Can I run with Diastasis Recti?

This is something I get asked a lot in our private Facebook workout group (which you can join here)

As always seems to be the case the answer is:

                              "it depends"!

Before you can decide if you are ready to run you need to understand:

Why running (or for that case any other high impact cardio activity) can hinder your recovery.

AND

The problems associated with running with Diastasis Recti.

THEN

Go through a series of questions to help yourself decide if you are ready.

Don't know if you have Diastas Recti? Here is how you can self-test here

Do I have Diastasis Recti?
 

Why running can hinder your Diastasis Recti Recovery

A diastasis is a separating or thinning of the connective tissue (called Linea Alba) in the front of your abdomen.

To repair itself, the Linea Alba can't be under constant pressure, which means your posture and alignment need to be correct, especially if you are going to stress your body with a dynamic activity, like running.

Your core acts as a major stabilizer of your pelvis when you run. With a diastasis, your ability to load your core is ineffective, which means so is your pelvic stability.

Correct running form utilizes the entire core and glutes.

BUT with a diastasis, you are more likely to load the connective tissue, NOT your entire core.

Possible Problems Associated with Running with Diastasis Recti

Apart from the obvious of possibly hindering your Diastasis repair.

Without pelvic stability, other injuries are likely to occur, such as:

  • IT Band syndrome,

  • knee pain,

  • hip pain,

  • Achilles tendonitis,

  • plantar fasciitis, back pain, and

  • neck and shoulder tightness.

That’s a lot of potential issues that can occur due to your core not functioning correctly.

 

But what you need to understand is that our bodies needs balance to maintain perfect working order.

 

If there is a weakness, another part of your body (whether it is a joint/muscle/ligament/etc) will get more wear and tear.

How do I know when I am ready to start running?

First up, and I can't stress this enough It is NOT normal to pee  your pants (even just a little) when you exercise – I can’t stress that enough.

That is a major sign that your pelvic floor is not yet ready for that exercise or form of exercise. It’s not a ‘never’ it’s just  a ‘not yet ready’.

Second think about your current posture:

  • Does your head come forward? Forward Head Syndrome

  • Do your shoulders hunch?

    • Check which way your palms are facing - to the back indicates hunching

  • Does your bottom tuck under or stick way out?

    • Anterior or posterior pelvis tilt

  • Are your ribs flared or do you grip them down?

These are poor mechanics, often caused by lack of posture awareness, poor alignment and simply general weakness.  Make sure you check out the videos on my Facebook page (Core Fitness For Moms) for videos on posture and alignment and helpful tips.

Third think about your running posture

  • Correct alignment

  • Tall posture (from the crown of your head)

  • Slight forward lean (from the ankles)

I recommend Chi Running - here is a great article on the 5 elements of Chi Running

Fourth have you gone through the plank progression process, to insure your core is ready for frontal loading? Surprisingly when running you use a tall plank position a lot - especially with a stroller - think about your position - especially when running up hill.

Fifth if you feel you are ready for running - start slow. Not slow in speed but slowly building up your mileage.  Don't run when you are tired as that is when your posture and alignment are likely to go.

Make sure you keep doing your DR strengthen exercises, and check your gap every few weeks to make sure you are not opening it back up again by putting too much pressure on your abdominal wall from improper alignment in your running and other daily movements

Finally

 

Keep in mind that if your diastasis is only tentatively healed — meaning it feels firm when you lift your head, but your abs bulge when you do a plank or leg lift — then running could open it right back up, because it’s not 100% fixed yet

The choice is yours .....

If this article was useful PLEASE share, so we can inform more moms about Diastasis Recti, and its impact on you and the exercise you are doing.

And please leave your comments below