Are you wondering how to do pelvic floor strengthening exercises? Follow along so I can give you some great info that you can put into practice right away!
The pelvic floor muscles need to be both strong and flexible. In this post, I’ll talk about how you can strengthen your pelvic floor muscles.
What I want you to remember is this…it’s not WHAT the exercise is, but rather, HOW you are doing the exercise. What do I mean by this? Well, you could be doing really great ‘core’ work, like planks, like engaging your core with rotation exercises, like crunches, etc., but if you aren’t intentionally engaging your pelvic floor muscles, you are missing out on a key element that makes up your ‘core’.
Once you are engaging your pelvic floor muscles in the proper way, you will add them in with all of your strengthening exercises!
How Do I Know If I’m Using My Pelvic Floor Muscles?
The best way, of course, is to have a pelvic health physiotherapist check for you. But, for many people, that isn’t possible. Check out the link below for a way to find out if you are firing these muscles…
What Do You Need To Know About Your Pelvic Floor Muscles In Order To Strengthen Them?
Just like most muscles in our bodies, we want to work them in different ways. The pelvic floor muscles have both slow and fast twitch muscle fibres.
The slow twitch fibres are more for endurance.
The fast twitch fibres are more for quick and sometimes unanticipated movements like when a sneeze comes on unexpectedly.
How Do I Work These Slow and Fast Twitch Muscles Fibres?
Here is a link to help with this:https://www.mayoclinic.org/healthy-lifestyle/womens-health/in-depth/kegel-exercises/art-20045283
When you are strengthening the slow twitch fibres of your pelvic floor muscles you want to build up to holding for up to 10 seconds. What does this look like?
- lying on your back or seated, to start
- be in your neutral spine position
- draw your pelvic floor muscles in and upwards
- hold this for 3 seconds, to begin with
- each 1-2 weeks, increase your hold time by 1 second until you are holding for 10
When you are strengthening the fast twitch fibres of your pelvic floor muscles, you will do a quick contraction followed by a quick release. Build up to 20 reps. At first your movements might not be too quick. It takes a bit to get used to. Quality is more important than quantity. So, start slower and build up the speed as you gain more control of a quick contract and quick release.
As you become stronger, you need to keep progressing your exercises. You will add in extra seconds of hold time to increase the endurance, you will do these exercises in different positions and you will learn to coordinate the pelvic floor muscle action with breathing. This is because our primary breathing muscle, the diaphragm, is part of our deep abdominal core.
Check out the link below for more info on understand what your core is!
Remember to start slow and don’t overwhelm yourself with trying to do these exercises too much. Add them in 1-2x per day and gradually progress them over an 8-12 week time period.
If you would like your own pelvic floor strengthening program that you can do at home, click on the link below: