Diastasis Recti | Your Questions Answered in Video Interview

I met a lovely woman this week. Well sort of ‘met’. Alysa Bajenaru is a Registered Dietitian and qualified personal trainer, Blogger at InspiredRD.com + Mom from Arizona, USA who wrote a post about  Diastasis Recti and her quest to find good information on what to do about it.  Her post went viral on Pinterest and was flooded with comments and questions.

So she asked me to help answer them. The result was an interview over Skype (I’m in Cornwall, UK… so meeting for coffee unfortunately wasn’t an option) which we filmed and you can watch below. The interview is divided into 3 sections for easier viewing and I have included a timeline to help you jump to the questions you’re particularly interested in if you want to.

Alysa’s update blog post including the interview is here.

Part 1

Introduction to me, my credentials and background, plus Alysa talks about her personal situation and the blog post that inspired the interview!

2.45 Alysa asks: What is diastasis recti, how does it happen and how do you know if you have it?

4.45 Alysa asks How common is diastasis recti? Is it normal and how big a gap is normal?

6.30 Alysa asks: Why does it matter? Apart form aesthetics and a tummy that protrudes, what are the implications of diastasis recti for the rest of your body function?

My answer here is particularly important as it explains the root cause of diastasis: excessive intra abdominal pressure, and discusses the lack of ‘connection’ that results in frustration for many women not seeing results form their ab exercise program.

Part 2

Alysa asks: What would you say to those women whose kids are not babies anymore? Is it ever too late to fix, or can you be ‘beyond hope’?

Wendy clarifies what will happen naturally in terms of closure and healing. What we can do to re-train and narrow the gap after that.

2.00 Alysa asks: So how do we fix it? Wendy reveals the vital first steps you must take in shifting whole body alignment and reversing intra abdominal pressure before any ab exercises are going to work

3.49… What to do contd: Why ‘sucking in your stomach’ is not engaging your core muscles, and what is.

5.42 How to engage your transverse abdominis muscle and common pitfalls

6.33 Alysa asks what sort of exercises are included in MuTu System programs. I explain why she doesn’t recommend hundreds of repetitions of any ab exercise and an explanation of her emphasis on truly functional exercise for Moms.

8.35 Alysa agrees – that she wants to run and do circuits and other workouts, not just do ‘engage my transverse exercises’. Why she likes the idea of whole body functional exercise, using the transverse correctly engaged instead.

9.23 Alysa asks: What shouldn’t we do? I’ve read we can’t do crunches – why not? What about planks?

I explain not only what not to do, but how to know if you shouldn’t be doing it if you’re not sure!

10.53 Alysa asks: When can I go back to doing those more traditional exercises? How will I know when I’m ready?

I talk crunches, how to get a flat stomach and how to test yourself and know when you’re ready to move forward. How to test for abdominal midline stability and strength as well as the width of the gap.

Part 3

0.40 What about people who have asked about hernia? What exercises should they do? Is this a related problem?

2.10 Alysa asks: Is there a point at which only surgery is going to fix this?

3.50 Alysa: Some programs ask you to use a towel, or a binder or splint to ‘pull the muscles back together’. Should I do that? Does it help?

I discuss the key differences and between MuTu System and other programs that use occasional or constant splinting.

6.50 Alysa asks: So I want a strong core, a strong back, I want to do lots of workouts and I want a stomach that looks good… now we’re so much better informed, where do we start?

I finish with a checklist of alignment tips, exercises and strategies to start putting your middle back where you want it!

  • Diane Tincher

    Fantastic interview, Wendy! Thank you very much!

  • Teresa in Orange California

    I don’t want to put a downer on this video but I purchased Wendy’s 12 week program back in August 2012 and I am a personal trainer and have always been in shape even through my two pregnancies and her program DID NOT work for me. I am a very detail oriented person and when it comes to my workouts I am very regimented I followed every detail and my midline got a little firmer and I only have a finger gap but I still have the mummy tummy and I still look like I am 4 months pregnant and it is not a layer of fat it is the fact that my muscles are still not right. I have tried her program twice and it has not worked for me. I have also tried to contact her to speak with her or someone in her company to get further help with no response through facebook or email. I am really frustrated by the fact that I can’t get my stomach muscles back in shape and I just want women to know that her program is not full proof. If anyone has any suggestions that may help me get my flat strong abs back I would love to hear from you.

    • http://mutusystem.com/ Wendy Powell

      Hello Teresa, I’m sorry you feel frustrated. Firstly, I apologize that you did not get a response to your emails. I receive hundreds of emails + messages every day + try very hard to get to all of them in order but sometimes some get missed.
      I’m afraid no program followed without hands-on, one to one attention can ever be infallible (+ even then, Mother Nature sometimes foils the most experienced practitioner). Individual circumstances do of course make every woman + every experience unique.
      The exercises in the MuTu programs are approved by women’s health physiotherapists + exercise specialists from around the world + literally thousands of women around the world send us great feedback every week. But no program is going to be be perfect for everyone. I’m sorry you did not get to where you wanted to be.
      I would be very happy to Skype with you to discuss your individual issues + try to help you to find the missing connection, or point you in the right direction.
      I would never claim or guarantee to be able to ‘fix’ everyone, but if I can help you further I will!