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how to overcome diastasis recti?
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Hi Deb --

What do you recommend for someone looking to try and tone up their abs post-baby, that is also suffering from diastasis recti?

Any resources you could point me to would also be great!

May thanks!

dafh

6 answers

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1

To repair diastasis recti after pregnancy, you need to start by building a lot of strength back into your deepest abdominal muscle, your Transverse Abdominis, or TvA. When contracted, the TvA compresses the abdomen. The TvA does not move bone. Then after this muscle has regained adequate strength, you need to do specialized postnatal rehab exercises that train the muscle to function properly as a stabilizer. The Tuppler method omits this critical rehab step.
If your mid line is very wide, more than 3 finger-widths, you can also add manual splinting of your mid line with your hands to assist your TvA.
In the mean time, do not perform ANY abdominal exercises that lift/flex the upper body off the floor or against the force of gravity, as these moves will make the condition worse. No crunches, oblique pulses, roll-ups, roll-downs, most Pilates mat work, and yoga moves like “boat pose.”
All women with diastasis should use the “log roll” technique when rising from the floor, or getting out of bed to protect their mid lines.
More info about diastasis rehab can be found at: http://befitmom.com/abdominal_separation.html
BeFit-Mom

BeFit-Mom 35
5 years ago
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Hi Desiree,

How long ago did you have your baby? For most mothers this 'separation' returns to normal a few weeks after child birth. A small percentage of woman, it lasts longer (it can be for years).

James


5 years ago
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Hey Desiree-

Have you spoken to your OB about diastasis recti? He/she may have some info for you on what to do and expect. I do know that it takes a few months for your abs to start to return to a more closely resembling pre-pregnancy stage. Of course, this varies from person to person and even pregnancy to pregnancy. It also depends on the shape your abs were in prior to getting pregnant and how much weight you gained during pregnancy. The linea negra (black line that goes vertically down your stomach) takes at least 6 months to go away and many times 9 months or so. It fades slowly over time. I am currently four months post-birth of my son and still have the linea negra going.

With your OB's permission first you can start core strengthening exercises working the abs and low back. Try a variety of exercises and be consistent. Hang in there!

Jennifer Barbarino 54k
5 years ago
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Hi Desiree,

It's very important that you work on abdominal bracing exercises vs. doing crunches and sit-ups. With diastasis, your rectus abdominus does not work correctly and the ensuing result is that the obliques take over while doing a crunch or sit-up and actually contribute to further widening of the separation. It's also very important to work your pelvic floor musculature. Kegels, vacuums, and vacuum planks also work really well in repairing and engaging the abdominal musculature.

As an aside: several men with large, hard, bellies also suffer from diastasis recti and should NOT be doing sit-ups and crunches. If you pay attention to those that do, you will see their protruding "insides" actually pouch out when they perform a sit up.

Desiree, I've worked with several clients that suffered from this condition and found the Tupler Technique as an invaluable resource: http://www.diastasisrehab.com/

Jacqui Bliss 25k
5 years ago
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Hi BeFit-Mom,

Great post! Yes. I do agree with you; and also agree with the exercises that are contraindicated. I was simply stating I have gotten good results in combining the Tuppler technique with other methodology.
For instance: the vacuum moves do an excellent job of activating the TVA.

Jacqui Bliss 25k
5 years ago
0

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Phishoanka 0
5 days ago

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6/22/2012 at 7:57 PM
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