Are Situps Bad for my Abdominal Separation?

By Bobo Li

Posted on: 13/01/2019

The short answer is…. it depends.

If you have poor abdominal function where you are not able to control the pressures that are developing in your core then you can make your abdominal separation worse. Signs that this may be happening is when you do a situp you see what is called “doming” or “coning” (seen in the picture below). These are signs that you are not able to maintain control of the pressures and the “doming”/”coning” could in fact be further stretching your abdominal separation.

doming abdominals

From previous blogs, an abdominal separation involves a sheath called the linea alba that connects your abdominal muscles together in the middle. When you are pregnant there can be stretching of that sheath and cause a separation of those muscles from each other. This can stay even after having the baby and not resolve without assistance. Abdominal separation can affect how well you can use your core and stabilise your trunk.

If you are strong enough to control those pressures, situps can be a great exercise to work your 6 pack muscles. However, there are more than just the situp exercise that can promote good core function. It is good for your body to move in different directions so it has the resilience to know how to move with strength and control in no matter what way you move in your normal day living. Pilates can be a great way for beginners to connect to their core or more advanced athletes to fine-tune their core to their particular sport.

A real time ultrasound assessment can be a great way to assess how the abdominal muscles are working together with your pelvic floor as well as your diaphragm which are all components of your core. Come into Inspired Physiotherapy for your core assessment or for your free first lesson in Pilates.

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