Diastasis recti

June 6, 2010 § 2 Comments

Some of you may already know through my facebook rantings that I’m in bootcamp. It’s not that kind of bootcamp. I don’t wake up at 5:30 am to go workout and our instructors don’t yell at us to do 50 more push-ups.

It’s actually belly bootcamp. More specifically, it’s bootcamp to repair my diastasis. Diastasis (die-ASS-ta-sees) is the separation of the outer muscles of the abdominals. During pregnancy, my growing belly pushed on my muscles and slowly separated them. I didn’t know about doing these specific exercises to help prevent or minimize diastasis, so I just went along my merry pregnant way. After two babies, but before this bootcamp, I had no waist to speak of- and it was because my muscles had separated, making my waist larger than ever.

Check out this illustration of before and after- you can see how the exercises are meant to close up the abdominals. You’ll get a better idea of what I’m talking about:

A personal trainer (also a mom) in town was teaching mom workouts and she got trained in the Tupler technique, which is a set of exercises that help close the muscular gap of diastasis and during pregnancy help prevent or minimize the separation. She’s got us all on board. Now, she teaches a beautiful bellies workshop- specifically for learning the Tupler technique.

So, my bootcamp, if it should be called that at all, includes these exercises during the weekly strength training class and two cardio classes- though you can opt to do just one cardio class.

From what I understand, you could go to 100 cardio classes post-partum and still have that “mummy tummy”- that bulge that just won’t go away. If you still do, it’s not late to get checked for diastasis. You could be 15 years “post-partum” and still correct an abdominal separation. The thing to know is that, just like any part of staying in shape, you need to keep doing the exercises to keep the muscles active and closed. It’s alongside these specific exercises that the workouts really have an effect.

Since I have diastasis, I need to be careful when I get up out of bed (I have to roll to my side and then push myself up) and I can’t do traditional sit-ups, and other kinds of abdominal movements I thought were good for my middle. I still can’t do the hundred from the pilates workout I used to do. I can do a lot of other exercises. I just have to be careful.

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