Diastasis Recti

Published on 14 February 2024 at 12:28

What Is Diastasis Recti?

In your abdomen you have different groups of muscles. One group is called the Abdominus Rectus -these are the "6 pack" muscles. Another group is called the Transverse Abdominus. These muscles go from side to side hence the name Transverse. 


Diastasis is a fancy term for separation. Recti is the name referring to the Abdominus Rectus muscles. So Diastasis Recti is the separation of the Abdominus Rectus which is commonly known to happen during pregnancy. 

How Do I Know If I Have Diastasis Recti?

You can check by lying down somewhere flat such as the bed, couch or floor with your knees up (as if you're going to do a sit-up). Lift your head (this will engage your muscles) and you will be able to feel with your fingers if there is a separation between your muscles in the middle of your abdomen. If you do have a separation, measure how many fingers wide it is. Can you juat fit 1 finger or 3 in the separation? 

What Can I Do To Close the Separation?

The key here is to make sure you don't engage your abdominus recti muscles. These are the muscles that look like a 6-pack. Doing crunches and situps are a no-no until the separation is closed. This includes sitting up in bed from lying down. Doing so can make it worse and separate them more. Instead, when you need to get up, roll over to one side and push up with your arms. This way you don't engage the abdominal recti.


Instead, you need to strengthen the transverse abdominus muscles. These are the muscles that go from side to side in your abdomen. These are the muscles that will pull everything back together.

Which Exercises Engage the Transverse Abdominus? 

How Can I Prevent Diastasis Recti?

It is important that during pregnancy you do not engage the Abdominus Rectus muscles. Anything that is a like a sit up or crunch engages them.

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