Pilates and Diastisis Recti Overview with Lori Coleman Brown

Diastisis Recti Overview

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Lori explains the condition Diastasis Recti (separation of the Rectus Abdominus muscle) and how to address it during a Pilates workout. With her client Katie’s dramatic example, Lori shows how the correct training can help to greatly improve and in many cases completely fix Diastasis. Whether you have Diastasis yourself or you’re an instructor looking to better understand it, this class covers many topics from how to feel whether you’re working properly, cues for optimal engagement, and what to watch out for in different positions such as side lying, standing or lying on your back. Visit Lori at Atlas Pilates in Seattle, Washington where this class was filmed.

What Others Are Saying


  1. Edita 8 months ago

    Thank you, Lori! This was very helpful.

  2. Ethottam 2 years ago

    Hi! Would you consider doing a follow up to this video with an actual (non-Pilates teacher) client who has a bigger DR and doesn’t connect to her abdominals as easily as a teacher? One of the biggest problems with DR clients is teaching them to connect to their abdominals, which Katie here can do well already.

  3. jszachara 3 years ago

    Hi Lori –

    This was so helpful for me as I taught my first client with Diastis Recti. She too is a healthy, thin athlete however not pilates trained. She has a small bulge in front of her and you can see the split of the abdominal muscles. She only does pilates 30 min a week For about 4 weeks and is wondering if she will ever have a flat stomach again. She has had 2 children and I am not experienced to know if Diastis Recti can be completely cured with work or if some of her protrusion is age and having 2 babies. (She is fairly young, probably mid 30s). Any thoughts, either from you or your client. I understand it is hard to know without the client in front of you. Thank you again for sharing your expertise. It is invaluable to me!

    • Lori Coleman-Brown Author
      Lori Coleman-Brown 3 years ago

      It’s possible that she’s grabbing at her abdominals and asking too much of them. You could play a game and ask her to try to relax them and let her whole body work. Say “I dare you not to use your abdomen”. With an athlete, or a very experienced Pilates instructor, the abdomen won’t completely relax, but will fire with the help of the rest of the body in a different coordination. Of course when asking this, choose low risk movements, smaller and/or slower ranges of motion. Let me know how it goes.

  4. Luz Alejandra Lovern

    Lori, thanks very much very clear and simply way to understand and is great way that you explain; and the idea and example well knowns. xx Luz from Roanoke, Virginia.

  5. ewapilates
    ewapilates 3 years ago

    Lori, thank you for your concern:)

  6. ewapilates
    ewapilates 3 years ago

    Lori, you – no doubt – take every precousion while working with this lady:) I respect that a lot! Nevertheless, it seems to be Not enough for a Pilates Pro after 18 months from her delivery?! Well, I have been working with pregnancy and post natal since 2009 and – to be very honest – never had a client who would be satisfied with her workout doing this only …?! You know what I mean? That is that nowadays women are so psysically active that they would like me (as a Pilates teacher) to go home and take care of myself I I proposed this ONLY?!? Please, Lori, you are a Great Tutor; I watch your workshops and other stuff on Pilatesology regularly, so please – is it OK, if a new mother is as fit as a fiddle – to prescribe her some more of our Pilates source? Love, Ewa

    • Lori Coleman-Brown Author
      Lori Coleman-Brown 3 years ago

      Hi ewapilates,

      Sorry to disappoint. I haven’t watched this in a long while, but as I recall, it is a demonstration of one main idea that I was excited about. I hope that I did not claim to be an expert post natal teacher. The client, Katie, does a whole program and she rocks the house! She is pregnant again with her 3rd!.

      Cheers, Lori

  7. pilates 4 years ago

    Great info in a 20 minute package!

  8. bethmastin85 4 years ago

    Hi Lori,

    Thank you for your comment about learning from the body in front of you. I am learning that with one of my stenosis sciatica clients. She is progressing well and engaged because of the team work.

    I will be working with a beginner to Pilates with diastisis. This understanding of engagement with tension from the obliques will be challenging to teach.
    She did use a belt given to her by her dr. That has helped to close the space she says.

    Any thought in working with a beginner please feel free to share.

    Thank you,


    • Lori Coleman-Brown Author
      Lori Coleman-Brown 3 years ago

      Oh dear, I’m sorry for the huge delay here. I hope all went well with your client!

  9. Pilatesthebody
    Pilatesthebody 5 years ago


  10. Lisa Reed 6 years ago

    Thanks for this. Very useful

  11. joesmat 7 years ago

    Lori: Hint, hint, hint…………………………………………………………………………………………..
    Maybe sometime you will do a video dealing with degenerative L4/5 discs combined with irritation at L5 and the Si joint; with evidence of stenosis! “Very common” and not easy to deal with. But with your P.T. knowledge and Pilates Method expertise, you may well have the answer to reduce the pain to a manageable level. No surgery thank you.
    Many thanks.

    • Lori Coleman-Brown
      Lori Coleman-Brown 7 years ago

      Hi! Maybe you could come see me for a private lesson sometime :). Each individual is so different, even though the diagnosis can be the same. And even if 2 people need the same result, often they get it in different ways. I just taught 2 individuals with sciatica for Pilatesology and with one person I felt the doorway in was through breathing and quad strength, and for the other the doorway was through understanding that part of her powerhouse is in her sides. The lessons look very different.
      Have you checked out my back bend progression class? Maybe there’s something there for you 🙂

      • joesmat 7 years ago

        Thank you very much for replying to my note.
        I have indeed observed your back bend progression class.
        I look forward to seeing you teaching the two individuals with sciatica on PILATESOLOGY.

  12. Cecilia1125 7 years ago

    Thank you Lori for this very informative demonstration. It’s always wonderful to hear you share your physical therapy knowledge being applied to the Pilates work. It’s a big help to those who don’t have your PT background as we encounter this problem very often in our practice. I hope you do more of this type of shared knowledge to the work. More power to you Lori and hope you could come to Manila in the future.

    • Lori Coleman-Brown
      Lori Coleman-Brown 7 years ago

      Hi Cecilia. I’m glad you found this video interesting. Katie is a dream to work with, even when she’s having an issue.
      I’m planning a trip to Australia in the spring! I would love to catch up with you.

  13. Lori Coleman-Brown
    Lori Coleman-Brown 7 years ago

    Thank you for the Spanish hug! I’m very happy to be sharing on Pilatesology. It’s such a fantastic resource.
    xo from Seattle

  14. Drdotpt 7 years ago

    Lori, you are a perceptive and gifted teacher. Your verbal and tactile cues are spot on. As a PT, with Pilates training I feel my yearly subscription was worth it if this was the only video I saw. Four weeks ago I had my 3rd kidney transplant with an incision up the linea alba. The fascial tension theory of building tissue strength will be extremely useful. Thank you for your wisdom.

    • Lori Coleman-Brown
      Lori Coleman-Brown 7 years ago

      Hi. I’m so glad that you found this class useful. Take care and have fun rebuilding your fascia 🙂

  15. Thank you Lori, love the way you explain things! I´m already excited to see your next video! Big hug from Spain 😉

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