I started Pilates 6 months ago with one of my hospital physiotherapists who is also a qualified instructor, and the difference is already quite noticeable! The gap between the two parts of my rectus abdominis has reduced to a finger breadth. The back pain which I got after a long day of operating, is gone. What has changed?
I have trained the transverse abdominis muscle and decreased the separation, medically known as 'Diastasis' or 'Divarication'.The transverse abdominis muscle is a key stabilizing muscle often used as part of core stability. As seen in the diagram above, it is the deepest of the tummy muscles and acts as the 'internal girdle'. I firmly believe that all women after pregnancy should learn to strengthen their Transverse Abdominis. Postural or rehabilitation programmes such as Pilates concentrate on building core stability and actively work on the transverse abdominis. Always do Pilates with a trained instructor and never continue if you have pain.
For medical evidence on the effect of Pilates on Transverse Abdominus:
click on: The influence of Pilates training on the ability to contract the Transversus Abdominis in asymptomatic individuals Journal of Bodywork and Movement Therapies 2005, Elsevier
Useful sites for more information are given below, please click on the link:
NHS Choices: A Guide to Pilates