4 PELVIC FLOOR STRENGTHENING MOVES
I know I’ve spoken thousands of times about the importance of having a strong pelvic floor so I won’t bore you too much with that because in this article I want to share with you 4 moves to strengthen your pelvic floor so you don’t pee when you run, laugh, jump or sneeze and hopefully get those little muscles down there feeling as strong if not stronger than they did pre baby.
Before we go on I will say if you have any of the following symptoms then you probably have a weak or damaged pelvic floor and I would highly recommend you getting yourself to see a women’s health physio ASAP to properly assess and diagnose your pelvic floor health condition.
– Leakage when you laugh, run, jump, sneeze, blow your nose or lift heavy items
– A dragging feeling in your vagina
– A protruding lump from your vagina
– Urgency that you cannot control when you need to wee
– Wetting yourself or have leakage with out warning.
– Trouble controlling your bowels – wind or poos
– A noticeable lump inside your vagina that wasn’t there before
Leakage when you exercise
– Needing to pee before you start exercise because you know you won’t last the whole session without going
– Avoiding specific exercise because it makes you need to pee
– A heavy dragging feeling in your vagina when you lift heavy items or your children
– Needing to wear a pad or liner because of leakage through out the day
4 PELVIC FLOOR STRENGTHENING MOVES.
What I love about pelvic floor training is that EVERY woman can and should do these exercises whether you are young, old, preparing for baby, pregnant, postpartum early or later and beyond.
1. PELVIC TILTS
Can be performed standing against wall, on a swiss ball or laying on floor. During pregnancy if you are over 16 weeks it is not recommended to perform exercise laying on back so perform in the first two positions.
1. Sit, stand or lay in your natural position.
2. Feel the space between your back and the wall or floor. If you’re seated on the swiss ball take note of the curve in your spine.
3. Inhale. Exhale as you tighten the pelvic floor and push your back to close the gap. Hold your hips and lower abdominal through the movement to feel them tilt and PF engage.
4. Hold for a couple of seconds.
5. Inhale as you release back to the starting position.
Take note of how your PF feels through the movement can you contract and engage it as you move? Does it feel strong or weak? Can you feel the lower abdominals only contract?
EXTRA: Try holding this tilted position (not the holding of the PF) as you walk around, do the dishes or watch TV for up to 5 mins which will help you to naturally build up to having this posture.
2. STOMACH CONTRACTIONS
1. Sit, stand or lay in your natural position. Find your neutral spine. This is where you feel comfortable between your arch and flat back. This can be harder to find while pregnant with the pressure and weight on your spine so spend some time arching and flattening your back to find the middle.
2. Hold your hands on your tummy in line with your hips and just below the belly button.
3. Inhale. Exhale and draw your belly button toward your spine keeping your spine neutral and engaging the pelvic floor.
4. Hold the contraction for as long as possible – working your way to 10-12 seconds.
NOTE: YOU ALSO PERFORM THIS MOVEMENT ON ALL FOURS AS YOU IMPROVE OR ON YOUR SIDE WHILE PREGNANT INSTEAD OF ON BACK.
3. KNEELING ARM RAISES
1. Start in on all fours in a kneeling, with the hands directly under the shoulders and the knees underneath the hips. Inhale
2. Exhale, contract core and extend/raise Left arm to reach out as far as possible.
3. Inhale return to start position and repeat on opposite sides.
NOTE: Keep core strong and stable. Relax the core on the inhale and contract on the exhale. Breathe deep into your belly.
NOTE: YOU CAN ALSO PERFORM WITH LEG RAISE (Opposite leg to arm) TOO ONCE YOU HAVE MASTERED THE ARM RAISE AND CAN FEEL YOUR PELVIC FLOOR IS STRONG THROUGH OUT ENTIRE MOVEMENT.
4. LAYING HIP OPENERS
1. Start laying on your back. Place hands on lower abdominals/hip area so you can feel your core and pelvic floor engage through the movement.
2. Inhale as you lower your knee/knees to toward the floor.
3. Exhale and engage the pelvic floor and core as you raise your knees back to the start.
Note: During the second phase of the movement contract the pelvic floor. This movement can also be performed laying on side and opening one leg at a time.
PELVIC FLOOR PROGRAM:
Try this pelvic floor strengthening program daily for 4 weeks OR more.
1. Pelvic Tilts 3 sets x 10 reps
2. Stomach Contractions 5x holds
3. Kneeling arm raises 3x sets x 20 reps (10 each side)
4. Laying Hip Openers 3 sets x 10 reps
KEGELS – to be performed separately from the program through out the day – everyday.
The trick with KEGELS is that you want to cross train the muscles so we do a variety:
10 string Lifts
2 long holds
10-15 quick pulses.
FOR MORE INFO ON KEGELS READ THIS BLOG I WROTE.
One of the most helpful pieces of advice I can give you is to be mindful of your pelvic floor when lifting heavy objects, running, laughing, sneezing, coughing or exercising. Just by being more aware of it and when you need to contract/protect it or release it will really help you to rebuild it or keep it strong.
I hope this info has been helpful! Please let me know if you have any other questions ☺
For video of these moves head to my Instagram www.instagram.com/bybrittanynoonan
Dec 14, 2017