Leaking while Gardening … Water the Plants…Not Your Pants!

Watering the plants
Water the plants, not your pants!

Do you find that you are leaking while you are gardening? Are you noticing that in addition to watering the plants, you are watering yourself? This is an all too common problem that can take away your enjoyment while in the garden. Your bladder needs some help, so read on and learn how to change this problem so you can become the wee free gardener you are meant to be!

Why am I leaking while gardening?

Are you leaking when you pull weeds, pick up a bag of dirt, squat down or stand back up? When you leak because of a ‘stress’ to the body, most often it is due to weak pelvic floor muscles. Stress can be when you exert yourself like lifting a heavy plant pot, pushing the wheelbarrow up the hill, shoveling dirt or even changing body position from standing to squatting and vice versa. All of these motions require certain muscles to give you support. 

When we are talking about the bladder leaking, we need to look at ‘pressure’. We need to generate enough pressure from below by using strong pelvic floor muscles to keep us from leaking. We also need to lessen the amount of pressure that may be coming from the abdominal region as this extra pressure will press down on top of the pelvic floor. This makes it very hard for those poor little muscles to keep you from leaking. So let’s have a look at these 2 areas.

Pressure from below

We need our pelvic floor muscles to be strong enough and create enough tension to keep us dry. When they are weak, we need to strengthen them. 

Pressure from above

How do we create too much pressure through our bellies? Try the cough test:

  • Sit or stand
  • Place 1 hand gently over your lower belly (below your belly button)
  • Do a gentle cough and notice if your belly is moving into your hand or away from your hand?

*** You want your belly to move away from your hand ***

When your belly moves in when you cough, your abdominal muscles are tightening and this reduces the effect of too much pressure on top of your pelvic floor. It makes it easier for your pelvic floor muscles to keep you dry. When your belly moves out, your pelvic floor doesn’t tighten but instead, lets go and that’s when you leak. Try coughing allowing your belly to pooch outwards and notice if you can tighten your inside muscles???? It doesn’t happen. 

So, to summarize:

If your belly moves outwards on a cough, a laugh, a sneeze, an exhale = too much pressure = leaking

If your belly moves inwards on a cough, a laugh, a sneeze, an exhale = less pressure = no leaking

Whats the next step to keep you from leaking while gardening?

  • Pelvic Floor Awareness
  • Transverse Ab Awareness
  • Strengthen Your Core Muscles

Pelvic Floor Awareness

First of all, you need to make sure you can ‘feel’ your pelvic floor muscles contracting and releasing. There are a couple of options below to help you ‘find’ these muscles.


Transverse Abdominis Muscle

This is one of the muscles that helps keep the pressure off the pelvic floor. Have a look at the videos to get the hang of activating your transverse abs.

  • inhale and allow your ribs to move out to the sides of the room and your belly to get a little bigger
  • exhale and initiate the blowing of air out with your lower belly drawing in

Have a look at the video below to help you!

Strengthen your core muscles

Have a look at the video below to help you strengthen your core. Just remember to always exhale on the harder part of a movement. When you exhale, your lower belly draws in to activate transverse abs and you lift up inside with your pelvic floor muscles.


In Summary

  • Stay hydrated (don’t stop drinking water because you may leak)
  • Strengthen your pelvic floor muscles
  • Strengthen your transverse abs

​If you want further help with your core and pelvic floor, click on the link below:


Leave a Comment


Watch my free 5-part video series that will teach you the basics of developing a strong & healthy core!