Diastasis Recti is a common condition of pregnancy, our master of all things pre and post-natal Charlie Lauder recalls Riva’s story and how she helped her “close the gap”.
Riva came to Lomax five months after having her little boy by caesarian. She had never done any serious exercise and was very nervous at the prospect of it. She wanted to lose some weight and start living a healthier lifestyle. The doctor had signed her off to say she was safe to start exercising but she had absolutely no idea where to start and was looking for some guidance.
In Riva’s post-natal assessment, we went through everything about her pregnancy, birth and lifestyle in order to have a full understanding of what was needed in her program. One of the first things we did was check her abdominals.
A common condition of pregnancy is “Diastasis Recti”. It occurs in about 30% of pregnancies and is when the right and left halves of the abdominal muscles spread apart at the body’s mid line fascia, the line alba. It may only be a slight separation, but it is something that needs to be addressed to prevent any further separation in future pregnancies or later on down the line. Diastasis recti reduces the integrity and functional strength of the abdominal wall and can aggravate lower back pain and pelvic instability if not dealt with correctly.
We quickly discovered that Riva still had a separation that she was totally unaware of. To put her nerves at ease, we went through what this meant and also how we were going to go about closing the gap.
In Riva’s program we have been working on building up strength in her whole body, focusing on contracting her abdominal muscles in compound movements such as squats that recruit multiple muscle groups. We do these kind of exercises rather than doing hundreds of sit ups, which cause the abdominals to protrude on contraction which is something that needs to be avoided. Instead, we have been working on twisting movements and functional exercises that require the core to stay engaged. These help to encourage the abdominals to close together and become a strong unit again.
In the last three months Riva’s abdominal separation has almost completely closed and she has made incredible improvements in her overall strength. She is looking great and feeling far more confident in and out of the gym!
Charlie is the head of Pre and Post Natal exercise at Lomax Chelsea, for more information about Bumps & Burpees or to book a consultation email firstname.lastname@example.org or call 08715 120 770.