Pelvic Floor: What it is and Why it Matters

/, Pilates, Reformer/Pelvic Floor: What it is and Why it Matters

Pelvic Floor: What it is and Why it Matters

The Pelvic floor is a group of muscles which form the floor of your pelvis. Their function is to support the pelvis, control bladder, bowel and sexual function. These muscles work in conjunction with your other core muscles to provide stability and support the organs.

We always cue pelvic floor and breath while we teach, and we also check in with you “do you understand what I mean about engaging pelvic floor?” – and then “remember there is no such thing as a silly question – ask away – others will also benefit”. Ask away. Let us help.

It is important for Women and Men:

Men can get a weak pelvic floor especially if there is heavy and frequent lifting and especially if the lifting is not performed correctly (which will also strain the back muscles).

Chronic coughing or sneezing can also weaken the pelvic floor as it puts strain on these muscles. Other reasons why it can weaken include being overweight or with chronic constipation.

These muscles weaken especially during pregnancy as the weight of the baby puts strain on the pelvic floor. They are also put under strain during childbirth.

How do I engage pelvic floor?

OK – this is easy – but takes practice:

  • Start in sitting or lying on your back, relax the stomach muscles and don’t hold your breath
  • Gently squeeze the muscles you would use to stop urinating
  • If you can feel the muscles working, then lift upwards towards your head.

It is not a movement of any bones, nor is it clenching your bottom – feel free to make facial expressions!!

How do I strengthen pelvic floor?

Once you can engage and activate the muscles:

  • Practice doing 5-10 sec holds with 5-10 repetitions, 3 times a day
  • Practice doing hold / relax fast contractions
  • Progress to standing position, then to walking

It is best to practice frequently throughout the day, for example, when you are waiting for the kettle, or brushing your teeth etc.

When you first start to engage your pelvic floor, it may feel like you can’t feel much – keep practicing, and eventually you will feel it.

If you require further assistance, you can also visit this website or reach out. We are happy to help and answer your questions!

By |2019-11-13T13:12:07+11:00November 13th, 2019|Anatomy, Pilates, Reformer|Comments Off on Pelvic Floor: What it is and Why it Matters

About the Author: