If you suffer from diastasis recti, I am here for you. Having Diastasis Recti has completely changed the way I approach core workouts. My main goal now is to strengthen my TVA, my deepest layer of abs, my pelvic floor, and inner thighs.
I developed DR after the birth of my youngest son, who’s now 8. I’ve been working hard to heal my body since then! It’s a long road; don’t be discouraged if you’re just starting on your healing journey.
The stretch marks that snake across my stomach are battle scars that are with me for life. The loose skin around my navel isn’t pretty, but it reminds me of the work my body did to bring a life into this world.
Childbirth wasn’t easy for me. It was painful, and exhausting, but it taught me that I am capable of doing very hard things. After the dust settled, my midwife told me I had a SEVEN finger separation between my rectus abdominus muscles. My jaw dropped!Picture that! Instead of being joined like they’re supposed to be, my outer layer of abdominal muscles were seven fingers away from each other. It was not pretty. I mean that literally.
Diastasis Recti is characterized by two saggy bulges on either side of the navel. The rectus muscles that were joined together, kind of sag down on either side of your belly button. This can lead to back pain and bloating.
Your rectus abdominus muscles have two vertical muscle bellies that run down your torso. They are joined in the middle by a layer of connective tissue. The pressure on these muscles from pregnancy or excess stomach fat can put extra force on this connection, causing the muscles to separate from each other.
You may think to fix DR you need to do lots of ab exercises. Yes and no.
Traditional crunches and sit-ups will make the condition worse! Planks can put too much pressure on the abdominal wall. Twisting isn’t helpful at first either.
Focus instead on exercises that encourage the feeling of corseting the deep ab layers, pulling in, stabilizing the abdominal wall, and isometric holding work. I like to work on building strength in my core by stabilizing the deep abdominals against the movements of the legs.
It’s been a long journey healing my diastasis. I don’t know if it will ever be fully healed, I’ve definitely closed narrowed gap and more importantly, gotten so much stronger than I ever thought I could. I can do most abdominal movements now, though I still avoid putting too much pressure on the abdominals.
I’ve learned how to connect to my deep core muscles. My pelvis floor is stronger than it’s ever been, and I truly feel my deepest layer of abdominals activate when I workout now.