Do you suffer from a separated abdominal wall? Do you have lingering core complaints, like back pain, leaking urine when you cough or sneeze, abdominal weakness, or a "mummy tummy" that never went away after pregnancy? It's possible you have a common condition called Diastasis Recti. Learn more about how to fix diastasis recti through exercise, and without surgery.
Here's how to fix diastasis recti from the comfort of your home.
Diastasis recti, the medical term for separation of the abdominal muscles, is very common during and after pregnancy. It is not a tear, but a sideways stretch that separates the two halves of the rectus abdominis, the "6-pack" muscles. In addition to pregnancy, there are other causes of diastasis recti. Anything that exerts repetitive, forward, forceful bulging pressure on the abdominal wall can induce or worsen abdominal separation. For example, deep visceral fat resulting in a classic ‘beer belly’ can force the abdominal muscles to separate. And surprisingly, many traditional ab exercises that bulge the abdominal muscles forward (including crunches, sit-ups, boat pose, double leg lifts, and many Pilates-based exercises) can induce or exacerbate diastasis recti because they exert forward, forceful pressure on the abdominal wall. These movements are particularly injurious when a woman already has some degree of diastasis recti from a current or previous pregnancy. If you are experiencing these symptoms, you may be wondering how to fix diastasis recti.
The Health Implications of Diastasis Recti
Diastasis recti is undesirable for a few reasons. First of all, it weakens the support for your back, increasing the risk of back pain. It also compromises the support for your organs, decreases hip stability, contributes to pelvic dysfunction and urinary stress incontinence, and increases the risk of both ventral and umbilical hernia. For those expectant mamas out there, diastasis recti also weakens your push muscles – leading to a potentially longer, more difficult labor. The health implications of diastasis recti are far more serious than the cosmetic impact– although that, too, is a nuisance. Diastasis recti often presents externally as a poochy abdomen (sometimes referred to as "mummy tummy") that can leave women looking 5 months pregnant months or even decades after childbirth.
Do You Have Diastasis Recti?
You can find out right now. Watch our self-check for DR video to learn how to check yourself for diastasis recti. What if you do find a separation between your rectus abdominis? First of all, take some comfort knowing you are not alone. A majority of child-bearing women have some degree of diastasis recti following even a first pregnancy. And secondly, I'm delighted to share the good news that there is a proven, non-surgical solution.
How to Fix Diastasis Recti with a Proven Solution
Diastasis recti is both preventable and reversible without surgery! The key to fixing diastasis recti lies in therapeutic activation of the transverse abdominis, your deepest abdominal muscle, and proper coordination with the diaphragm and the pelvic floor. This muscle activation serves to protect the integrity of the abdominal wall during pregnancy – it's possible to prevent the abdominal wall from separating even while pregnant! And after delivery, this same muscle engagement works efficiently to restore strength, form, and function.
Our 12-week Reclaim program, based on therapeutic activation of the deep core, is proven to fix diastasis recti and dramatically improve core health. As reported by NPR, a study conducted by Weill Cornell found that 100% of 63 women who followed our program achieved full resolution of abdominal separation in less than 12 weeks! Our comprehensive online program offers daily core exercises and 3-4 full-body workouts per week (all of them less than 30 minutes!) to make it easy and accessible to improve core health as you rebuild overall fitness. You'll feel better and stronger within days, and see measurable changes within weeks.
- Flattening The “Mummy Tummy” With 1 Exercise, 10 Minutes A Day. (2017, August 7). https://www.npr.org/sections/health-shots/2017/08/07/541204499/flattening-the-mummy-tummy-with-1-exercise-10-minutes-a-day
- Leopold, Madeline, et al. “Efficacy of a Core Strengthening Program for Diastasis Rectus Abdominis in Postpartum Women: A Prospective Observational Study.” Journal of Women’s Health Physical Therapy, vol. 45, no. 4, 2021, pp. 147–63. Crossref, https://doi.org/10.1097/jwh.0000000000000214.
- Sharma, Geeta, et al. “Postnatal Exercise Can Reverse Diastasis Recti.” Obstetrics & Gynecology, vol. 123, no. Supplement 1, 2014, p. 171S. Crossref, https://doi.org/10.1097/01.aog.0000447180.36758.7a.
Note that results may vary and are not guaranteed.