Hey mama, we need to talk about your core.
The core is the series of muscles from your pubic bone to your collar bones on the front, sides, and back of you. Your core muscles are powerful. They help transfer force throughout the body, stabilize your spine and pelvic area, connect your upper and lower body extremities, and manage the pressure of your abdominal cavity where your organs live. So this area of the body needs to be well-taken care of and strong!
Crunches were once viewed as the “go-to ab workout” for most people. However, crunches train your body to move into what is known as forward flexion - which is the position we sit in most of the time! This exercise may increase intra-abdominal pressure and are usually not performed correctly. Because of these reasons, we often see women coning while crunching, which is problematic if you have an extreme DRA after pregnancy.
Dr. Dawn Andalon, pelvic floor specialist at LEVEL4 PT & Wellness, says, "One of the most common issues I see in my practice of treating women after pregnancy is diastasis recti (or abdominal separation). This is a lot more common than people think. Almost 100% of women have this condition during the 3rd trimester of pregnancy. Many times, especially after multiple pregnancies, the separation does not close entirely. This is usually apparent when a woman resumes fitness activities. They often notice a “tenting” or “doming” at the abdominal region that happens with any abdominal / ”core” workouts."