health, digestive issues, and urinary and stress incontinence.

This condition also leaves a woman vulnerable while she is actively taking care of the children. Women with diastasis are at risk. If a child has a temper tantrum and hits her in the abdomen, it can tear the connective tissue. This will expose your organs and require surgery.

Before you even think about doing mommy tummy (mommy pooch) exercises, do a simple self-test to determine if you have diastasis recti, a gap between your right and left abdominal wall muscles that results in a pooch-like shape may emerge.


  1. Sperstad JB, Tennfjord MK, Hilde G, Ellström-Engh M, Bø K. “Diastasis recti abdominis during pregnancy and 12 months after childbirth: prevalence, risk factors and report of lumbopelvic pain.” Br J Sports Med. 2016 Sep;50(17):1092-6. doi: 10.1136/bjsports-2016-096065. Epub 2016 Jun 20. PMID: 27324871; PMCID: PMC5013086.[]

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