What is Diastasis Recti?
Diastasis Recti is where the connective tissue between the 2 sides of your Rectus Abdominis – (6 pack muscles) has separated at the midline, creating a gap in the midline of your belly abdomen anywhere from the pubic bone to the base of the rib cage.
Where one would normally feel tension in this area during a crunch or sit-up, there is a gap.
As a result of the stretching of this center line connective tissue – your abdominal organs no longer have the support they need from the front and they pop out – hence the pooch/ mummy tummy.
A functional core is needed to keep your organs, pelvic floor and organs supported. Without that we are prone to a Diastasis Recti, prolapse, leaking, and back pain.
What Causes Diastasis Recti?
An imbalance in the pressure system of your abdominal cavity which causes the connective tissue (linea alba) running down your centerline from the base of your rib cage to your pubic symphysis (bone) to overstretch and the muscles known as the Rectus Abdominis (6 pack) to separate.
Your body is designed to withstand loads but if you have a lot of tension in your abdominals, muscles that are over toned, muscles that are under used, and extra pressure exerted from non-optimal breathing patterns, then your body cannot withstand those loads.
These occurrences happen from faulty breathing patterns, imbalanced muscles, and repetitive movement patterns that are not balanced.
Is Diastasis Recti Permanent?
For many people, not at all. A diastasis recti takes time to close the gap because connective tissue takes time to strengthen again but is possible.
New research shows that it is less important if the gap closes all the way and more important to find function in the core muscles.
How do I Fix a Diastasis Recti?
With a good program that ensure that you are taking care of the root causes. Common root causes are alignment issues, breathing patterns, muscle imbalances, and too much intra-abdominal pressure. Finding a program- like Restore Your Core – that targets those issues thoroughly is essential to healing a DR.
By working on your alignment, your breathing patterns, your habits and doing corrective exercises to rebuild strength the right way.
The work is to find function in your core muscles by rebalancing your whole body.
Diastasis Recti exercises to avoid
Any activity that causes bulging in your abs can make it worse. Until you have a functional core – then you want to avoid sit-ups, crunches, curl-ups and any exercise that makes your abs bulge.
Will I have a flat belly once I Close the Diastasis Recti?
Not necessarily. If you carry extra fat in your midsection, then there will be an addition of tone to your midsection once you resolve your Diastasis Recti buttoning muscles does not always equate to losing fat.
Anyway- the idea that your belly should be flat is one that was created by the media, so striving for flat is not always what will give you balance and health.
Diastasis Recti Test
How to Check and see if you have Diastasis Recti?
Lie on your back with your knees bent and your feet flat on the floor. Put one hand behind your head for support. Place your fingers in a horizontal position across your belly button. As you exhale lift your head and shoulders just a bit off the floor. You should feel your abdominal muscles close around your fingers. If you feel a gap – then you have a Diastasis Recti. Be sure to feel above and below your belly button too as a Diastasis Recti can be isolated in any of those places.
Diastasis Recti is measured in finger widths. A 1-2 finger width gap or less is considered ok though you still need to take heed with your activities as the gap can widen with certain activities.