Pelvic muscles, like any other muscle group in your body, can be controlled and strengthened with the right knowledge and dedication. A well-functioning pelvic floor can greatly impact your overall health, wellbeing, and quality of life. So, how do you control your pelvic muscles? This in-depth guide will walk you through the importance of a strong pelvic floor, effective exercises for controlling and strengthening your pelvic muscles, and lifestyle adjustments that can promote long-lasting improvements.
How Do You Control Pelvic Muscles Table of Contents
What are pelvic muscles?
The pelvic floor is a group of muscles that run from your pubic bone to your tailbone and act as a support system for your pelvic organs, such as the bladder, uterus, and rectum. These muscles play a critical role in controlling bowel and bladder functions, providing support during pregnancy and childbirth, and contributing to sexual function. A weak or dysfunctional pelvic floor can lead to issues such as urinary incontinence, pelvic organ prolapse, and sexual dysfunction.
Why control your pelvic muscles?
Controlling and strengthening the pelvic floor muscles can lead to various benefits, including:
Improved bladder and bowel control: A strong pelvic floor helps maintain continence, reducing the risk of embarrassing accidents and leading to better overall urinary and bowel function.
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Better support during pregnancy and childbirth: A strong pelvic floor can better support the weight of a growing baby and potentially reduce the risk of complications during childbirth.
Enhanced sexual function: Strong pelvic floor muscles can lead to increased sensation and stronger orgasms for both men and women.
Reduction in pelvic pain: Targeted control of pelvic muscles can alleviate pain associated with conditions such as endometriosis, pelvic inflammatory disease, or postpartum discomfort.
Prevention of pelvic organ prolapse: Strengthening your pelvic floor muscles helps support your pelvic organs and reduces their risk of prolapse or descent.
How to control your pelvic muscles
The most well-known and widely accepted pelvic floor exercises, Kegels involve contracting and relaxing the pelvic muscles as if you were stopping the flow of urine. Perform 5-10 repetitions, holding the contraction for 5-10 seconds and then relaxing for 5-10 seconds, three times a day.
Incorporating squats into your regular exercise routine can strengthen the muscles surrounding the pelvic floor and lead to a more robust pelvic support system.
Pilates focuses on building core strength and improving body awareness, which has been shown to have positive effects on pelvic floor function.
Yoga poses, such as "happy baby" or "bridge pose," can help to activate and strengthen the pelvic floor muscles while promoting relaxation and overall body awareness.
Working with a physical therapist who specializes in pelvic floor therapy can provide personalized guidance and feedback on controlling and strengthening pelvic floor muscles using various techniques, including the use of biofeedback devices.
Lifestyle adjustments that can help you control your pelvic muscles
Achieve and maintain a healthy weight: Carrying excess weight can place additional stress on your pelvic floor muscles, so losing weight or maintaining a healthy weight can improve your pelvic floor function.
Limit bladder irritants: Alcohol, caffeine, carbonated beverages, and acidic/spicy foods can aggravate the bladder and lead to incontinence. Limiting these in your diet can help improve your control over your pelvic muscles.
Manage constipation: Straining during bowel movements can weaken your pelvic floor muscles, so ensure that you have regular bowel movements and a diet rich in fiber.
Avoid heavy lifting: Lifting heavy objects can place undue stress on your pelvic muscles, so try to avoid repetitive heavy lifting or practice proper lifting techniques.
Modify your exercise routine: High-impact exercises might not be suitable for women with pelvic floor dysfunction. Choose low-impact workouts that assist in strengthening your pelvic floor instead.
Strengthening and controlling your pelvic muscles doesn't have to be complicated. With the correct exercises, lifestyle adjustments, and expert guidance, you'll soon be on your way to a stronger, more resilient pelvic floor. Like this guide? Share it with someone who would benefit from learning more about pelvic floor strength, and don't forget to explore our other informative guides on Pelvic Floor Therapy. Together, we can create a more robust, healthier world.