Stop, drop, & DON'T crunch

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Have you been hitting the sit-ups, crunches and planks post baby to get rid of that baby pooch? If so please STOP!!! If you have not been assessed for diastasis recti and/or a pelvic floor dysfunction you could be causing more harm than good.

Diastasis recti is a separation in the rectus abdominis muscle (aka the 6 pack abs) and is caused by an increase in abdominal pressure.  If you have diastasis recti doing sit-ups, crunches or planks will make this matter worse since these exercises increase abdominal pressure causing your internal organs to get pushed out worsening that baby pooch.

How to test for diastasis recti:

  • Lie down on your back with knees bent

  • Place your two fingers horizontally at your belly button

  • Raise just your head up off the floor (DO NOT CRUNCH)

  • Positive Test:  If you sink into a space 2 or more fingers between the rectus abdominis muscle

  • Negative Test:  sink into a space that is less than 2 fingers between the rectus abdominis muscle

  • Repeat the test 4.5 cm above and below the belly button between the rectus abdominis muscle

Correcting diastasis recti requires proper activation of your pelvic floor and transverse abdominis muscle while coordinating your breathing (which will be demonstrated in the next vlog).  All sit-ups, crunches and planks should be avoided for 8-12 weeks post delivery and that is only if you have been doing your pelvic floor and transverse abdominal muscles exercises right after giving birth and/or diastasis recti has resolved.  

If you have a positive test, I would advise you to set up an appointment with me or find a pelvic floor PT in your area for further evaluation of your pelvic floor muscles.

Our mantra:  stop crunching to galore and I will have a happy pelvic floor

L Yu