EXERCISES TO STAY AWAY FROM IF YOU HAVE A RECTUS DIASTASIS
Doing exercises that stretch your connective tissue either in a forward or sideways direction can create a rectus diastasis or make it worse. If you cannot engage your transverse muscle, your rectus abdominis or abdominal muscles are moving in a forward direction stretching your connective tissue.
Avoid doing these exercises if you have a diastasis:
Sit ups or Crunches – avoid crunches.
NEVER do ab exercises like sit ups, crunches or roll ups. In a back lying position when your shoulders are off the floor it will be impossible to completely engage your transverse muscles.
Why do crunches create a diastasis?
Because you are not only working the ab muscles in the wrong direction but you are putting force on the connective tissue that joins the outer most abdominal muscles (recti muscles). To strengthen a muscle, you want to make it shorter. To stretch a muscle, you want to make it longer. So, when you are doing a crunch you are making the rectus abdominis or abdominal muscles longer not shorter.
So test this out yourself and you will see that when you do a crunch the muscles are getting longer not shorter. Lay in a back lying position with your knees bent. Put one hand under your head and one hand on your belly. Now close your eyes and in your mind’s eye bring your belly button back to your spine (which is engaging your transverse muscle) and hold it there as you lift your head and shoulders off the floor. You will feel your muscles moving forward towards your hand. This forward movement is making the recti muscle longer and putting force on the connective tissue. This is because it is impossible to hold the transverse in completely when the shoulders come off the floor. That is why you should replace the crunch with the head lift.
Pilates 100 - Where you do a leg extension and your head and shoulders are lifted off the mat. This puts pressure on the abdominal walls and the connective tissue that joins the outer most abdominal muscles/rectus muscle. This action moves the abdominal muscles in the wrong direction.
Arching your back and flaring your ribs – You stretch your connective tissue sideways when your ribs are flared. In this position, it is impossible to completely engage your transverse muscle. If you do exercises where you arch your back, your ribs will flare. There is a lot of back arching in yoga poses with backbends, and the cobra.
Crossover sports activities like tennis and golf- A forward crossover movement with your upper body is in a shearing movement stretches your connective tissue sideways.
The Tupler Technique® is a prescription for core-strength to treat abdominal separation for women, men, & children wanting a flatter belly, strong back & smaller waist.
To learn more about Diastasis Recti & the Tupler Technique® read this article: DIASTASIS RECTI RESEARCH AND EVIDENCED BASED EXERCISE PROGRAM
To view my programs click this link: Program Packages for Men
Watch the short video below to know what a diastasis is.