Ciara gets candid about accepting her body’s changes after having three children. The singer opened up about her diastasis recti after giving birth in a new interview for her general approach to taking care of her body, and shares how the condition has shaped her overall approach to taking care of her body. Women’s Health.
Staying active always seemed to come naturally to the 37-year-old, who was a cheerleader and ran track during her school years. But after welcoming her three children, she seems to be taking a softer approach to fitness.
“I accepted that my body would never be what it was,” she told the magazine. “I have diastasis recti, which is when your abdominal muscles split after birth,” the “Goodies” singer explained. “When I learned that, it was a game changer because you can train your abs wrong. I had to educate myself on that and learn to retrain my abs.”
ICYDK, diastasis recti is a common condition that affects as many as one to two-thirds of those who give birth, according to a 2016 study published in the British Journal of Sports Medicine. The condition occurs when someone’s left and right abdominal muscles separate, reports the Cleveland Clinic. This typically happens in mid to late pregnancy or during the postpartum period.
When the abdominal muscles expand due to pregnancy and/or childbirth, they sometimes come apart. “The abdominal contents can ‘peel out’ between the muscles, much like a hernia,” Mary Jane Minkin, MD, a clinical professor of obstetrics, gynecology and reproductive sciences at Yale University previously said. Form. Although it sounds very painful, it usually isn’t, Dr. Minkin said.
Healing involves specialized exercises to help engage and strengthen the deep abdominal muscles. But common core movements, like crunches and sit-ups, can actually make things worse, notes the Cleveland Clinic. As Ciara pointed out in her recent cover story Women’s Healthproper form and support are crucial.
When it comes to her workouts of choice these days, the hitmaker definitely mixes things up. For example, she enjoys boxing for both her physical and mental health. “I like boxing when I’m trying to figure things out,” she said Women’s Health. “It’s part of [my] ‘therapy’ — exercise.”
Other exercises in her current routine include “a combination of plyometric workouts mixed with weights and cardio as well, because I dance,” she said. For the uninitiated, plyometric training involves explosive moments to get your heart rate up and hit muscles big and small with exercises like jump squats, jump lunges, skaters and plank jacks. Ciara has been doing this type of training for years, and notes that celebrity trainer Gunnar Peterson has created dynamic 60 minute plyometric sessions that included her love of boxing, in a previous interview with Form.
“What’s great is that you get a three-in-one workout: it hits your muscles; it’s a cardiovascular workout; and it’s a mental workout,” she shared at the time. “You have to be super focused when you box. After doing a few rounds, I feel like I can conquer the world.”
Ciara is also a longtime Peloton fan. “I love Ally Love,” she said in the recent interview. “She’s my favorite.” (Read more: Peloton’s ally love isn’t here for one-note wellness routines)
Ciara has previously been open about her diastasis recti and her fierce sweat sessions. Back in 2018 – before welcoming her youngest son, Win – she took to Instagram to share a selfie with an empowering caption. “I have diastasis recti from both my pregnancies so I have to work extra hard to regain my core strength,” she wrote. “Definitely. Let’s go Moms!”
In 2019, she said People that she was prepared for the condition to return with future pregnancies. “I expect that when I have children again, I know that my body could very well go back to ground zero with the diastasis and I’m okay with that because the result is much bigger,” she said. “I know I can work hard and come back. Mentally, it’s a lot of work, but when I look at my kids, they bring me the greatest joy, so it’s all worth it,” she shared.
As for now, Ciara seems to be enjoying her current workout routine and embracing the changes to her body that have come with motherhood.