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Diastasis Recti: What is It and Do I Have It?


I get asked this question on a weekly basis, : “What is diastasis recti,and should I be concerned?” Let’s start with a little bit of the anatomy of diastasis recti:

The musculature in the center of your belly, running vertically, is called your rectus abdominus with connective tissue between the two sides called linea alba. As pregnancy progresses, there is likely to be a degree of separation between the two sides of the rectus abdominis with the largest degree of separation at, or around, the belly button. A degree of separation that is considered normal is between 0-3 finger widths (Use the “Curl Up Test”- see image and description below).

Most physicians check for this separation at a woman’s 6 week postpartum check up. However, most women I speak with have never been educated on what diastasis recti is or if they have it. The Curl Up Test is something you can do on your own to assess your degree of separation. If you have a 3+ finger separation, it’s recommended to seek your physician’s advice. The concern with a greater degree of separation is the protection of your internal organs. Your musculature is your “armor” and we need that to protect us, rather than connective tissue.

Most women I have tested fall within the normal category and I get to send them on their merry way. Once we are educated on it, we can figure out where we stand and what to do. We are then able to stop worrying and move on.

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CURL UP TEST: Lay on your back with your knees bent and feet flat on the floor. Place one hand behind your head, come up into a crunch and hold it. Take your other hand and press it into your belly near your belly button, parallel to your hips. Move your hand side to side to feel the two edges of your rectus abdominis. Measure the separation by finger width.

*For additional questions, feel free to email me at or visit your local FIT4MOM class to speak with one of our national certified instructors.

*If you have a question that you would like to be answered on a Friday Fitness blog, please email me!

***Originally Posted 3/14/2014***

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