July is International Diastasis Recti Awareness Month. Since we provide home fitness workouts and education that specifically address abdominal and pelvic health for women here on Fit2B, we are always participating. We’d also like to introduce you to a few other key players who work in the trenches of torn-apart tummies with us.
International Diastasis Recti Awareness Month
While Fit2B has been specializing in diastasis-recti-aware workouts ranging from cardio to stretching to weights since 2010, the topic of abdominal separation has only recently been making international headlines. Research on diastasis recti has been rather sparse until recently. So we ourselves are currently conducting a massive online survey, aiming for at least 1,000 responses to a series of questions we co-designed with top research physio Grainne Donnelly (BscHons Pg Cert HCPC MCSP). Click here to learn more about our research.
Experts in Diastasis Recti
Not only is Donnelly our partner in research, she also contributed a lesson to our ecourse “Experts in Diastasis Recti” that has been utilized by hundreds worldwide, and she was instrumental to a diastasis campaign with Pelvic Roar that runs the week after Mother’s Day.
Our course features other top-notch specialists such as Kelly Dean of The Tummy Team, Julie Tupler, Celeste Goodson of FitSplint, Lorraine Scapens of Pregnancy Exercise, Shannon Anhorn DC, and myself, Beth Learn, the founder of Fit2B.
Thankfully, more professionals are learning about diastasis recti every day. I was personally honored to present diastasis-aware fitness at Woman On Fire 2019.
International Diastasis Awareness Participants:
Follow these Instagram accounts for awesome content during July — and all year round — for concrete core information you can trust to share:
- (Leave a comment on this blog with other quality professionals who you know are covering this topic. Thanks!)
Our podcast is also a rich resource on all topics fitness, core, and diastasis recti related. Subscribe to Fit2B Radio on iTunes and all other podcast providers, and watch the video versions here on Fit2B.
Diastasis Is an Opening
Here on Fit2B we believe diastasis is a door — not a death sentence. It’s an opening that leads you to new motions beyond crunches and planks that you may not have tried before. We provide over 200 professionally filmed home workout videos that teach progressive fitness strategies to people dealing with diastasis recti.
Click the plank image for a free video
What do you need to be aware of when exercising with diastasis recti?
Our workout videos here on Fit2B that are available via reasonable membership rates are more than movement. They are deeply educational and applicable to your everyday life. If I could sum up 3 very important things about exercising with a diastasis, though, I’d say:
- Any cone, dome, tent, or mohawk shapes your abs make — treat any exercise that causes this like a turkey timer at Thanksgiving: it’s done! Pull the exercise out of your workout and test it a bit. Try a different breathing strategy. Use a smaller range of motion. Still doming or tenting? Time to take a break and seek deeper assessment. Contact us if you aren’t familiar with which workout video we have that might address that move with “tummysafe” strategies.
- Any sensation of burning, pulling, or widening of your abdominal muscles down your midline — some of our clients say they didn’t feel the onset of their diastasis recti, while others report specific feelings of discomfort and even pain. Seek your physician’s or physical therapist’s care if pain occurs.
- Any loss of continence — leaking from your front or back passages (pee or poo) is common but treatable. Some people with diastasis recti may also experience pelvic floor muscle dysfunction including incontinence during or after exercise. Seek the care of a specialist who can evaluate and treat the muscles supporting your bladder and colon if this is occurring.
Focus on What You CAN Do
So many activities are out there for you to enjoy (click that image of all the happy people doing all the happy things to read more) so, I mean, can you do crunches once you resolved your core dysfunction that’s been manifesting as diastasis? Sure! But your time is valuable, and we get more creative than crunches in the Fit2B home workout videos… You’ll see!
Just because you have some distance between the two sides of your abdominal wall, that doesn’t mean you need to avoid all exercise. Of course, you may need to focus on specific exercises that your PT or other specialist gives you for a short season, but I promise you’ll come back stronger.
Right now, if you are struggling with your diastasis recti, imagine doing everything you’re doing now but with a more resilient, responsive core! If you’re a runner, imagine what it would be like to run without wobbling and leaking! If you’re a weightlifter, imagine what it would be like to lift MORE weight with less effort because your core is supporting your breath and coordinating your upper and lower halves better! If you’re a an avid walker, imagine walking further in less time with less back pain later!
Your core is basically your entire trunk, and it’s central to all you do. If you’re looking for direction for dealing with diastasis or other core weakness, or if you just want a family-friendly place to get into better shape, you’re in the right spot! Leave a comment if you have any questions or additional resources to share!