In this post we’ll focus on Diastasis Recti and how to identify and correct before embarking on your 8-pack abs journey (heh).
What is Diastasis Recti?
Diastasis Recti is when your abdominals separate, usually during pregnancy when there’s a strain put on these muscles. In effect leaving your abdominal wall exposed and weakened core ability. Men can always experience this, typically from heavy lifting and extreme dieting (gain and loss). It’s why a lot of women struggle to lose that ‘pooch’ in their gut. No amount of sit ups or planks are going to correct that if it is “DR”(Diastasis Recti).
According to Mayo Clinic:
“ You might be more likely to develop diastasis recti as a result of pregnancy if you:
- Are older than 35
- Have a multiple pregnancy
- Deliver a baby who has a high birth weight
- Have repeated pregnancies”
**While it’s always recommended that you seek out a health care provider to properly diagnose any suspected condition there are ways to discern if you have DR.
Is it Diastasis Recti?
There are a lot of resources on the web for DR, I personally liked Lindsay Brin’s-Moms Into Fitness informational video on DR found here. She goes over the self test so you can try to determine if it is a separation and from there work with your care provider on a treatment plan. Mild cases (2 to 3 finger widths), are considered mild and easily fixable with a specific core plan. You’ll want to avoid a lot of traditional core exercises, such as planks and twists and any move that you are hinging your body over and pushing down on the already separated walls (which would likely exacerbate it.).
Shit it’s DR, what do I do now?
Again, please seek a qualified care provider to properly diagnose and treat any suspected medical condition. If the DR is mild enough there’s a lot you can do to gently strengthen and close the gap.
You’ll want to focus on closing then building core strength. BodyFit By Amy has a great short 8 min video here. Lindsay Brin-Moms Into Fitness has a series of post-natal core video’s here that all have modifiers for DR.
I know it can be frustrating to scale back and go slow, but healing the gap will give credence to all that hard work you want to do to build your core strength.
 Mayo Clinic| Why do abdominal muscles sometimes separate during pregnancy? http://www.mayoclinic.org/healthy-lifestyle/pregnancy-week-by-week/expert-answers/diastasis-recti/faq-20057825