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Diastasis recti, or rectus abdominis diastasis



VIP Member
Aug 14, 2012
I know this is very common in powerlifting and I have also see the same thing in bodybuilders that are squatting very heavy weight over a period of time. Diastasis recti, or rectus abdominis diastasis, is defined as a gap of about 2.7 cm or greater between the two sides of the rectus abdominis muscle. The distance between the right and left rectus abdominis muscles is created by the stretching of the linea alba, a connective collagen sheath created by the aponeurosis insertions of the transverse abdominis, internal oblique, and external oblique. This condition has no associated morbidity or mortality. So you absolutely aren't going to die from it.

When we do squats or deadlifts we expand the abdominal cavity pushing against the belt to give adequate support to the spine. As the weight goes up the pressure in the abdominal cavity increases greatly. This pressure gradually stretches the linea alba apart eventually creating a permanent gap down the center of the abs. This has been a huge problem in bodybuilding. lately in the heavy weights. So this problem needs to be addressed early so the problem can be corrected before it gets so bad that surgery is the only fix. If this issue isn't addressed, you can be down to 2% BF and still look like you have and extended gut.


This is what I consider a very mild case as I have seen some the size of a half football.


What can be done???

I have attached a file showing some different simple exercises that can be used to correct this in mild cases. More serious cases may require surgery. The last thing you want to do is ab work like sit ups or planks. They will just make it worse.



VIP Member
Mar 21, 2017
Yeah, I suffer from this, probably from starting out as a powerlifter (wannabe). I've done some band resistance twisting but been slacking on that. I've heard its more of a cosmetic issue and shouldn't cause hernias or anything. I wonder if my stomach vacuums work to help this?
The other Snake

The other Snake

VIP Member
Aug 19, 2016
Another reason to not squat and keep your BF at 20%! lol

I have done my share of PLing and never noticed this on me. I wounder if it's that common, how I was able to avoid it?


Oct 3, 2016
I think I might have this going on too!... I'm not sure tho because, after my back operation, this is when I noticed my gut area protruding....However, in my younger days, I did do powerlifting (not competition-wise) and I'm wondering if what I have is what's mentioned in this thread?....

I'm not sure because when they did the back operation the procedure was done by accessing my back through my stomach?!....Now I have a wonderful "bikini" scar across my lower abdomen as well as the protruding gut!...

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