Diastasis Recti

What is diastasis recti? Everything you need to know.

What is it, what does it look like, how do you know if you have it? How do you check for diastasis recti, and why might it matter?

What causes it and what actually happens to your abs?

What exercises help with diastasis recti? Are there any you should avoid and how long for? Are crunches bad for DR?

How do you heal diastasis recti years later? When is diastasis recti considered severe or in need of surgery? What about diastasis during pregnancy?

AKA: DR, diastasis, ‘Divarication of the Recti’, DRA or ‘Rectus Divarication’. 

Totally normal, very common and not ‘an injury’. You can have a perfectly functional core and still have a small gap. 

MUTU is world recognised and medically proven in hospital-run trials as well as by tens of thousands of customers to heal diastasis. We’ve got you.

diastasis recti infographic

What Does Diastasis Recti Look Like?

Your tummy might still “look” pregnant, many months or even years post-baby. A DR can present itself as a ‘doming’ of your tummy, made worse when you perform crunch type movements or when sitting up from a lying position on your back.

diastasis recti view MUTU
diastasis recti view MUTU
diastasis recti view MUTU

After using MUTU System 94% of women reported an improvement in signs and symptoms of diastasis recti, or separation of the stomach muscles.*

Why Does a Diastasis Matter?

Diastasis Recti doesn’t just affect the way your tummy looks. The separation isn’t the problem in itself, it’s a symptom of a weak core (and pelvic floor). This can lead to a lack of strength and stability in the entire pelvic region and midsection.

You may also experience pain in your back, pelvic region or tummy when doing every day movements or exercise.

AKA: DR, diastasis, ‘Divarication of the Recti’, DRA or ‘Rectus Divarication’. 

DR is totally normal, very common and not ‘an injury’. You can have a perfectly functional core and still have a small gap. What is a ‘Functional Diastasis?

Diastasis recti is the widening of the gap between the 2 sides of the Rectus Abdominis muscle. The split occurs at the Linea Alba, the mid-line collagen structures of connective tissue at the front of your abdomen.

A diastasis happens due to the increase in load and the inevitable shift in alignment throughout your pregnancy, which cause excessive and ‘un-contained’ intra abdominal pressure.

The Rectus Abdominis is only 1 of 4 layers of abdominal muscles: the Transverse Abdominis (deepest muscle layer) the Interior and Exterior Obliques (next 2 layers) that form your waist, and then the Rectus Abdominis is on the outside.

When the 2 parts of the muscle separate or come apart, the connective mid-line is stretched and weakened as it takes all other muscular and fascial support structures along with it. This may leave the front of the abdomen unsupported and unstable.

Assessing yourself for diastasis recti symptoms, or abdominal separation, is easy to do at home following this diastasis test video instruction.

When checking for diastasis recti symptoms you are assessing not only the width of the gap, but also the depth or ‘squidgy-ness’.

Both these measures, along with other symptoms or feelings to watch for, will determine the severity of your diastasis, and what you can do.

You can narrow the gap with diastasis recti exercises including correct core restoration exercises, breathing strategies and alignment adjustments. By understanding how your body carries loads and withstands pressure, you can improve your core function and the look of your tummy.

Learn how to engage your core here. Spoiler: it’s *not* sucking in your stomach!

This is ‘engaging your core’ and is how you stabilise your trunk and protect your back when lifting heavy loads like
small humans, car seats or groceries.

Diastasis Recti and your posture

  • Try not to thrust out your chest or tuck your backside!
  • Walk more, sit less, change position more
  • You need strong glutes and a strong core to heal a diastasis

Follow these steps to help you to tweak and adjust your alignment for diastasis recti. Poor alignment and posture results in uncontained pressure and loading.

Next you must learn to ENGAGE and RELEASE your core and pelvic floor effectively in everyday movements.

You want to be able to carry your baby, push your pram, lift your children, do housework, walk, and move with a strong and functional core. MUTU retrains, reconnects and strengthens your core. You won’t always have to engage and release your core consciously but this is where we start.

Then you strengthen your transverse abdominis muscle to help draw your rectus abdominis muscle back in together, helping your tummy to feel stronger and look flatter.

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