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Diastasis Recti Assessment and Safe Core Postpartum Exercises October 05 2015, 0 Comments

Are you a fitness or birth professional that works with women?

Are you a fitness or birth professional that works with women? Did you know that even 20 years postpartum  a woman's abdominal muscles may still be separated and that certain exercises can make this condition worse?

Abdominal separation  ( diastasis recti) is when your linea alba, a band of connective tissue that connects you right and left side rectus muscles (six pack) splits or separates exposing inner organs. This can lead to chronic back pain, pelvic floor dysfunction and more.

This is caused by:
  • Misalignment/ collapsing through the spine
  • Growing uterus
  • Hypo or hyper tonic abdominal wall musculature ( over or under developed abdominals)
  • Superficial abdominal, core work during pregnancy
  • Improper bio mechanics and breathing
  • More
If you are a mom or a professional that works with women, certain exercises and movements are contraindicated if you have this condition as it can become worse if not treated..
Such as:
  • Belly breathing
  • Core exercises with legs at table top or out in a "V"
  • Lifting head off of the floor, Pilates Roll downs
  • Using heavy weights
  • Any forward folding

 If a woman is coming to you complaining of back pain the first thing you should do is check her abdominals for a diastasis recti- even if she is 20 years postpartum! It is important to asses from the zyphoid process to the belly button for separation and recognize that the separation can be shallow, medium or deep depending on how much of your finger can sink into the belly.

Here is Anne Rust of Baby Moon at a mamalates training Lexington.KY. learning how to assess an abdominal separation.

 If you are asking "How do I know if I have an abdominal separation or if my clients have one?" You can check out this video below for a self check and for a basic exercise to help close the gap and get yourself or your clients on the road to a healthier core!


VIDEO: How to check for an abdominal separation 

Look for more information on safe postpartum core exercises and an abdominal binding VIDEO in my next post!


Wendy Foster is the founder of mamalates and the master trainer for all mamalates licensing programs. An internationally certified Pilates instructor, pre/post fitness specialist, and birth recovery expert, Wendy has been teaching Pilates based restorative exercise since 1999 and practicing yoga for nearly two decades. She has a  practice in Southeast Portland, OR.  and offers her OB/GYN endorsed training around the country . To set up a training in your area or for any questions, contact her at or visit