Checking your abdominals for separation. (Diastasis Recti)

As promised here is some information about abdominal separation and how to check for it. It’s something I often get asked about.
Your abdominal muscles will have stretched during your pregnancy, and in some cases a diastasis recti can occur. This is a stretching of the linea alba causing a separation of the rectus abdominus muscles. Some light core stability exercises will have a positive effect on the closing of this separation and should be encouraged, but please don’t start pounding away at sit-ups and crunches before you’ve checked for separation. It only takes a minute or two.

To check for diastasis recti lay on your back and raise your knees. Place your little finger in your navel and your other 3 fingers in a line toward your breastbone. Keeping your feet on the floor, lower your chin to your chest and slowly curl your head and shoulders off the floor as if you were performing a crunch. You may feel a gap appear so turn your fingers at a 90 degree angle to see how much separation you have. If the gap is more than a couple of fingers you should definitely avoid regular abdominal exercises. Instead try this one.

Lay flat on your back with your knees bent as above but fold/cross your hands over your stomach so they support your abdominals. Breathe in, and then as you slowly breathe out raise your head to your chest. Gently ‘pull’ your stomach muscles together and hold for a count of 2 then slowly lower your head to the floor. Repeat 10 times.

I hope this has been helpful to you. If you have any specific questions please ask through the ‘ask the expert’ section of lifestylexperts.

Healthy Regards

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