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What is a functional core?

“It isn’t about closing the gap, it is about getting a functional core”


This is something I have said to thousands of ladies over the past year or so, but lets take a look at what that really means.

I get asked these questions again and again in my private Diastasis workout support group (which you can join HERE);

“I still have a 2 finger gap, will it stay like that forever?”

“When can I get back to advanced core strength exercises?”

The answer to these questions comes down to if you have a “functional core” or some may say a “functional diastasis”.


So in this article I am going to talk more about what that means.

First up though lets remind ourselves what Diastasis Recti is …

Diastasis Recti

In pregnancy  baby grows the connective tissue (Linea Alba) which runs down your midline, widens and lengthen as it’s slowly stretched out.

The Linea Alba is basically the glue down your middle that holds the right and left abdominal muscles together.

The more force and pressure on the Linea Alba during pregnancy, the more it needs to stretch to accommodate, the more it is stretched, the thinner it gets.

An over stretched Linea Alba will feel very soft and squishy and may often resemble a large gap running the length of your midline.

So now that we know what Diastasis Recti is, what is the difference between a functional core/diastasis and a dysfunctional one …


Functional versus Dysfunctional

Well first up a shallow gap of 1- 2.5 fingers is NOT A DIASTASIS. A normal linea alba (pre pregnancy) can be 1-2cms wide, this is not a Diastasis – but note I said shallow …

So therefore you do not need to close your gap completely to regain good core muscle function. So even though your stomach muscles may not be completely closed or look/feel similar to what they did, pre pregnancy it may be classed at healed.

A functioning core system basically means you have re-gained function.

How do you know if your separation is functional?

Ask yourself these questions:

  • Do you have you any pelvic, hip or lower back pain?

  • Can you engage your deep core muscles (your TVAs) correctly?

  • Can you generate tension of your linea alba at rest and during exercise?

  • Have you got any pelvic floor issues?

  • Is your Diastasis shallow?

  • Does the tension of the Linea Alba vary along your diastasis?


If you suffer with any of the above issues, your diastasis is wide AND deep, and the tension of the LA is soft and squish, then your core is probably not functional and more focus on rehabilitation exercises could be required.

But if you can create significant tension of the Linea alba, the depth of your diastasis is shallow and you have no issues/pain, you may be ready to progress on to more advanced core strength exercises. 



If you are looking for a safe and effective postnatal program that will help heal your Diastasis you should follow our FREE beginners program.

If you have completed that and are ready to bring in more exercises for a total core solution, then check out my Total Core Solution – Belly Blast program

This program was created with YOU in mind, as a functional core needs more than just exercise, it needs for you to reduce abdominal pressure, align your body, and strengthen your whole core.

Check it out now.



As always please comment below if you have any questions.

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