Perform Pelvic Floor Exercises – Before You Start
Now that you’re convinced of the importance of pelvic floor exercises, let’s get you started. There are a few things you should know before you start.
It is so important to identify the right muscles first! One way to do this is to stop the flow of urine mid-stream. The muscles you use to do this are your pelvic floor muscles. If you’re struggling to connect with your pelvic floor, you can use this post to help you! Using the same muscles, you can practice kegels by contracting your pelvic floor muscles for 3-5 seconds, and repeating 10-15 times. Aim to do this three times a day. You can do this anytime, anywhere!
Just as with any form of exercise, gradually increase intensity so you keep improving. As you become more comfortable with Kegels, you can gradually increase the duration of the contractions and the number of repetitions. You can also experiment with different positions, such as standing or kneeling, to challenge your muscles in various ways. Some people even use vagina weights to practice kegels!
Finally, Don’t forget to breathe. Inhale as you relax, and exhale as you contract your pelvic floor muscles (it is the same for core exercises).
Incorporating pelvic floor exercises into your workouts
You can incoroprate pelvic floor exercises right into the workouts you’re already doing. You’re probably already doing many moves that work wonders for your pelvic floor and now, with your new mind-muscle connection, they really will! Hopefully your workout starts with a warm up. It is important to increase blood flow to your pelvic floor first, and all your other muscles!
If you’ve read until this point, you’ve already connected with your pelvic floor. Now, you can intuit which exercises naturally engage your pelvic floor muscles or can be modified to do so. Here are some options:
Squats are an excellent choice for engaging the pelvic floor muscles. As you squat down and stand back up, focus on maintaining that contraction you practiced earlier.
Deadlifts are another compound exercise that recruits the pelvic floor muscles. Pay attention to your pelvic floor engagement as you lift the weights.
Yoga and Pilates
Many yoga and Pilates poses inherently work on core strength and stability, including the pelvic floor. Poses like the bridge, planks, and boat pose are particularly effective.
This dynamic exercise requires strong core engagement, which includes the pelvic floor. Be sure to maintain the contraction during the entire movement.
Incorporate Kegel Exercises
Kegel exercises can be seamlessly integrated into your workout routine and combined with isometric holds – exercises where you’re holding one challenging position instead of moving e.g. plank, wall-sit and lunge hold. You can also perform kegals between sets!
Regardless of the exercise you choose, maintaining proper form is crucial. Ensure that you’re engaging your pelvic floor muscles without straining or holding your breath. Breathe naturally and engage your pelvic floor as a part of your core stabilization.
As mentioned, it is important to gradually increase intensity. Just like any other muscle group, the pelvic floor muscles need progressive overload to get stronger. Gradually increase the intensity of your pelvic floor exercises by holding contractions for longer or adding resistance (e.g., using weights during squats or deadlifts).
At the end of your workout, make sure to stretch and relax to release any tension in your pelvic floor muscles. Lastly, pay attention to how your body responds to these new exercises. If you experience any discomfort or pain, consult a healthcare professional or pelvic floor specialist.
When it comes to your fitness, incorporating pelvic floor exercises into your workout routine not only helps improve pelvic floor strength but also enhances overall core stability and can contribute to better posture and reduced back pain. Remember to start slowly, focus on proper form, and progress gradually to maximize the benefits while minimizing the risk of injury. For your health, pelvic floor exercises are a simple yet powerful way to improve your overall quality of life.
Whether you’re looking to prevent incontinence, enhance your sexual function, or recover from childbirth, incorporating these exercises into your daily routine can make a significant difference. Take the time to understand your pelvic floor, perform the exercises correctly, and be consistent in your efforts. With dedication and patience, you can unlock the strength and confidence that come with a healthy pelvic floor. Don’t wait until problems arise—start your pelvic floor exercise journey today for a happier and healthier tomorrow.