When you think about Diastasis Recti (DR), most people think that it either can’t be seen from the outside, that it can only be detected if you try to put your fingers in between your abs, or that if you can see it from the outside that it would look like the first picture above.
But there are actually some pretty common tell tale signs just from looking at a person's stomach (even with clothes on) that they might have a DR.
The thing with diastasis recti is that the two “six pack” muscles are no longer being held tightly together by connective tissue, causing essentially a “collapse” of the abdominal wall and causing it to fall forward. If the muscles are still loose, the connective tissue has nothing firm to hold onto. And if the connective tissue has nothing firm to hold onto and is therefore still loose, then the skin has nothing firm to hold onto either. A domino effect. Because of this, a very common tell...
I hear so many women confused about whether or not they have ab separation, so let's dive in. Hopefully this information will be helpful to you.
Diastasis recti (or abdominal separation) happens when the connective tissue between your two rectus abdominis muscles or “six-pack” abs become stretched beyond their usual capacity and move apart to allow more space. During pregnancy, the six-pack muscles stretch to TWICE their original length! In some women it resolves by itself after pregnancy, but for the majority of us (especially those of us over 30), it often requires a bit of help to bring the muscles back together again. But contrary to common opinion, diastasis recti (DR) is not unique to pregnant women. It can also be caused by weight gain, weightlifting without proper abdominal pressure management, and is also more common than you would think in men!
As a result of this muscle separation, you might notice (or feel) a gap...
You will never hear me preaching about weight loss, or dieting, or “bouncing back”. Those aren’t phrases I ever use because I’m passionate about teaching women that when we focus instead on teaching the body how to FUNCTION at its absolute best, we will feel so much more capable, aligned, alive. The rest will fall into place.
Stay with me here, because I know you’re thinking “skinny bitch. What does she know? How can she possibly help me?” Hear me out because I have a track record for helping other women lose multiple inches off their waistline, because despite what many women think, those extra inches are not always “weight” related.
While bloating can very often be food related, as a pelvic floor expert I see all too often that a weak pelvic floor also has a huge effect on the way our midsection looks and very often is a major contributor to “belly bulge”. The pelvic floor is the literal foundation of...
Did you know that Kegels are not particularly effective for the majority of women? That’s because they don’t give you the full picture of what needs to happen in your pelvic floor (the phrase and technique was originally made popular by a male doctor in the 1940s). I used to teach Kegels as a stand alone exercise, but I have since learnt that the pelvic floor was never designed to function/move on its own. It was designed to move in tandem with the diaphragm and it actually behaves and functions infinitely better that way.
The problem with Kegels is that:
a) it encourages “clenching”.
Clenching can very easily cause the pelvic floor to become too tight. And it can be very difficult to strengthen a muscle that is too tight.
and b) Kegels only give you about 20% of the picture.
Meaning, telling your pelvic floor to contract on its own without it working in tandem with your diaphragm is...
Do you find that doing crunches, sit ups and planks just don’t give you the same results as when you were in your 20s? Or do your abs bulge or look strange when you try to do a sit up?
Think of the abdomen as being like a pressure canister. If when you crunch or do a sit up the pressure makes your lower abs bulge, then that pressure is also likely making your pelvic floor bulge as well.
This is bad because it can cause leaking, and even prolapse symptoms. So if you were thinking that leaking is “just a part of being a mom”, it’s not. It’s a pressure management issue.
There are plenty of ways in which you can strengthen your core that do not involve this high pressure situation. Which means that crunches are actually your least effective option at this point.
I’m assuming you’ve already done my free pelvic floor training to learn how to better manage this pressure (if you haven’t, the link is at the bottom).
Here are my 3...
Just as with the rest of the body, the pelvic floor loses collagen as we age. So just like when our boobs and our chin starts to feel the effects of gravity over time due to decreased skin elasticity, so too does the pelvic floor. A lifetime of high impact activity without a proper pelvic floor routine to provide support can cause just as much (if not more) wear and tear on your pelvic floor as pregnancy and childbirth. Which is why it becomes even more important to strengthen and tone the pelvic floor as we get older, whether we’ve given birth or not.
I am seeing more and more women in their 40s who’ve never given birth who say to me “I think I might have a diastasis but how can this be when I've never given birth?”
Collagen is kind of like a glue that holds all the cells in the body together. It is very important for helping the connective tissue of your pelvic floor to remain linked together in order to support healthy...
Do your knees hurt when you squat? This is one of the most common postpartum complaints I hear from mums besides core and pelvic floor issues.
First, let’s address why it happens in the first place:
During pregnancy, we carry a lot of extra weight in the front. When we carry or hold weight in the front of our body, it causes the front of our body to overwork. The quads (fronts of our thighs) get overused as we carry around this extra weight in the front, and as the quads become stronger, they start to take over, thus allowing the glutes to become weaker.
Have you ever heard the term “mom-butt”? Which refers to the saggy butt we experience as moms. This is why. So unless you were actively and intentionally training your glutes with weights during pregnancy, there is a high probability that your glutes are essentially turned off.
Squatting is a glute exercise. But when the glutes are very weak, we can lean too far forward when we squat,...
You’ve heard me say it a thousand times on instagram “your breath is the most important piece of the puzzle”, but WHY exactly is it so important??
After pregnancy, when the bottom of the ribcage remains flared out in the front, it causes the stomach to also protrude. It is not possible to get a truly flat stomach if the ribcage is still flared.
Look at the image below . This is a student of mine. I've put the arrows on there so that you can see the difference in ribcage flare. Look at the difference in the angle of the arrow. It might not look like much, but it makes a HUGE difference to the shape of your midsection. We have almost entirely corrected it due to correcting the BREATHING...
I was recently given the incredible opportunity and great privilege to collaborate with doctors, physical therapists and birth professionals in the kind of book that should be handed out in high schools and gynecologists offices. This book was a passion project like no other. All of the authors of this book had something unique to share. From personal stories, to anatomy lessons, to helpful tips and solutions to some of the most common postpartum symptoms.
But this book is not just for women. Men have a pelvic floor too. And many even suffer from Pelvic Floor Dysfunction (PFD) without even knowing it. Do you know a man who refers to his “dad belly”? That could very well be related to PFD. In women it’s affectionately referred to as the “mummy tummy”, the fupa, the mom pooch. We’re told “you’re a mom now. It’s part of the package”, but it simply isn’t true. We just have to have the knowledge of how to fix...
Stress Incontinence occurs when you cough, laugh, run, jump, sneeze etc, and you pee your pants a little as a result. This often happens when too much pressure is exerted on the bladder, forcing urine out. In most cases, this is a result of weakened pelvic floor muscles, usually due to childbirth, age, and/or menopause. But there are also circumstances that can aggravate stress incontinence, such as obesity, smoking, high-impact activities like running and jumping, and a chronic cough. Women can also experience stress incontinence when doing things like standing from sitting, getting in and out of a vehicle, lifting heavy things and having sex.
Urge Incontinence is also known as Overactive Bladder (OAB) and occurs when there is a strong urge to urinate despite the fact that your bladder may not be full. This urge is often strong enough that you can’t make it to the bathroom in time. While women with stress incontinence leak urine, women with urge incontinence may...