Diastasis Recti in Children?
Have you been looking to lose that Mummy Tummy ever since that last baby of yours? Did you know it could be the results of Diastasis Recti—separated outer abdominal muscles? Did you know it doesn’t just affect moms? Diastasis recti is a condition that does affect children too.
Julie Tupler, Registered Nurse, Certified Childbirth Educator and Certified Personal Trainer, has seen diastasis recti in children and the technique she developed for moms can help them too.
Guest post by Julie Tupler, RN
The condition diastasis recti does not favor separating just pregnant women’s abdominal muscles! Yes, men and children can have a diastasis also!
How is that possible?
Well, for starters, everyone is born with their muscles separated. Usually around 3 years old after the development of the nervous system, they come together. I say “come together” instead of “close” because the weak spot (belly button) in the connective tissue joining the outer most abdominal muscles (rectus abdomini) make the muscles at risk for opening.
The outermost abdominal muscles are the support system for the back and the organs. When they separate, the connective tissue joining them stretches sideways and becomes weaker. So now it is the weak connective tissue, not muscles, ineffectively supporting the back and muscles. This causes both back and gastro intestinal problems.
New York Magazine calls her the guru for pregnant women. Julie Tupler is a Registered Nurse, Certified Childbirth Educator and Certified Personal Trainer. She developed the Maternal Fitness® Program in 1990 and for more than 20 years has been teaching and developing the Tupler Technique® Program for treatment of diastasis recti for women, men and children.
It is important for children to learn at an early age (five years old and up) how to strengthen their abdominal muscles correctly. The way some children are being taught in school to develop their abdominal muscles is potentially negatively affecting their health and well-being!
We all know that developing a strong physical core is crucial. We use our core in virtually everything we do that involves movement—even sitting up in bed. You cannot have a strong core with separated muscles. Unfortunately, a significant number of children have a weak core because of a diastasis recti. Signs of a diastasis are a protruding belly and belly button.
Is it a bad thing?
If a child has separated abdominal muscles, his or her developing spine and organs won’t be supported. Diastasis Recti has even been linked to Central Coordination Disorder (CCD), a condition that results in delayed motor development.
Even if a child’s muscles do close, they can easily separate again if the child performs exercises that put force and pressure on the connective tissue joining the muscles. Crunches, which are taught in some schools, do exactly that and thus re-open closed muscles or make already separated muscles spread even further apart. So tell your child’s gym teacher you do not want them to do crunches.
It is important to close a diastasis at an early age by teaching children how to strengthen their abdominal muscles correctly so they will have a stronger core and a better foundation for their future. I have thus created the Belly Button Boogie DVD and guidebook to teach children this program. It covers the 4 steps of the research based Tupler Technique® as well as how to incorporate the Tupler Technique® into an exercise routine and how to modify the exercise program so it is “diastasis safe.”
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