Split Abdominal Muscles Preventing Abs from Toning?

I have been working out a lot and have great muscle definition on my legs, butt and upper arms. However, it has made no difference to my abdominal area. I have had 3 kids (last one 4 years ago). I have been told that I have split abdominal muscles; is this keeping the area from toning up? Are there ab excersises I should avoid? How can I get it repaired? Would it require an operation?

Doctor Answers 3

Split abdominal muscles- the diastasis recti

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It sounds as though you are describing a diastasis recti, a separation of the rectus (stomach) muscles.

This condition is best treated by sewing together the fascia, which lines the muscles. The muscles themselves are not sewn.

Unfortunately the area between the muscles contains no muscles, so no amount of exercise will fix it.

In ladies who have little or no extra skin, an endoscopic tummy tuck or a Hybrid tummy tuck (TM) may offer a solution to tighten the muscles without remving much skin or necessitating a large incision.

Beverly Hills Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 195 reviews

Fixing split abdominal muscles

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Split abdominal muscles are also known as rectus diastastis. This condition may require an operation to tighten the tissue surround the muscles known as fascia. The incisions are similar to a mini-tummy tuck and the entire procedure is usually performed as an outpatient. The recovery is about 2 weeks for work and 4-6 weeks for working out. This will result in a more defined abdominal area and help to prevent the "split muslce" look. I hope this helps!

Start Pilates or Yoga style core strengthening excercises

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Strongly avoid traditional crunches and instead embark on a regimen of core strengthening using a Pilates or Yoga technique. It is worth your while to intially be supervised by a personal trainer or instructor who is properly credentialed.

Otto Joseph Placik, MD
Chicago Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 86 reviews

These answers are for educational purposes and should not be relied upon as a substitute for medical advice you may receive from your physician. If you have a medical emergency, please call 911. These answers do not constitute or initiate a patient/doctor relationship.