Simone Muller

Detecting Diastasis Recti; A Step, by Step Guide and the Role of Hypopressives

Diastasis recti which is the separation of the muscles known as rectus abdominis is an occurrence that often happens during and after pregnancy. If not addressed this condition can weaken the core and lead to issues. It is crucial to check for diastasis recti through a self assessment. In this article we will provide you with a step by step guide on how to check for diastasis recti and discuss the importance of both gap width and tension within the gap. Moreover we will explore how Hypopressives, an exercise technique can effectively strengthen this tissue and help restore core strength.

Checking for Diastasis Recti

Positioning: To start, lie on your back with your knees bent and feet flat on the floor. Find a position and let yourself relax.

Head and Shoulder Lift: Slowly raise your head with one hand while keeping your shoulders slightly off the ground. With your hand, use it to locate the midline.

Locating the Midline: Using your fingertips place them below and above your belly button along the midline of your abdomen. Gently press down while feeling for any gaps or changes in tissue.

Checking for diastasis recti: Start by placing your fingers along the midline and feel if there is any gap between the muscles. Slowly move your fingers both below and above your belly button repeating this process a few times. Pay attention to how narrow or wide the gap feels between the muscles.

The width of the gap is a factor in diagnosing diastasis recti. If the gap measures 2.5 fingers or more in width it is typically classified as diastasis recti. However it's essential to consider the tension in the tissue as this is also a key indicator of diastasis recti.

Tension in the connective tissue: Not only the width but also the tension in the connective tissue matters. If you can press your fingers into that midline area without encountering resistance it suggests weaker connective tissue and muscle tension which may indicate diastasis recti.

Understanding Gap Width and Tension

The width of a diastasis recti is a factor when assessing its severity. A gap more than 2.5 fingers in width indicates a diastasis recti that requires attention and specific exercises to improve muscle strength and support for the connective tissue.

However, equally important is the tension in the connective tissue. Weak or loose connective tissue allows for deeper sinking of fingers into the midline, signalling an inability to provide proper support to the abdominal muscles.

The use of Hypopressives in the rehabilitation of Diastasis Recti

Hypopressives, a specialised exercise technique, offer an effective approach to rehabilitate and strengthen the connective tissue affected by diastasis recti.

Hypopressives is a combination of breathing exercises and body positions that focus on how the body restores itself from the inside. These postpartum pelvic floor exercises work by lowering intra-abdominal pressure, building core strength from the inside out, and strengthening muscles like the pelvic floor and transversus abdominis.

The vacuum effect generated by this breathing technique not only activates the diaphragm but also engages key deep core muscles such as the transverse abdominis and pelvic floor muscles. Hypopressives help restore core competence and function by promoting the activation of the transverse abdominis and pelvic floor muscles.

Regular self-assessment for diastasis recti is essential, particularly for postnatal women. Understanding both the width and tension of the gap provides valuable information about the condition's severity.

Getting started with Hypopressives

For the Hypopressives classes it is important that you learn the Breathing/Apnea technique properly so that you can get the most out of the classes and the time you invest in yourself.

Each week Simone runs Fundamentals sessions on Zoom where she explains the technique and guides you through all the steps. She will also give you feedback to make sure that you're doing it correctly. For some, the technique may come more quickly than others. Some of her clients, who are tighter in the ribs and thoracic spine do tend to take a little longer.

And here's the golden rule - for impactful change, Simone recommends at least three 15 to 20-minute workouts per week. Consistency is your best friend on this journey towards wellness.

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About the Author

Simone Muller is the founder of re-centre and has over 15 years of teaching experience across Pilates, Low Pressure Fitness and Yoga.

She launched the online platform to make Low Pressure Fitness and Hypopressives more accessible to more women around the world so that they can become the strongest and most functional versions of themselves.

Originally from South Africa, Simone's dance and Pilates career evolved when she faced post-childbirth challenges, prompting her to explore Low Pressure Fitness in Spain.

As the first level 3 instructor in London, she has witnessed transformative postnatal rehabilitation results in clients, addressing issues like Diastasis Recti, prolapse and incontinence.

Simone has written articles for the re-centre blog 'Kegels not Working?', 'The connection between menstruation and prolapse symptoms' and 'Why I love teaching postnatal rehabilitation?'.

Simone has also written guest posts for The Shala 'What is Low Pressure Fitness', Yana Active 'Prioritising your Pelvic Floor Health After Giving Birth and Nurturing the Core' and for The Pelvic Academy 'Empowering Women's Health - The Power of Collaboration Between Hypopressives, Physiotherapists and Osteopaths'.

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Hypopressives is an effective technique toward relieving symptoms related to Pelvic Organ Prolapse, Diastasis Recti and Urinary Incontinence. Hypopressives also improves poor posture, pelvic floor weakness and back pain. I offer a flexible approach to memberships and a 14-day free trial.


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