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Diastasis Recti In Men Over 35

Jan 27, 2024

Are you a man who has diastasis recti or thinks he does?

In this video, I’ll tell you everything that you need to know specifically for men over 35.

Hi, this is Ivana helping you get fitter healthier and stronger as you get older.

I haven’t done a video about diastasis recti yet, and I wanted to start off with this one aimed at men. Primarily because I don’t think there’s much information out there for men who suffer from diastasis recti. I had it myself and it was related to my pregnancy.

But in the past couple of years, I’ve actually had two male clients, both men over 35, who suffer from diastasis recti. They’d hadn’t heard of it before. And it was something that I identified in them. So I don’t think there’s a lot of information and that men might not think that this is something that’s a possibility, but it definitely is.

Diastasis Recti In Men

I’m going to tell you what diastasis recti is, the risk factors in men, and the exercises and activities that you should be avoiding.

And I’m going to get, you started with a couple of exercises to begin healing your diastasis recti.

At the end of this video, I’m going to share the important lifestyle modification that you need to make to avoid making your diastasis recti worse.

What Is Diastasis Recti?

Diastat since direct day is a separation of the abdominals at the linear elbow. So that’s the connective tissue there in the center. So it can separate in various places, but most commonly it’s around the belly button. Diastasis recti is most common in women who’ve had children. However, there are other risk factors that you need to be aware of.

Risk Factors For Diastasis Recti In Men

Being over 35 is the first risk factor.

As we get older, our bodies don’t produce as much collagen. So the connective tissue is a little bit weaker. So therefore you’re more likely to have those abdominal separate.

Obesity and weight gain is also a risk factor. Particularly if you’ve put on a lot of weight around the belly, that puts pressure on the rectus abdominis. And it means that it’s more likely for the connected tissue to separate.

And the one that I think applies most to men quite frequently is:

Improper Training And Unbalanced Training

Improper training and unbalanced training is the last risk factor for diastasis recti in men.

So doing a lot of crunches, doing a lot of planking activity over time can really cause a lot of stress. You’re building the rectus abdominis. That’s your six pack muscle. That’s what everyone wants, right? So that’s all you’re working at the expense of your inner core muscles, which actually helped to stabilize your spine.

Now, if those rectus abdominis muscles are too strong, then they’re going to be pulling everything forward and they’re more likely to separate. So the TVA or the transverse abdominis is the muscle that you want to focus on when healing your diastasis recti.


It’s the one that stabilizes and holds everything in place. It supports your lower back, particularly.

And most people don’t train this muscle because quite frankly, it’s a little bit boring. The exercises are not quite as exciting. You don’t feel them the same way that you feel crunches.

Many people avoid those exercises, or don’t even know that they exist.

Issues That Diastasis Recti Can Cause

It’s important. Do something about your diastasis rectum because it can be a contributor to back. Pain may be the cause of your back pain. If you’re still searching for one over time, it can lead to an abdominal hernia. If it’s not treated correctly, if it’s a very large diastasis, then it may result in the organs bulging out through that hole. And that’s definitely not something you want. So speak to your doctor. If you do think you have diastasis rectum. Now, I don’t want you guys to be shy or embarrassed about diastasis rectus, just because they normally talk about it.

With respect to women. Who’ve had babies. If you start to look around, you’re going to notice. There are quite a few male fitness models who have a separation in their abdominals.

the bodybuilder Ronnie Coleman, eight time Mr. Olympia also well known as being one of the strongest bodybuilders. If you look at pictures of him on stage, you’ll see that he has quite a prominent diastasis recti:


This is probably from his heavy lifting. Because once you get up to the kind of list that Ronnie does, it’s very difficult to get the abdominal support in there. So heavy lifting, sometimes incorrect technique.

I guess what I’m trying to say is that if you’re a male with diastasis recti, you’re in some good company.

Exercises To Avoid

Any time you increase the intra abdominal pressure, you can aggravate the delicate tissue. So if you have diastasis recti, it’s important for you to avoid lifting things in the downward position.

If you’re lifting heavy boxes and you’re leaning over, bending over. That can be a big aggravator for diastasis recti. You have to be very careful with those sort of activities, especially in the initial stages. And in particular, if you have a large diastasis recti, that also means that exercises like deadlifts and really heavy squats are pretty much out. At least while you were in that aggravated stage over your diastasis recti.

I actually re-injured my diastasis rect day. I had already pretty much after I had my son. And then I started lifting, doing deadlifts and I re aggravated it again.

Any sort of crunching action is not a good idea.

So stomach crunches, they’re not my favorite exercise anyway, planks as well. You’ll want to be avoiding those. So, and then downward position where there’s a lot of pressure that can be quite dangerous for diastasis rectify, anything where you’re forcibly twisting.

If you think about a bicycle exercise on the ground, that’s not going to be an ideal exercise for diastasis recti.

Abdominal exercises like V-ups or anything where you’re jackknifing your body together and down.

Avoid Yoga!

A lot of yoga exercises aren’t a great idea either.

So downward dog and upward dog and time you’re stretching and opening any sort of backward bend. Isn’t a great idea either. If you want to excuse not to do yoga, I just gave you another one.

How To Check For Diastasis

You can check for diastasis rectify by lying down on your back, bending your knees, and then placing your fingers around your belly button level. And then as you gently kind of curl up, you want to see how big the separation is at that level. And also if you have a doming effect or a coning effect that happens along the midline, the linea alba.

Diastasis generally starts around two centimeters of separation.

So anything less than that is not really considered DR. And then it can be quite wide for a lot of people. Once you get to a certain point several centimeters, then you’re going to be at a higher risk of developing a hernia.

Strength is really important as well for diastasis recti. So even if you do have a separation, but it actually feels quite firm in that area, that’s what you’re aiming for.

Sometimes the actual gap will not fully heal. As long as you can build the strength in that area. Then you are going to be able to have a lot more strength in the core to be able to do your movement.

Draw In Maneuver

So now I’m going to show you a couple of exercises to get you started on healing, your diastasis Rick dye. We’re going to start with a draw and maneuver, start this by breathing in. Then you’re going to breathe out and pull your belly button in towards the spine. Very gently. Start this off with three sets of 20 seconds. And then you can build your way up to three sets of 45 seconds.

TVA With Arms & Legs

The next exercise is The TBA with arms and legs.

It’s really important to squeeze the TVA throughout this exercise, breathe in first and then breathe out and pull your belly button towards your spine. You can flatten your lower back a little bit to help you, and you want to maintain the TVA contraction throughout these movements. So as you’re alternating the arms and legs, make sure that the TVA is really tight. You’re not seeing any movement up and down, and you’re not wiggling your hips from side to side.

If you find this a bit too challenging, start with just the legs at first, making sure that the TVA is activated throughout the movement, and there’s no movement at the hips or in your back.

I actually have quite a few videos of TVA exercises to help strengthen your core transfers of dominance exercises are a key for healing, diastasis direct tie. So really focus on doing those and avoid the other types of abdominal exercises.

Lifestyle Modification For Diastasis Recti In Men

And the lifestyle modification that I think is really important is watching how you’re getting up, particularly getting out of bed.

So rather than jackknifing yourself out of bed every morning, you want to roll over onto your side, put one hand down and then push off gently that avoids putting the stress on the rectus abdominis. And you’re not going to see that doming effect. Whenever you see that doming effect, it means that you’re stressing the rectus abdominis. You’re causing issues for your diastasis recti.

I’ll look forward to seeing you next week.

Ivana Chapman