Simply do the following:
- lie on your back
- place your feet on the floor with knees bent
- raise your head forward with chin to chest, as if to do an abdominal crunchthen using your fingertips gently feel the soft tissue in the gap between your recti abdominal muscles above and below your belly button
- If there is a gap of 3 or more fingers you have diastasis recti.
Don’t stress if you have diastasis recti, a lot of women experience this and be patient, you will need to take care with exercise whilst you have this condition, however you can do exercises that will encourage the muscles to close this gap.
Exercises that can help diastasis recti include plyometric abdominal exercises like plank or using an exercise ball doing declined abdominal lifts:
- place lower back on the ball and feet on the floor
- slowly raise your head and chest to be parallel with your torso
- repeat 10 times twice or more if you are able
Avoid doing any form of crunching / curling of the abs, this can make the condition worse, and potentially cause a hernia (an abnormal protrusion of part of the body through a weak point in the body/muscle - in this case the insides of your tummy could start to push up into the gap between the recti abdominal muscles). I think we would all want to avoid this!
Please take care doing any exercises if you have this condition and feel free to ask me anything on this subject, I would like to help. I will be offering postnatal exercise classes in the new year that will include safe exercises for women with diastasis recti.