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Separated stomach muscles

(9 Posts)
Pumble Sat 12-Jul-14 15:17:05

Despite running and doing jillian michaels workouts every day my stomach still looks dreadful. I'm now pretty sure my stomach muscles never knitted back together properly after two children in quick succession. Can anybody please recommend exercises to do? It seems a waste of my GPs time to ask them, is that right?
Thank you in advance. thanks

Stealthfart Sun 13-Jul-14 17:45:24

I have got diastasis recti too. My youngest is two and a half and it has never got any better despite physio for months followed by core exercises on my own. I am pretty fit and it is so disappointing that they are not responding to conservative treatment. I am biding my time now until I can afford abdominoplasty. I hope you get a response from someone with miracle cure ;-)

ShadowsShadowsEverywhere Thu 17-Jul-14 22:29:46

Right. I've had diastasis for years. I am now at maintenance stage where a few exercises each day keep the separation closed.

Before saying anything else i must say, STOP doing 30DS ab workouts, stop doing crunches, planks and anything 6 pack related. These exercises all put pressure on the separation and make it worse!!

The first excercise you need to do is isolate the transverse abdominus. This is the big corset like muscle which holds everything in from the inside. Strenthening this muscle will heal your separation.

Stand up feet shoulder width apart and leave arms by your sides. Focus on your belly button for a moment and then pull your belly button in. You want to imagine there is a string tied from the inside of your belly button, to your spine and out a hole in your back and that it is being pulled from behind you. It should feel tight, possibly in your back as well as front. You shouldn't be bending your spine or dragging your whole stomach in, breathe in and out through it and hold it as long as you can. That is your transverse muscle.

Exercises to do to heal separation
As above draw your transverse muscle in. This time pull your pelvic floor in at the same time. Now place a finger in your belly button and still holding the contraction of muscle pulse it. You should aim to keep it as tight as possible while pulsing. Keep going for as long as you can.

Imagine your tummy is a lift. Contract the transverse muscle in stages as though you are going up floors in a lift. Once you've got used to this take the lift up to each floor and down again in between. Aim to work right up to the sixth floor at your belly button.

Pelvic tilts. Lie on floor, knees bent, hands on tummy. As you exhale tilt your pelvic bone up and roll it slightly. Your tummy should hollow not bulge.

Head raises. Lie in same position. Lift your head and nod your chin to chest and down again. Repeat. Don't come up into a crunch, keep lower half of ahoulder blades on the floor.

The key thing to focus on is your alignment as you go about your day. Try and be tummy aware. When you are standing or walking try and adjust your posture, straighten spine, shoulders back, pull in your transverse muscle a little way. If you are about to bed down contract the transverse muscle first and hold it as you bend and straighten. When you lift your child/something heavy contract the transverse, straighten spine and pull in pelvic floor. If you spend a few days being really conscious of your posture and your tummy you will start to automatically adjust posture, pull that belly button to spine string.

Diastasis means there is only connective tissue holding the muscles together and your organs in. It doesn't matter how many of the exercises you do if the rest of the day you are letting your belly push out, you are leaning and lifting without contracting it which puts pressure on the separation and pushes it further apart.

Like pelvic floor exercises you can contract the transverse muscle without it being obvious and while sitting, standing or walking. So try and do it as often as you can through the day. Pull it in and hold it for as long as possible. Pulse it. Lean slightly to each side contracting it as you lean. Keep strengthening it and it will begin to pull everything back in and close the separation.

If you want to spend a bit there's two schools of healing you can google. Wendy Powell has created MuTu. Quite pricey but does diet plans and work outs as well as heal diastasis. There's also The Tupler Technique.

Hope that helps.

Pumble Wed 23-Jul-14 21:34:54

Sorry. I've been away from mumsnet so didn't see your replies. Thank you for all that info-v much appreciated! I'm doing some as I type!! smile

AmayaBuzzbee Wed 23-Jul-14 21:44:08

Thank you Shadows, very useful and exactly what I needed too ��

wotoodoo Wed 23-Jul-14 22:12:18

I don't think anything really works and I spend years and years hating my protruding, pregnant looking belly after multiple pregnancies and I spent years doing all the correct exercises you all have mentioned.

I even had a hernia operation on the NHS in an effort to improve the bulge but nothing worked.

I tried exercising and not eating at all in order to stop my belly protruding but nothing worked. I am now on thyroxine after wrecking my thyroid because of never eating and contantly exercising in a desperate attempt to banish the bulge.

I am less than 9st and 5'4'' so after 8 years of failing to improve my shape despite all the physio, pilates, Mutu and Tupler I have finally come to the conclusion that the only thing that will work is holding your tummy in with good posture and spandex.

As soon as you relax the tummy sticks out just as before so get used to it. Learn to love your new shape, wear flattering clothes, have good posture and don't upset yourself if exercises do not work.

Showy Wed 23-Jul-14 22:24:30

I had a diastasis recti after my second cs. Jillian Michaels will NOT be helping right now. How wide is your separation? I used the Tupler Technique and have a firm, toned, flat abdomen. It has taken real effort though. I worked bloody hard to fix the separation as much as possible and have maintained and maintained.

Pumble Wed 23-Jul-14 22:29:05

Not massive I hope. No more than two fingers- possibly less. I hadn't realised how bad jillian Michels is. Is it worth asking for physio? Presumably doing all the bits except abs on JM and running is ok though?

Showy Wed 23-Jul-14 22:35:29

JM is core intense though so even doing the resistance stuff can be detrimental to the separation. YouTube has exercises for diastasis recti. Give them a go, maybe?

My profile has pics of the massive bumps/excess water which caused problems in the first place. And me now. I still have a small separation but nobody would know.

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