Pelvic floor muscles are some of the most important, yet underappreciated, muscles in our body. They play a critical role in supporting lower internal organs like the bladder, rectum, and uterus (in women) or prostate (in men). Whether you've recently given birth, experienced pelvic surgery, or you're just eager to avoid common issues like incontinence or pelvic organ prolapse, understanding how to strengthen your pelvic floor muscles is essential. In this comprehensive guide, we will equip you with everything you need to know about strengthening this hidden powerhouse.
How Can I Strengthen My Pelvic Floor Muscles Table of Contents
1. kegel exercises: The starting point of any pelvic floor workout plan
Named after Dr. Arnold Kegel, kegel exercises are the gold standard for pelvic floor strengthening. They involve contracting and relaxing your pelvic floor muscles regularly, just like you would with any other workout. Here's how to get started with kegel exercises:
- Find your pelvic floor muscles: Imagine you're trying to stop the flow of urine or prevent passing gas. The muscles you're contracting are the pelvic floor muscles.
- Perfect the technique: While lying down, contract these muscles for 3 seconds, and then relax for 3 seconds. Repeat this 10 times in a row. It's important to ensure that you're not holding your breath, and ensure that your abdominal, buttock, or thigh muscles are relaxed.
- Gradually increase intensity: Build up to holding the contraction for 10 seconds at a time, and aim to do 3 sets of 10 repetitions a day.
2. Incorporate pelvic floor exercises into your workout routine
While kegel exercises are the foundation of pelvic floor strengthening, you can take it up a notch by incorporating pelvic floor workouts into your regular exercise routine. Some effective exercises to try include:
- Squats: Stand with your feet shoulder-width apart, and lower your body by bending your knees and hips, moving your glutes back like you're sitting in a chair. Hold for a few seconds and push through your heels to return to a standing position. Aim for 10-15 repetitions.
- Bridge: Lie on your back with your knees bent and feet flat on the floor. As you exhale, engage your pelvic floor muscles and lift your hips towards the ceiling. Hold for a few seconds, then slowly lower your hips back down as you inhale. Perform 10-15 repetitions.
- Leg raises: Lie on your back with your knees bent and feet flat on the floor. Tighten your pelvic floor muscles and slowly raise one leg in the air, keeping your knee bent. Lower the leg back down and repeat on the other side. Aim for 10-15 repetitions on each leg.
3. Breathe deeply and practice good posture
Connecting with your breath and maintaining good posture can greatly impact the health of your pelvic floor muscles. Engage in regular deep breathing exercises, involving slow exhales and relaxed inhales. When sitting or standing, ensure your spine is aligned, your shoulders rolled back, and your chest is open. This will help promote awareness and strength in your pelvic floor muscles.
Transform Your Pelvic Floor in Just 4 Weeks: The Pelvic Floor Bible
How Can I Strengthen My Pelvic Floor Muscles Example
Claire, a new mother, experienced urinary incontinence after giving birth. After discussing her concerns with a healthcare professional, she began incorporating daily kegel exercises and pelvic floor-focused workouts into her routine. Over time, Claire noticed a significant improvement in her symptoms and confidence, which prompted her to share her success story with other mothers in her community.
Improving the strength of your pelvic floor muscles is essential for overall health and well-being, and this guide is your starting point for creating a stronger, healthier pelvic floor. By committing to daily kegel exercises, incorporating pelvic floor workouts into your routine, and focusing on deep breathing and good posture, you'll be well on your way to better control, support, and function. Share this post with friends and explore all our guides on Pelvic Floor Therapy for a healthier, happier you!