For those women who have retained a pooch in their bellies after pregnancy, there is hope! A new exercise, dubbed the Dia Method, can put that pooch back in place — in just 10 minutes per day. The bulge, medically known as diastasis recti, is actually caused by the separation of the abdominal muscles and occurs when the fetus pushes down through the abdomen. Unless a woman is exercising during her pregnancy, more often than not, she can end up with a jiggling jelly-belly and back pain.
“These are the muscles that give you a ‘six pack,'” Dr. Linda Brubaker, an OB-GYN at the University of California, San Diego, told NPR. “People think these muscles go horizontal across the belly. But they actually go vertical from head to toe.”
The rectus muscles should be right next to each other, on either side of the belly button, Brubaker says, without much of gap between them.
When there is a gap, the muscles bulge out. Many of the current exercises that target this phenomenon don’t work and can actually exacerbate the problem.
The Dia Method was created by personal trainer, Leah Keller.