Understanding Diastasis Recti

Diastasis Recti is a condition when there is a split between the two side of the rectus abdomens muscles. This condition usually develops during pregnancy, when the uterus stretches the muscles in the abdomen to make space for the growing baby.

This is a simple test for diastasis recti:

  1. Lay on your back, flex your knees, feet resting on the mat
  2. Relax head and shoulder and place two fingers above the belly button along the midline 
  3. Place the other hand under your head and lift your head gently (like a crunch position)
  4. If your fingers can feel a space, you likely have a split rectus abdominals, which is diastasis recti

If you have diastasis recti condition, you will want to avoid movements and poses that stretch and open the midline of the rectus abdominals. Generally, these are backhanding poses like Danurasana (Bow Pose), Ustrasana (Camel Pose) and Urdhva Much Svanasana (Upward facing dog) etc. 

Instead, you should work on poses that strengthen your transverse abdominus and obliques. Transverse abdominis is the inner most abdominal muscle. The obliques are layer of muscles that overlie the transverse abdominis and strengthening the obliques can provide a more balanced core contraction, easing off pressure on the rectus abdominis. Recommended pose and movements are vasisthasana (side plank) , single-leg lift, hip raises.

As you understand the anatomy of diastasic recti, you may also modify the poses as necessary to reduce the pressure on the rectus abdominis by using the transverse muscles and obliques. By focusing on the right muscle and performing the right exercises reguarly, you will regain your core strength and notice the gap in your rectus abdomens closing up.