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Are your tummy muscles still weak following pregnancy?

- posted by Joan Palmer.

Wobbly Tummy

What should you do if you think your tummy muscles need some help?

Don’t panic... and read on!!

Everyone’s abdominal muscles have to stretch during pregnancy to allow the baby to grow but sometimes the muscles afterwards are not how we would like them to be.  We don’t always shrink back to how things were before, but remember your body has just been through 9 months of change so it’s not really going to be back to how it was that quickly.   If you do still have a significant soft gap between your tummy muscles known as a DIASTASIS then you do need to be careful about what you do as far as activity and exercise is concerned if you want this condition to improve. 

There is a lot of misused vocabulary where this issue is concerned and it’s really due to a lack of understanding and then not being able to give the right advice about what you should do to help it.

The comments ‘your muscles haven’t knitted back together’ and ‘your muscles have split’ are phrases you may have heard but they aren’t helpful and are very misleading and this is why…


If you look at the picture of the abdominal muscles on the left you can see that there is a small gap between them already and these are the good ones! Your abdominal muscles weren’t knitted together in the first place and they never will be.  They are attached to a band of connective tissue that travels down your midline.

What is important is how firm that band of connective tissue is between your abdominal muscles.  In the picture on the right that band of tissue has been stretched but it hasn’t been ‘split’.

If connective tissue is stretched, which is the case in the picture on the right it will be thinner and less supportive to your muscular system because your muscles are attached to it.  This stretched and thinner tissue means that your body doesn’t have the ability to transmit loads from one side of the body to the other or from upper to lower body effectively or efficiently so another area of your body will have to take the strain.

Pelvic Floor

You can see from the picture above that the abdominals are in a supportive system within the body along with the diaphragm, spine and pelvic floor.  If your midline abdominal support isn’t there, which is apparent with a diastasis then the extra strain is taken in one of those mentioned areas – back pain and pelvic floor dysfunction may already be there or will develop from poor and inefficient movement patterns.  The other area is your diaphragm, how you breathe can also have a huge impact on how this gap/stretched midline tissue is managed.  So often there is a lot of tightness between the ribs from baby’s positioning inside you that until this is released it is very difficult to breathe properly.  This tissue can be released with very simple but effective massage techniques.

High impact exercise, running, sit ups, crunches and planks are some of the inappropriate exercises to do if you do present with this problem of a diastasis.  What is needed is to take a step back and work in a way that will help you to reengage with your abdominal muscles whilst you move, work and exercise and ensure that you are breathing appropriately.

I am able to help you find the right exercise for your abdominals with the Holistic Core Restore® Diastasis programme and get you back to full functional activity and the level of exercise you would like and also feel more confident in how your body can withstand increasing load and impact.

Nutrition and hydration also have a huge part to play in helping to overcome issues with this problem as what you take in via your gut feeds your tissues.  Your body’s tissues are made up of a high percentage of water so making sure you are well hydrated through the day will make a difference in how this connective tissue works.  An initial tip for you to start helping with a diastasis is to drink plenty of water.  More information regarding nutrition is given throughout the diastasis programme.

If you are aware that you have this problem or think you do then get in touch and we can discuss this further and in more depth, I run regular Holistic Core Restore® Diastasis programme which will help you get back to feeling that your tummy belongs to you again giving you the support and stability your body needs to be active in a safe way.


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