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Exercises for Stomach Separation

Exercises for Stomach Separation

I am a gymnast. I remember putting on my first leotard when I was four. It was green and shiny, and I felt like a princess. I felt like I was part of an exclusive club of beautiful girls; running, jumping and prancing around. I loved gymnastics. I competed in the SA State Squad and even trained in the 2000 Olympics squad at the Institute of fitness. I trained over four days a week, doing backbends, summersaults, cartwheels, flips (everything you see a young gymnast do- I did) Later in my teens I then tried swimming and fell in love with it. I have tried most sports. Yoga, ballet, footy, rugby. Moral of that story- I grew up playing sports.

One thing all of these sports had in common? They were all Exercises for stomach separation. Whats that even mean? Well, sports where you continuously flair your ribs, put pressure on your connective tissue by bearing down on your abdominal wall or where you undertake shearing movements during exercise all contribute to Diastasis Recti or abdominal separation. 

From recent research on the medical condition Diastasis Recti, we now know that there are specific Exercises for stomach separation which has exacerbate the separation. From my study of Exercises for stomach separation, its like hindsight has come up behind me and hit me square in the face. It makes sense now. I have a highly placed abdominal separation from all the Exercises for stomach separation that I did as a child. 

Here I am blaming my two children for ruining my body, where in fact, I can probably put money on the fact that all the Exercises for stomach separation were the cause. 

So what are these exercises, and what Exercises for stomach separation should be avoided: 

Avoid Exercises for stomach separation #1:

Avoid any intra-abdominal force on the connective tissue (linea alba). 

For any pregnancy woman completing my class, I do not get them to complete any yoga, pilates or ballet where they are leaning over. Exercises such as a cat cow would not be suitable for the baby and organs bear down on the connective tissue making it larger and stretched. A bird dog from pilates would be another example of something to avoid, as the baby is pressing on the connective tissue. 

Avoid Exercises for stomach separation #2:

Avoid any movement which flares the rib cage; thus stretching open the connective tissue. The two prime examples I like to use are an up-dog from yoga and swimming. Each of these activities flares the ribs and make it impossible to hold the transverse to the spine which is integral to the treatment and protection of the connective tissue. 

Avoid Exercises for stomach separation #3:

Avoid any shearing movement where walls of the rectus abdominus are sheared open- stretching the connective tissue. An example? Crunches! If you have ever been in a class where the professional fitness states that to fix any separation you should do sit-ups and crunches- my advice is run! You will not be able to treat or lessen a diastasis recti with any form of sit up or crunch, as this is the most severe exercise which puts enormous amounts of tension and stretches on the connective tissue. 

Now that we have identified three ways which we could make a diastasis worse, I want to assure you that there are plenty of Exercises for stomach separation that you can do. Lunges, crab walks, kettlebell swings, theraband arm exercises, bike riding, walking, running, skipping, side planks, squats are some of the Exercises for stomach separation which are approved and will not risk further separation.

If you want some inspiration, guidance or support to return to exercise, Aleenta Barre holds MumCore classes where Exercises for stomach separation is incorporated safely into your routine. 

Whether you are expecting or had your babies, No Mummy Tummy’s MumCore classes are suitable for all! 

If you would like any further information on Exercises for stomach separation, please contact NMT’s head office on 1300 217 372 or send them an email to hello@nomummytummy.com.au

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