Believe it or not, but diastasis recti can affect men just as much as it can affect women. One of the biggest myths that RYC seeks to defeat is that a DR only occurs in postpartum women. What is interesting is that diastasis recti is actually a universal condition and is more common than you might realize.
What is Diastasis Recti?
A diastasis recti most commonly occurs in men when there is too much pressure within the abdominal wall. This pressure ends up creating a gap in the center of the abdominal wall which can lead to all kinds of symptoms.
In both men and women, this gap can be created in the midline of the belly all the way down to the pubic bone or up to the base of the ribcage. Some of the most common symptoms that are brought on by diastasis in both men and women are:
- Lower back pain
- Urinary incontinence
- Difficulty breathing
- Discomfort in bodily movements
- Weakened core
- Sensation of a weak core
It is important to note that not every person will experience symptoms like these or any at all, for that matter. Many people go about their daily lives without any realization that they have a diastasis recti.
What Causes a Diastasis Recti in Men?
The most common causes for the development of diastasis recti in men are:
- Frequent or rapid changes in weight
- Certain core exercises
- Underlying Abdominal Illnesses (i.e. stomach cancer, or cirrhosis)
The most common among these is improper exercise and weight-lifting techniques that create too much pressure within the intra abdominal muscles. Compromises and cheats are extremely harmful to your body and can lead to injuries like a diastasis recti.
How Can Men Fix a Diastasis Recti?
The best approach with fixing a diastasis recti is through core training rather than standard exercise routines. How someone carries themselves or how tense their body is – especially within the abdominal region – plays a significant part in core stability and function. Your body is intelligent enough to make compensations (healthy or not) if there is a system fault or an error.
Therefore, training the body and the core to stop making these compensations and to learn how to properly engage your body’s muscle groups can lead to resilient, reflexive, and responsive core engagement. That is what Lauren works on daily in her Restore Your Core Program.
Key Ground Rules In Core Strengthening
- Do not bulge your abs when doing core exercises!
- Do not brace (do not overreact or compensate during core exercises)
- Do not bear down when doing core exercises. Bearing down is a movement similar to making a bowel movement. Do not add additional pressure to your abdomen.
- Never hold your breath while doing core exercises!
These are the most common cheats used in everyday workouts that can severely damage or worsen a diastasis recti.
To learn more about core functionality and proper core engagement exercises, visit Lauren’s page here for additional info.