Abdominal separation.

Do we really need to focus on this 100%?

Is this the be all of postnatal rehabilitation?

What if I told you that there are lots of other factors which are more important.

Firstly the most important factor when determining whether your abs will ‘go back together’ after having a baby is…

…how close together they were in the first place.

Yes, not everyone’s abs (the rectus abdominus) are completely together to start with.  Everyone has a set degree of separation which is either together…or not.

The best way to do this is next time athletics is on the television, have a look at the female athletes.  More specifically, have a look at their abs.

The first thing you will notice is that their abdominal wall is not all the same.  Some have abs that perfect touch up against the other side.

And some actually have a degree of separation to start with.  These are also women with no kids.

Next, have a look at the male athletes…shock, horror…same thing.

Everyone has a degree of no, some or lots of abdominal separation to start with.  This is determined by genetics.

So in this postnatal phase, why are you focussing purely on getting your abs ‘back together’ when you probably have no idea what degree of separation there was to start with?

MMM, good question.

Yes, closing the gap is important if you have something that you can fit two or more fingers through.  But the things that you should really be focusing on are:

– Does your abdominal wall have the strength to withstand inter and intra abdominal pressure?

– Do you have enough pelvic floor and deep abdominal control?

– Can you activate your pelvic floor muscles in all movements that you do on a daily basis (Mummy Movement Patterns)?

– Do you have enough pelvic floor control to not pee your pants when sneezing?

– Can you stabilise your pelvis enough to perform all of the activities that you want to do on a daily basis?

Do you see where I am coming from now?

Yes, decreasing the gap between your rectus abdominus is important, especially when decreasing the risk of hernias.  However, there needs to be a big focus on improving overall function of the abdominals and its ability to withstand pressure and transfer load through the upper and lower body.

Right, rant over.  Hopefully that’s given you a little something to think about.

Lyndon “not all about the gap” Littlefair


Ps If you want even more information, why not download Yummy Tummies Post Baby Guide