As functional core and pelvic floor specialists, we get a lot of questions about what exercise is safe to do and what needs to be avoided when you are suffering from diastasis recti. Running questions are by far the most common questions we receive. Runners really don’t want to have to stop running. The reality is that most forms of fitness can be Tummy Safe (exercise that promotes strong core and pelvic floor) with the right foundational core strength and alignment training.
So how does running affect diastasis recti?
First, understand that Diastasis recti is a midline separation abdominal wall. A diastasis recti indicates by its very nature that the client is struggling from functional core weakness. We define functional core weakness as the inability of the muscles of the core to effectively function and support the body for everyday physical demands without pain or dysfunction. The core and pelvic floor muscles connect the upper and lower body together, support the spine, support the abdominal and pelvic organs and stabilize the body for impact and movement. If the structural support of your core is separated and weak then your body is forced to compensate.
Exercise is the way we challenge our body and running is a huge physical challenge. If you are running without a stable connected core and pelvic floor then your body will reinforce compensation patterns with the impact of every stride. The muscles of the back and pelvis will try to counteract the lack of support in the core which often results in muscle imbalance and pain. The abdominal and pelvic organs drop low in the pelvis putting excess pressure on the pelvic floor muscles. The abdominals can tense and brace for impact and put additional pressure outward on the diastasis. And these are just the most common compensation patterns we see.
Running requires core strength and proper pelvic alignment to not damage your core and pelvic floor. We can help you run and run well but first you might need to rebuild your core. Check out the video below where we further address how we can help runners stay running and heal their diastasis.
If you are in need of core rehabilitation to help reconnect to your deep core and pelvic floor muscles and close your diastasis, we’d love to work with you! If you’re local, come see us in our clinic in Camas, WA. If you’re far away, we have very comprehensive and effective online core rehab programs and we offer virtual appointments.