Updated: Dec 30, 2021
CLOSING THE GAP- Did you know that certain Pilates Exercises can knit back together abs that have separated during pregnancy? I had Jack at 40 & it can be really tough getting your abs back at any age! Do you have a belly pouch & no matter what you do just can’t seem to SHIFT IT, TONE IT, TIGHTEN IT UP? Your abs may have separated during pregnancy!?- Diastasis Recti- Do you have it? How to test for it AND how to SOLVE it…
It is one of those issues you tend to find out about after having your baby & losing all your baby weight BUT you still have a BELLY POUCH (that won’t go) & then if not spotted & worked on can lead to lower back ache, posture & pelvic problems pretty quickly… WHY?
Please ‘share’ with anyone who has had a baby within the last 10 weeks to 3 years-
Thank you. I hope this is useful Tracy x
Below I have written the test you can do for yourself to see if you have separated abdominals.
I have also popped down information on how you can go about healing the abdominals & the best Exercises to knit them back together.
I have been teaching Exercises, Health & Fitness for 26 years & I have taught Pilates & Yoga & been doing intensive 1:1 for the last 16 years. I thought it would be really worthwhile writing about & highlighting RD (separation of the abdominals) as I seem to be seeing more women with this problem who have not had it diagnosed. It is not just an aesthetic issue. It is a women’s health problem that can lead to future pelvic floor, incontinence & prolapse problems. I hope this is helpful & useful, please ‘Share’ with your female friends who have had babies weeks, months or years ago! Lower BELLY POUCH can be solved!
HOW DOES IT HAPPEN?
For most women diastasis recti is commonly experienced during the third trimester of pregnancy. As your baby grows, there is constant pressure put on the back of the abdominal wall. The connective tissue joining the abdominal muscles stretches, causing the left & right sides of the abdominal muscles to separate. Many women’s abdominal muscles will come back together after childbirth but unfortunately, some women’s do not.
HOW TO CHECK YOURSELF FOR DIASTASIS RECTI-
It’s very normal to have separated abdominals right after childbirth. You should wait approximately 6 weeks before checking.
Lay on your back with your knees bent.
Put one hand behind your head & place your fingertips of the other hand above your belly button.
Inhale & exhale. As you exhale lift your head. If you have diastasis recti, your fingers will sink into the separation between your abdominal muscles.
Feel above, below & behind your belly button to determine how long and wide your separation is.
WHAT IF YOU FIND YOU HAVE A GAP?
Make sure you are standing with correct posture/alignment, because this is key in healing a diastasis. Most people do not realise just how bad their posture has become.
When your body is properly aligned, your abdominal muscles are in the correct position to heal. Standing or sitting with bad posture/alignment means that your abdominal muscles are being pulled apart or squished together, which will stop them from healing.
EXERCISES TO HEAL & REHAB DIASTASIS RECTI-
OK Preforming exercises that focus on working your Transverse Abdominals (TVA the deeper abs) will help close & minimise the muscles separation. Performing certain exercises while pregnant may reduce your risk altogether!!
EXERCISE ONE- THE SINGLE LEG FLOOR TOUCH
This is considered to be one of the best exercises for healing separated abs.
First, lie on your back with your knees bent and feet on the floor.
Support your back with a pillow.
Now lift your left leg up to meet your right knee.
Your navel should be pulled down to your spine with the abdominal muscles contracted.
Slowly lower your leg and place your foot on the floor.
Return to the starting position and repeat the exercise with you right leg.
Repeat it 10 times with each leg.
EXERCISE TWO- THE BRIDGE EXERCISE
This is another effective exercise for abdominal muscle strengthening.
Lie down on your back with your knees bent.
Make sure that your feet, shoulders, & head are flat on the floor.
Lift your hips up to create a straight line from your shoulders to knees.
Now draw in your abdominal muscles & squeeze the glutes.
If you are in the correct position, your ankles should be aligned below your knees.
Perform this exercise 10 times with breaks in between.
Pilates Classes Kendal that will help you ‘CLOSE THE GAP’ & regain your core strength
MONDAYS 9.15am @ First Place Fitness, Kirkland Kendal
FRIDAYS 11.45am @First Place Fitness, Kirkland Kendal
If you have any specific questions or would like advice please send me a message