Did you know that heel slides are not only a great exercise for core stability, but they can also improve your pelvic floor health? Heel slide kegel exercises are a fantastic way to engage the deep stabilizers of your core while simultaneously working on your pelvic floor muscles. These exercises are perfect for anyone looking to improve overall pelvic health, reduce incontinence issues, or potentially alleviate lower back pain. In this article, we'll cover everything you need to know about heel slide kegel exercises, from their benefits to providing a realistic example of how to perform them efficiently.
Benefits of Heel Slide kegel exercises
Improved Pelvic Floor Control
Engaging the pelvic floor muscles during a heel slide exercise increases their strength and endurance over time. This can lead to better bladder and bowel control, reducing the risk of incontinence and other pelvic floor dysfunctions.
Enhanced Core Stability
Heel slides work on the deep stabilizing muscles of the core, including the transverse abdominis and obliques. These muscles help maintain proper posture and contribute to overall core stability.
Reduced Lower Back Pain
Strengthening the deep core muscles and improving pelvic floor control can potentially alleviate lower back pain. A strong core provides the foundation for optimal spine alignment, helping avoid unnecessary strain on the lower back.
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Heel slide kegel exercises can be particularly beneficial for new moms aiming to regain strength and control in their pelvic floor muscles after childbirth.
How to Perform Heel Slide kegel exercises
Step 1: Find a Comfortable Surface
Start by finding a firm but comfortable surface, like a yoga mat on the floor. You may want to use a pillow under your head for additional support.
Step 2: Lie Down and Position Your Legs
Lie down flat on your back with your knees bent and feet flat on the floor. Ensure your feet are hip-width apart, and your spine is in a neutral position.
Step 3: Engage Your Pelvic Floor and Core
Before starting the heel slide, perform a kegel exercise by engaging your pelvic floor muscles. It should feel as if you're trying to stop urination mid-stream. At the same time, brace your core as if you're expecting someone to poke you in the stomach.
Step 4: Perform the Heel Slide
Slowly slide your right heel away from your body while keeping your foot in contact with the floor. Breathe continuously and maintain pelvic floor and core engagement throughout the movement. Once your leg is fully extended, slowly slide your heel back towards your body and return to the starting position. Repeat on the left side to complete one repetition.
Step 5: Increase Difficulty Over Time
As you become more comfortable with the exercise, you can increase the difficulty by adding a resistance band around your thighs or performing the movement on an unstable surface, like a foam pad.
Heel Slide kegel exercises Example:
To efficiently perform a heel slide kegel exercise, follow these steps:
1. Lie down on a comfortable, firm surface with knees bent and feet flat on the floor.
2. Engage your pelvic floor and core muscles.
3. Slowly slide your right heel away from your body, keeping your foot in contact with the floor.
4. Once your leg is fully extended, bring your heel back toward your body.
5. Repeat with your left heel to complete one repetition.
Perform this exercise for 10 repetitions on each side, aiming for two to three sets.
Heel slide kegel exercises are a fantastic way to improve your pelvic floor health, core stability, and potentially alleviate lower back pain. As part of your routine, they will not only enhance your physical fitness, but they can also contribute to your overall wellbeing. If you found this guide helpful, please share the article with friends and family who could benefit from incorporating heel slide kegel exercises into their lives. And don't forget to explore our other guides on pelvic floor therapy to continue your journey toward improving your pelvic health.