What’s Diastasis Recti Diastasis Recti make sure exercises to prevent


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DIASTASIS RECTI EXERCISES TO AVOID. Doing exercises that stretch your connective tissue either in a forward or sideways direction can create a diastasis or make it worse. If you cannot engage your transverse muscle, your rectus abdominis or abdominal muscles are moving in a forward direction stretching your connective tissue. Diastasis Recti, also referred to as ‘Divarication of the Recti’, DRA or ‘Rectus Divarification’, is the widening of the gap between the 2 sections of the Rectus Abdominis (or 6 pack) abdominal muscle.

The split occurs at the Linea Alba, the mid-line collagen structures of connective tissue at the front of the abdomen. 100% of women have some level of diastasis of the rectus. Diastasis recti, also referred to as ‘Divarication of the Recti’, DRA or ‘Rectus Divarification’, is the widening of the gap between the 2 sections of the Rectus Abdominis (or 6 pack) abdominal muscle.

The split occurs at the Linea Alba, the mid-line collagen structures of connective tissue at the front of the abdomen. Diastasis recti, also referred to as ‘Divarication of the Recti’, DRA or ‘Rectus Divarification’, is the widening of the gap between the 2 sections of the Rectus Abdominis (or 6 pack) abdominal muscle. The split occurs at the Linea Alba, the mid-line collagen structures of connective tissue at the front of the abdomen.

Diastasis Recti test and exercises to avoid After giving birth, many moms are left with an abdominal pooch or bulge for months or years. This is sometimes due to some extra weight that isn’t lost postpartum, but it may also be due to the condition known as Diastasis Recti Abdominis (DRA) that many women don’t even know is a condition. If this is the case for you, exercises such as stomach crunches will not only fail to work, they can even make this condition worse and leave you with weakened abdominals Severe cases of diastasis recti will require a visit to the physiotherapist and in many cases take years to solve. But, that doesn’t mean you can’t exercise at all.

Anyone who is pregnant or whose core has been compromised (due to diastasis recti, back pain, pelvic prolapse, abdominal surgery, etc.) should avoid or opt for a modified version of the classic plank to ensure safety. In medical terms, according to the Mayo Clinic, diastasis recti occurs when: During pregnancy, the growing uterus stretches the muscles in the abdomen. This can cause the two large parallel bands of muscles that meet in the middle of the abdomen to separate — a condition called diastasis recti or diastasis rectiabdominis. Diastasis recti can repair itself after delivery, or you can seek out physical therapists or trainers that specialize in diastasis recti exercises that may help coax your abs back together (more.

PregActive Postpartum Workouts Online to Heal Diastasis Recti Kerryn Boyle 2020-08-20T09:08:00+10:00. Medically Recommended Online Postpartum Workouts. Diastasis Recti Repair.

Get Fit for Motherhood. Discover Our Core Rehab.

List of related literature:

Diastasis recti is often the result of increased intraabdominal pressure and usually associated with pregnancy.

“The Art of Hernia Surgery: A Step-by-Step Guide” by Giampiero Campanelli
from The Art of Hernia Surgery: A Step-by-Step Guide
by Giampiero Campanelli
Springer International Publishing, 2018

Diastasis recti

“Student Laboratory Manual for Mosby's Guide to Physical Examination E-Book” by Henry M. Seidel, Jane W. Ball, Joyce E. Dains, Denise Vanacore-Chase, John A. Flynn, Barry S. Solomon, Rosalyn W. Stewart
from Student Laboratory Manual for Mosby’s Guide to Physical Examination E-Book
by Henry M. Seidel, Jane W. Ball, et. al.
Elsevier Health Sciences, 2016

Diastasis recti is the separation of two bands of the rectus muscle on either side of the linea alba due to stretching of the waistline.

“The Active Female: Health Issues Throughout the Lifespan” by Jacalyn J. RobertMcComb, Reid L. Norman, Mimi Zumwalt
from The Active Female: Health Issues Throughout the Lifespan
by Jacalyn J. RobertMcComb, Reid L. Norman, Mimi Zumwalt
Springer New York, 2014

Diastasis recti Diastasis recti, or a midline longitudinal ridge, is a separation of the abdominal rectus muscles.

“Jarvis's Physical Examination and Health Assessment” by Helen Forbes, Elizabeth Watt
from Jarvis’s Physical Examination and Health Assessment
by Helen Forbes, Elizabeth Watt
Elsevier Health Sciences APAC, 2015

Diastasis recti is a midline separation of the rectus abdominus muscles and can be seen as a midline, elevated ridge extending from below the sternum to the umbilicus when the infant is crying.

“Physical Assessment of the Newborn: A Comprehensive Approach to the Art of Physical Examination, Fifth Edition” by Ellen P. Tappero, DNP, RN, NNP-BC, Mary Ellen Honeyfield, DNP, RN, NNP-BC
from Physical Assessment of the Newborn: A Comprehensive Approach to the Art of Physical Examination, Fifth Edition
by Ellen P. Tappero, DNP, RN, NNP-BC, Mary Ellen Honeyfield, DNP, RN, NNP-BC
Springer Publishing Company, 2014

Diastasis recti is a midline separation of the rectus abdominis muscles and can be seen as a midline, elevated ridge extending from below the sternum to the umbilicus when the infant is crying.

“Physical Assessment of the Newborn: A Comprehensive Approach to the Art of Physical Examination” by Ellen P. Tappero, DNP, RN, NNP-BC, Mary Ellen Honeyfield, DNP, RN, NNP-BC
from Physical Assessment of the Newborn: A Comprehensive Approach to the Art of Physical Examination
by Ellen P. Tappero, DNP, RN, NNP-BC, Mary Ellen Honeyfield, DNP, RN, NNP-BC
Springer Publishing Company, 2018

Diastasis recti, separation of the rectus muscles and fascia, also usually resolves over time.

“Beckmann and Ling's Obstetrics and Gynecology” by Robert Casanova
from Beckmann and Ling’s Obstetrics and Gynecology
by Robert Casanova
Wolters Kluwer Health, 2018

(From Boissonnault JS, Kotarinas RK: Diastasis recti.

“Primary Care for the Physical Therapist E-Book: Examination and Triage” by William G. Boissonnault
from Primary Care for the Physical Therapist E-Book: Examination and Triage
by William G. Boissonnault
Elsevier Health Sciences, 2010

• The physiological Diastasis recti abdominis in a normal pregnancy (from the 5th month of pregnancy), which occurs in nearly every pregnant woman and gradually regresses after birth, should be differentiated from those pathological forms of Diastasis rectithat do not recede.

“Sobotta Anatomy Textbook: English Edition with Latin Nomenclature” by Friedrich Paulsen, Tobias M. Böckers, Jens Waschke, Stephan Winkler, Katja Dalkowski, Jörg Mair, Sonja Klebe
from Sobotta Anatomy Textbook: English Edition with Latin Nomenclature
by Friedrich Paulsen, Tobias M. Böckers, et. al.
Elsevier Health Sciences, 2018

Diastasis recti abdominis, separation of the abdominal wall musculature, can be noted with light palpation over the midquadrant.

“Pediatric Physical Examination E-Book: An Illustrated Handbook” by Karen Duderstadt
from Pediatric Physical Examination E-Book: An Illustrated Handbook
by Karen Duderstadt
Elsevier Health Sciences, 2013

Alexia Lewis RD

Registered Dietitian Nutritionist and Certified Heath Coach who believes life is better with science, humor, and beautiful, delicious, healthy food.

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  • I had one singleton pregnancy and then I gave birth to twins 9 months ago. I currently have a 2 finger split above my belly button. Is there hope that I can fix the appearance of my stomach with exercises or is a tummy my only option. I look 4 months pregnant and it’s really upsetting me.

  • I am 9 months postpartum with baby number 4, when I do a sit up my belly bulges in the middle. When I check my seperation it appears to be 1 or 2 fingers. Am I safe to do a regular core workout, or do I need to repair internal muscles first?

  • Oh wow! I didn’t know that it could go all the way down to the pubic bone, I always thought it was just from sternum to bellybutton, I wonder if that’s why it could contribute to my strange relaxed feeling in my pelvic floor?

  • I have a question. I had a hysterectomy yrs ago. And my stomach looks as if I just had a baby. I was cut from hip to hip. I had no belly (pooch) prior to surgery since then my stomach is wrecked! I am a size 6/8 but my belly is like what they call a apron. The over hang pooch. Could the exercise help me. Even though it’s been so many yrs. Nothing had helped me and I never had a problem till my surgery.

  • Thank you for this Video.
    I have 1 finger dr (2.5 yrs postpartum with c delivery).
    Can I do burpees, froggers, plank, plank jacks?
    I want to lose belly fat.
    Thank you in advance!!

  • Hi Sara, I’m in my 37 week and I’m starting to think I could have a recti diastasis. My question is basically if you felt any pain in this area. Its starting to be really uncomfortable

  • I am 29 weeks pregnant and currently have a 13 month old.  After using the technique you describe to check for diastasis reciti, it seems I have about a two finger gap right now.  I do TVA exercises and get up from laying down using a “log roll”, but I’m wondering if there is anything I can do to minimize the strain from lifting/carrying my current baby.  Do you have any recommendations?

  • I can feel the separation but I can’t measure properly because I have too much fat on my stomach. Is there another way to measure?

  • Hi Michelle, when I do sit ups, there is a bulge down the center of my abdomen. But when I tried to feel for a separation between my muscles, i could fit one finger. Could it be diastasis recti?

  • Can you use a stretch band (aka TheraBand) in lieu of a towel? My brother has this and I’m trying to see what we can do to fix it. He’s just now lost enough weight that we can see it, but his insurance doesn’t cover PT. We’re waiting to see if it’s a hernia which his doctor wants first, but assuming it’s diastasis, we have heavy stretch bands we could use. I’m wanting to do this exercise when we go to work out if the bands would work. If not we will start bring towels or a brace, it’d just be easier to use the bands.

  • I wish you were my therapist, you seem to think and know about this stuff alot which in my opinion is a good thing cause its an important subject just like I do and also cause I’m having problems with it so I tend to over think on it even more because of the feeling of all different things that could be related to it

  • Should you do this after pregnancy or can you measure when ur pregnant aswell???

    And how do you measure with some who is overweight and has a lot of fat at the tummy area?

  • Does this apply to me as well i just had a fibroid removal surgery way below the navel below the ‘belly pouch’ line the cut was hip to hip. Should i stop doing sit up as well coz i wasnt pregnant. Pls help

  • Mine is almost 2.5 fingers and I had my son in 1994:( worries me. But I had a hysterectomy in 2013 and nothing was mentioned (it was DaVinci so maybe they didn’t see it) so I assume it’s not dangerous?

  • Hi, I’m a man whose had this problem for 10 years because of lifting too much weight in the gym. I now want to get repaired and part of that would be to lose some weight. I prefer the cross trainer for cardio and I’m wondering if that would be a safe exercise for me to do as part of my recovery?

  • After my first I had one small lump between my abs and now after baby two I have two small lumps. I have only two finger gap
    And those lumps I can push in…ideas?

  • Thank you so much for this video. Well, I am running 4 month postpartum and i couldnt feel the tissue most Probably due to fats accumulation in the tummy. Kindly help me how to go about it with fats in the tummy.. And can DR be still corrected at 4th months

  • I had laparoscopic surgery a few years ago and think it caused diastis recti in the lower abdominal area. Is it possible to only have it from the belly button down towards the pubic bone? Thanks

  • Hi Michelle, Thank you so much for all your advice. I have had Diastasis Recti for 12 years now, when I had my two babies through c-section. Do you know if I still can repair it with exercise?

  • Thanks doc. Ur video and demonstration was extremely clear….clear as crystal. Thanks. However doc, my last child is 21yrs, is there help for me at this stage?

  • Hi,
    I was wondering,if you have just one finger width space in between the muscles,is it still better to avoid sit up type exercises?

  • So I am 1 year postpartum. I noticed I may have diastasis recti around 6 months and started doing these types of exercises for about a month or 2. I’ve now lost all my extra weight and I’ve rechecked my abs and thankfully they are only 1 finger apart but when I stand my belly is a hard ball that looks like I’m 5 months prego. Is this just a weak ab wall? Should I continue doing this light exercise or is their a next level after the gap has closed?

  • Hi Sara! Thanks so much for posting this video! I’m so excited to get your 4th trimester DVD’s. I’m 7 months pregnant right now and my OBGYN told me that doing abdominal work outs would be beneficial for my pregnancy and unfortunately I believed her. I’ve done some core strengthening exercises probably a handful of times during pregnancy, but the bulk of my exercises are cardio (stairs/rowing) and toning legs/upper body. I think I might have a small diastasis, but am not sure. My stomach was pointy the other day when I tensed my abs, but today it’s not doing it! From now on I’m not going to do anymore superficial abdominal workouts for the remainder of my pregnancy. I just wanted to know if it’s safe to do those transverse abdominal exercises now during pregnancy and also wanted to know if you recommend using a waist cincher post pregnancy (and if so which one do you recommend?

  • If I put my two fingers on there and I feel the muscle harden on my finger tips, is that considered normal and no diastasis recti?

  • Hey! Great video! I’ve 1 and a half finger gap just at my belly button neither above nor below just at the point of my navel… Is this also diastasis or is it normal to have gap at this point??

  • Helo i had diatasis recti 3 gap of finger that why my first born is 1 year old and 7 months, i been exercise to prevent my DR and dieting as well but not fast to heal so i still have DR now that im pregnant with 2nd baby 5 weeks now. My worried is it getting worst my DR ��

  • I am pregnant with my 3rd child and I did not repair my separation from the 2nd baby. What can I do to minimize the impact with this pregnancy especially if I have a separation which is more than 3 fingers wide.

  • Thank you very much for the video. I have the feeling that I am unable to fully grasp how it is done. Sometimes when I lift my head I can feel less than a finger gap, but sometimes it is almost 2 fingers, depending on how much my muscles are activated. I am not sure in which case I am doing the correct check.

  • Hello! I was diagnosed with a diastasis recti a couple weeks ago,after a catscan. I’ve had 3 pregnancies and my youngest is 2. We just found out we are pregnant with #4! Will the diastasis affect my pregnancy?

  • Michelle, before understanding that I had this condition, I was and still am doing very intense core strength training. I have almost an 8 pack, but when relaxed I look like I’m 4 months pregnant. This condition started after having my third son 2.5 yrs ago. Is it too late for me to reverse my split if I stop doing the intense core work and do the recommended for my condition?  I have a rather small split (finger and half), but It is definitely there and makes me look pregnant all the time. 

  • Sara, is there anything you can do to make your diastasis repair even slightly during pregnancy? I am a pilates instructor and on my third pregnancy. I have a three finger gap and really want to make it less if I can! I am 28 weeks. I follow all the rules for diastasis recti but am a little paranoid about it getting worse.

  • I want to introduce this to my husband….. the only problem is he has developed over recent years a ‘hernia’ related bulge in the 6 pack region, directly above his belly button, clearly evident when he attempts even minor crunches & he worries even they may be damaging. Can he do your demonstrated exercise without fear of further damage?

  • I’ve had a DR since I was in high school (I always thought I had a defect or somethingwhen I flexed by stomach, I had a ridge doing down the middle of my abs!), but 4 pregnancies have obviously exacerbated it. After watching this, aware of how terrible my core strength isthe way I sit, stand, etc; not to mention lying down/getting up (improperly). I’m at 14w with this pregnancy and will definitely work on not making this worse this time. I’m eager to try your 4th Trimester workout postpartum! Thank you. -Emily Freeman

  • I guess 48 years later is too late to start these exercises. LOL. Even though I had always had a very “flat” abdomen after 2 babies and was within 5 pounds of non-pregnant status, I had the midline bulge, the doctors dismissed my observation and credited it to mid 30’s pregnancy and stated there was no solution except to accept my new body image. Maybe I would have been too lazy or occupied with 3 children to adhere to an exercise program anyway. (Got the Kegels down pat!) Hope practitioners like Dr. Jen can get this word out. Meanwhile, I will coninue to work on acceptance and put on my Spanx for special occasion outfits.

  • I was so glad to find your videos Michelle, after being diagnosed with diastasis recti at 30 weeks gestation. I am up to three finger spaces and wonder if I can’t roll-back or at least stop the split progressing. Do you think I should wait until after having the baby before undertaking any of these exercises?

  • Thank you for your wonderful videos! I am a physiotherapist and student at higher education. I really liked your videos they are really helpful. Thanks again

  • Ok besides visual. Is there anything we need to know what we feel????

    Because whenever I try to do abs exercises it hurts. It’s not a hernia I already got an ultrasound.

  • Great to see women’s health topics. Hope to see more in future reference safe prolapse types exercises too.
    Didn’t know Diastasis also happens to some overweight or men.

  • This is a great video!! I really appreciate seeing your baby belly when you leaned back and in plank.
    I am pregnant with my first so that visual was very helpful.
    Thank you!!

  • thank you! I have the second trimester of pregnancy… it’s just what I was looking for! by the way, try to search exercises for pregnant on сoursmos… check it for exercises for pregnancy…

  • Hi, Sara! I just got your DVD “The 4th trimester Workout” thanks to a friend of mine who lives in The States and i have couple of questions. I am from Bulgaria and phisicians here don’t really give much of an information about when is the best time to start working out after delivery. On 12th of August i gave birth to an amazing little girl. My issue here is that i had c-section delivery. I wanted to know when is the best time to start with your workouts. I also have 2 fingers wide diastasis recti above my bellybutton, which i found thanks to your video advice in youtube. I was in a really good shape before getting pregnant and i hope to get back in shape with “The 4th trimester workout”. Please excuse my rusty English. Greetings from Europe… Nadia

  • Dr. Jo. I’m a guy who is 56 and have had Diastasis Recti for about 2.5 years. I really want to get rid of DR. I’ve been losing weight but with my bulging abdomen it still makes me look fat. I really want to start to do exercises to try and fix it if at all possible. Does your vids work for guys as well. Thanks for your time.

  • This is SUCH a great video for the pregnant women out there I wish I had seen this when I was pregnant with my first (I was planking all the time and thinking I was doing so great at keeping my core strong… little did I know I was hurting it).

  • I was wondering in order to keep from causing a diastisis or any strain, what ab exercises are safe to do while pregnant? I’m currently 25 weeks along and was always big into fitness beforehand. I still have been but while reading about abdominal separation I’ve gotten paranoid basically haha and am confused as to what’s safe. I normally do pop pilates through Cassey Ho on youtube, but those aren’t tailored for pregnancy per se. I want to stay fit during pregnancy though and am totally confused at this point on what’s safe, since easy workouts don’t do that much for me since I’m already in good shape. I did the test of just laying back as well as plank and it seems that I have at least a slight diastisis, but I’m also confuse as to whether all pregnancies have at least a bit of one at some point but with some women it doesn’t correct itself, or if I see that football shape at any point, I just have diastisis?

  • So i normally have a tight core, now that im pregnant I feel so much stretching that i feel im going to rip, especially coughing or sneezing. Should I be doing stretching

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  • this common in men? i’ve been having digestive issues, constipation, bloating, but doctors have rules everything out, says its IBS i’ve tried eliminating foods but still suffer! i cant feel any gap between my abs until i get to near the top of my abdominal muscles where i can fit 2 fingers in. is diastasis recti a possibility and are there symptoms of it?

  • Hi! I am 14 weeks pregnancy with my second baby and I was diagnosed with this. I have actually had this undiagnosed since my first. Is there anything I can do now while I’m 14 weeks pregnant to help/prevent any further separation? My OB is planning on putting me into PT after my baby is born, but I would love to start working on this now.

  • Confused: isn’t a finger-width gap right below the navel also diastasis? I feel a gap below the navel but no gap above. Hope you can clarify, thank you.

  • Can I have diastasis recti without having kids!? I’ve lost over 130lbs and struggle with my lower abs and hips!? I naturally have a wide hips (53’ inch) and my waist is naturally tinier (35’ inch)

  • Questions: Is this suitable for any age and will it work on a diastisis that happened over 10 yrs. ago and is still present? Also, I had a physical therapist tell me that there was no fixing a diastis and that it was something a person just had to learn to live with; that it would never go away. Is that true?

  • michelle I had my baby four years ago and I exercise almost every day but I have a pouch above my belly button and a lump in pregnancy they thought it was a hernia, is it possible it could be diastasis recti as matter how much cardio I do and abs it stays the same and I get pain there and it swells after exercise. I am fit and eat healthy but frustrated. can you it be fixed with focused exercise?

  • It’s so funny that you uploaded this, because just yesterday I was thinking to myself about this and doing some research on how to test for it. So thanks! ��