No Diastasis Recti but still puffy tummy that looks pregnant?
"I currently have a gap of just 1 cm but my tummy is feeling flabby and I still look pregnant. Will I be able to close the gap further with Superfit Core?"
Rachel asked me this over on Instagram and I thought I'd share my answer to her here:
A gap of 1 cm/1 finger width is not considered a Diastasis Recti. But not all issues with the core are related to Diastasis Recti.
My guess is that you have a generally weak core probably combined with some dysfunction in the way you use your core.
DR and a weak core often go together – but not always
Many of the symptoms of a generally weak core are the same as a Diastasis Recti: The puffy tummy, looking pregnant, a sluggish digestion and/or problems with bowel moments, pelvic floor issues (e.g. feeling of heaviness/early stages of prolapse or incontinence) and lower back pain can totally be present without the DR but with “only” a generally weak core.
Please keep in mind that we are not talking about any excess fatty tissue that may be laying over the abdominal muscles (subcutaneous fat) or beneath them (visceral fat). Here we are solely talking about the state of the muscular core and its connective tissue.
No diastasis: No doming
The doming of the belly (you know: when the belly gets this weird pointy shape when abs are activated in supine position) will typically not be present in “just” a generally weak core.
The generally weak core is closely connected to weaker core muscles + weaker neuromuscular connection between brain and core.
Perhaps the connective tissue surrounding the muscles are still a bit laxer from the pregnancy, but the connective tissue in the linea alba (in the longitudinal midline) is not necessarily stretched and thin as it would be with a DR (hence the wider gap).
You CAN have both DR and a generally weak core (this is often the case when we start the program but soon the core will become much more better functioning with the exercises and the DR will slowly subside) but you can also “just” have the weak core and no DR – as I think might be the case with you.
Your goal now is function and tension
So to answer your question: No, I don’t think your gap will become much narrower than its current 1-1.5 finger widths. But that’s not where we should set the goal.
Your goal should be on function (getting the correct core activation 100 % down with during exercises and in everyday life) and a better muscle tone (less and less of the puffy feeling).
You'll get all that in Superfit Core 1.
Measure your waistline
If you do want something measurable you can measure yourself with a measuring tape around your waist if you decide to start working with Superfit Core.
Chances are that you’ll probably be able to measure fewer inches within a few weeks just from the increased muscle tone (not due to loss of fatty tissue). That’s a pretty neat way of motivating yourself: Using the measuring tape + taking before/after photos since these are so good at documenting the small but significant changes we see as we progress with the program.
Make sure you do the diastasis test correctly
One last thing: Your narrow gap CAN also be because you are not measuring the gap 100 % correct (perhaps getting too far up with your upper body when measuring - this will make the gap narrower, “masking” a DR).
So make sure you do the DR test correctly as I show in the video.