Doing a diastasis recti test often isn’t what you should be focused on!
‘What do I look for when doing a diastasis recti test’ ‘Do I measure the gap when my head and shoulders are resting on the floor, or raised?’ ‘How high up do I lift?’ ‘Is the real size of the gap when the muscles are relaxed or when they are engaged?’ ‘Why is my gap wider at some points than at others?’ ”My gap is larger at night than in the morning. Which is the right measurement?’ ‘I get more doming of my abs when I raise my head higher / when I do a straight leg lift / when I lift my shoulders… which one is the true measurement?’.
HERE’S THE THING. IT DOESN’T MATTER ALL THAT MUCH.
To learn how to do a diastasis recti test correctly watch this video, but please when you go watch it, do it ONCE, then leave your tummy alone and come right back here. The reason for that is all the ways you perform a diastasis recti test exert intra-abdominal pressure. When you do a diastasis recti test you contract the rectus abdominis muscle temporarily to enable you to feel the gap between the 2 parts of the muscle and to approximate the width of that gap with your fingers.
All this lifting and exerting pressure and poking and prodding, the reason it causes your abs to dome is because your core is compromised and can’t do its job to withstand that pressure. If one way of measuring your diastasis recti makes it dome more and gives a wider or stronger measurement, then you’re applying even more pressure. What this means is, all that obsessive testing is making it worse.
SERIOUSLY, STOP MEASURING YOUR DIASTASIS RECTI!
Every time you ‘test’ it, you’re putting it in a position that exacerbates the problem. The advice and the exercises are the same whichever way you test it, so focus on the SOLUTION instead. The measurement is SO not important. You want to establish whether there is a gap there, whether your core is not as stable as it could be, and to get an approximate measurement of that in finger widths, so you can have an idea of progress as you get stronger. Remember, people have different size fingers… this is not an exact science. There’s a gap, that’s the main thing to take note of when testing for diastasis recti!
Make some changes and take steps to repair your core, and wait until you have been doing these daily restorative exercises, stretches, and alignment adjustments for AT LEAST 2-3 weeks, before you test it again. Seriously. You don’t need to keep poking. If you ‘test yourself’ every day, or if you’re not doing the work… It’s the same as it was yesterday, Mama…. leave it alone!
I’ve said this lots but I’ll say it again…
THE GAP IS NOT THE PROBLEM – IT’S A SYMPTOM.
The cause of the gap is a core that is not functioning optimally because it is not aligned right, not connected right and as a result, it is plain not working. The pressure’s all going the wrong way. Your core is struggling and the rest of your body tries to compensate and nothings’ quite where or doing what it should be. Focus your energies on realigning, walking, strengthening. Try to start trusting+ listening to your body’s signals, rather than straining your poor abs, sticking fingers in your stomach and getting annoyed when they keep disappearing.
The same principle applies to weighing yourself on the scales regularly. If your diastasis, or your waist measurement, or the severity of your core weakness measures a 1, 2 or 3, X, Y or Z on the whatever-scale… If your weight or your dress-size is bigger than you think it should be by any total relative, subjective criteria (which they all are btw…) how does the solution differ? It really doesn’t.
It’s the same. We take baby steps. Towards better alignment, more walking, and stretching, more self-awareness, mindfulness of movement, more self-love, fresher, more nutritious food. The baby steps, the stuff we try to do more of to feel better – it’s the SAME. So please, for the love of all things Holy, stop poking and prodding and measuring and weighing your body. And even more importantly (because they usually go hand in hand) stop criticizing and punishing and feeling disappointed or angry with your body. Poke, prod, measure, weigh… feel bad, feel shame, feel guilty, feel mad. This ain’t rocket science, this is self-preservation – stop doing what makes you feel like crap!
My challenge for you
I know how obsessed some of you get with the scales or the precise finger-width of the gap in your abs. I know it can be hard to stop measuring… but just try to start today – just for today, don’t measure anything. Then tomorrow, wake up, consider whether the world stopped turning as a result (it probably didn’t) and then don’t measure yourself that day either. What you will realize is that all that measuring stuff has ONE effect: it made you feel bad.
PLEASE, DEAR MAMAS, LIFE IS TOUGH ENOUGH. STOP DOING STUFF THAT MAKES YOU FEEL BAD
Start incorporating movement that helps heal your diastasis recti instead! Check out these 5 exercises for diastasis recti.