Today, I’m talking to you about abdominal separation. If you’re new to the world of diastasis recti (that’s the fancy word for abdominal separation), you may want to get the low down on what happens to the abdominals during pregnancy, so you’re a little more aware of the condition.
The main thing I’m pointing out today though is that diastasis recti (which is a separation of the abdominal muscles) doesn’t just occur during pregnancy. There are a number of other situations and scenarios that cause the muscles in your abdominals to move apart from each other. Even men can be affected by this condition, you see, so you’ve learnt something new already. Every day’s a school day, eh?
So here is my list of the top 6 things that cause abdominal separation:
- Weight gain in both men and women. It’s often termed a “beer gut” in men, for example.
- Incorrect body mechanics while exercising eg no awareness of how the abdominals support the back when lifting heavy weights.
- Genetics – but only in some cases eg a rare percentage of babies are born with a diastasis recti.
- Imbalance of the abdominal muscles eg over-exercising the six-pack muscles, or incorrectly engaging these muscles when it should be your core further underneath doing the work instead.
- It can occur during pregnancy and when your bump starts to show, and occurs more commonly if you’re expecting twins/multiples.
- Can occur during birth itself – often it’s as a result of the pushing phase in labour, particularly if you’re in an inclined position, or if your legs are widened.
- Can occur during the course of a c-section eg a caesarean section isn’t the most delicate of operations and it takes a considerable amount of force to deliver a baby.
If you want to know what exercises help fix abdominal separation, click here to download a handy worksheet which runs through all of the exercises you need to perform, guiding you through step-by-step to help realign your tummy muscles, strengthen your back and release tension.