I gathered this info from 2 great sites: http://www.girlsgonestrong.com and http://www.birthfit.com. As mentioned earlier I rely on Birthfit and their resources especially “Strength & Conditioning for Pregnancy” for a lot of the modifications I have been doing to my current programming.
What is Diastasis Recti?
Your buddha belly is growing in order to accommodate your baby therefore your ab muscles need to make make some room by pulling apart from the midline of the body, most notably around your belly button.
This is a normal process that needs to happen and generally women’s bodies can accommodate this without too much hassle. Once you give birth you can take the necessary steps to heal this and get back to normal. But often, due to lack of information, we can exacerbate this further which in turn leads to some disfunction.
This disfunction is happening within your core which is all the way from your pubic bone to the base of your skull – the front, back, and sides of you. The core is everything from your diaphragm to your internal and external obliques to your lats and of course your glutes. Your core muscles protect your organs and spine. When you are pregnant stuff (organs etc) move around and find a new normal for 9 months thus causing internal physical changes which will need to be “normalised” again.
How do we avoid DR whilst still training during pregnancy?
As mentioned in the video below – avoid toes to bar, sit ups, GHDs (any frontal plan loading). Coning of abs (coming to a point) is a sign that there is stress on your linea alba – whatever exercise has caused this. STOP.
Here are some points to remember:
- Avoid crunch type exercises
- Engage your entire core and incorporate your breathe.
There are so many exercises you can do which will help stabilise your core without adding pressure to your midline.
Check out this awesome article by Girls Gone Strong for some things to do during all 3 trimesters.
And then of course, you need to think about postpartum training which is also discussed in the video below.
I really urge you to do the research on this, it is a common problem that can easily be avoided. Thank goodness I got a lot of training advice from a fellow colleague who trained many of our pregnant ladies and was paying attention when she spoke to me about it before I got preggos.
Most importantly though – listen to your doctor and listen to your body. If it doesn’t feel right, it probably isn’t.