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  • Writer's pictureanneabitan

What do you know about your Diastasis Recti?

A few words briefly about diastasis recti. It occurs mainly during pregnancy and will be felt in post-partum.

During pregnancy, the rectus abdominal muscles that are a pair, lengthen by 15 cm to make room for your fetus to develop and then it will take those 6 weeks after birth to return to their initial length from before pregnancy, but will still be loose and weakness will be felt in the center.

In the center of the "six pack" and along the entire length of the muscle, from the sternum to the pubis, is the white line, a type of relatively strong connective tissue that resembles a tendon. There is such an extension to all the abdominal muscles, varying in size according to the shape of the muscle, and all of these tissues meet in the center.

So how do you know if we have a diastasis? Recommends first of all to check with a pelvic floor physiotherapist. This is her profession, she will know how to accurately assess the diastasis and also check the condition of your pelvic floor. Do not give up the test, it is very important.

Are you still curious to feel the diastasis alone? It is possible. Lie on your back with your feet on the mat, your head and shoulders raised toward your knees, as if in a bad crunch. Do this only once for the test. Your fingers are touching along the white line. If the fingers go in 2 and a half cm or more, you have a diastasis. Do not panic, it will usually close on its own over time but you can do dedicated and precise exercises that will help close that and also sculpt your abdomen.

Tips for your every day’s life:

· Avoid lifting heavy things.

· Don’t remain too long in a standing position.

· Avoid pushing when you are in the toilet, for that adopt a correct posture.

· Drink at least a liter and a half of water a day, it will help you avoid constipation and will also benefit the connective tissues of your body.

· Avoid everything that shortens your rectus abdominis muscle!!! (crunches for example).

Always maintain maximum lengthening of the spine! Shoulders away from the pelvic line, both in daily life and during practice.

Don't seat like that...

Don't lie this way...

Let's practice!

Want to understand more about the above practice?

Some principles to guide you for a safe practice:

1. Lengthen the spine even before you start the exercise so that the white line will stretch and lengthen (the "zipper closure" operation begins). This will help the transverse abdominal muscle to contract better

2. Avoid postures that open the ribs and chest in the first stage of your practice.

3. Give priority to exercises that close the rib cage that has already expanded during pregnancy. Closing the back of the rib cage is important to create a breathable contra so that breathing will be more efficient. This has an effect on the efficiency of the work of the abdominal muscles that contract with exhalation and a positive effect on the movement of your intestines.

The practice

1. Lying on your back with standing feet: lengthen your spine then exhale with visualization of the zipper closure image: this visualization will guides you into the right practice and helps deepen the diaphragm exhalation needed to close the diastasis.

2. Closing the zipper by exhaling and pressing the head into the palms of the hands: the pressing improves the lengthening of the spine and thus deepens the exhalation process and improves the effectiveness of the exercise.

3. Lifting a leg with an emphasis on body stabilization: Raises your awareness in order to avoid creating unnecessary and harmful intra-abdominal pressures on the pelvic floor and worsening the diastasis. In addition, it is an exercise for strengthening your postural muscles.

4. Resistance between forearm and knee lying on back with standing feet:

The resistance between the arm (trying to push away) and the knee will activate the oblique muscles (external oblique following an attempt by the hand to push out and internal oblique following the knee wanting inwards) and will contribute to closing the ribs on the side where the exercise is performed.

5. (Imaginary Abs work): Sounds delusional? This exercise has been shown to be very effective in strengthening muscles. Research has been done on this in the United States. In practice, you contract the pelvic floor muscles, start exhaling and then visualize a movement but in practice do not move any organ. Impulses from the brain realizes the contraction of the muscle that maintains its volume. The work of "imaginary counter-resistance" is very rich because it not only activates the active muscles desired for these movements at the same time also the antagonistic muscles for movement. For example, in the exercise here, you simultaneously activate the abdominal and back muscles so that a real and deep stabilization is created here. Contracts the pelvic floor muscles, exhales and then imagine that you are lifting a leg towards the chest (as in exercise 3) but the movement is done only in the imagination, you are not really lifting the leg. Concentrate well while performing the exercise. You can touch your abdomen and check which areas are working

Imagine that you are raising up your leg...

In fact it's look like that...

6. Zipper closure on all four-pose: Pull yourself to the all-four pose with a long spine (as you will see in the video). Contract the pelvic floor muscles and then exhale while thinking about closing the zipper. Relax your abdomen to inhale without fear, your body in the right position that will keep you going. The next exhale with the zipper closure will be done against gravity and so your muscles need more work and will be strengthened accordingly.

7. Zipper closure at all-four posture with convex back(cat pose):This pose is different from the classic cat pose. Here the spine maintains its maximum length. Pelvic floor muscle contraction and exhalation with zipper closure is the most effective for closing the diastasis. In a study conducted by Camellia Bergese as part of a thesis for physiotherapy in Italy, 2014, “Verification of the effectiveness of a rehabilitation protocol on abdominal-pelvic muscles in reducing post-pregnancy diastasis of the rectus abdominis muscle”, it has been proven with the help of ultrasound that both sides of the rectus abdominis muscle are the closest during the exhale in this exercise and it is found to be most effective for closing the diastasis recti.

8. Closing the zipper in a crossed leg sitting pose: After lengthening the spine (it is also possible to sit on a chair, keep your back straight and your knees are at pelvic height), place your hands on your belly again and focus on closing the zipper in this position.


1. Abdominaux arrêtez le massacre, Dr. Bernadette de Gasquet, Robert Jauze, 2005.

2. En pleine forme après bébé, Dr. Bernadette de Gasquet, Marabout, 2009.

3. Périnée arrêtez le massacre! Dr. Bernadette de Gasquet, Marabout, 2020.

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