Diastasis recti (DR), is characterized by the abdominal separation due to the widening and thinning of the linea alba at the midline. This separation results in a wider distance between the two rectus abdonimis muscles also commonly known as the “6-pack”.
DR does not only happen to prenatal & postnatal women. It can affect anyone, including men. It is not a condition of pregnancy & not necessarily just a muscular condition but a combination of fascia, breath, pelvic floor or incorrect body mechanics. In some cases, it can be due to lifting heavy weights incorrectly, engaging in excessive or unsafe abdominal exercises.
Although there are not many researches from the science and medical aspects done on this condition; however, there are experts in the women’s exercise and fitness industry who have successfully helped people in recovery from this condition through their methods and have proven certain things that would assist in healing and things that would aggravate the DR condition.
Here is some important information that you need to know if you have DR or trying to heal from this condition:
1) Crunches, planks and intense abdominal workouts are going to worsen your diastasis recti condition, NOT better. With the abdominal muscles being stretched out and disconnected, it is not possible to make a non-functioning core, to function, by doing more core exercises. This condition requires a different routine to re-connect and re-train.
2) The diastasis recti is the reason why your tummy pooches or domes. The separation of the outer most abdominal muscles leaves a gap or a hollow space in the middle. Everything underneath in the middle is unsupported and not in its strongest state. Thus, it becomes flabby and visually looking like a baby pouch.
3) Diastasis recti recovery is a journey, it is not a bootcamp affair. The DR recovery cannot be rushed into nor it can be healed overnight. It is a journey to re-train your brain to re-connect with the abdominal muscles. And since the “separated area” has become sensitive, any misappropriate exercise routine may aggravate or worsen the condition. Lots of care and caution must be taken during every exercise session and it should only be done with an instructor who is trained in this specialized condition.
4) Sucking in your tummy will not heal the DR condition. Same goes to sewing it up or binding it up will not heal the condition. What really helps in healing this condition is re-connecting, re-aligning, re-storing and then only comes the strengthening of the abdominal muscles.
The most common symptom of diastasis recti is a pooch or dome in your stomach, especially when you contract your abdominal muscles. However, there are some other additional symptoms and possible complications too such as;
- Lower back pain
- Poor posture
- Pelvic floor weakness
- Compromised trunk stability and mobility
- Hernia, in extreme cases
Most women will experience various extend of DR during pregnancies. For some women, the DR corrects itself after delivery as the abdominal muscles regain strength, and for some may require specialized post-partum
exercises to assist in healing the DR condition. This is also one of the importance for prenatal exercise in maintaining strength and tensegrity of your abdominal muscles.
Begin your prenatal exercise or start your DR recovery journey with us here.