Do you often feel pelvic discomfort or experience urinary leakage? You might need to strengthen your pelvic floor muscles. A strong pelvic floor can improve your overall health, increase your confidence, and provide you with a better quality of life. In this article, we'll explore the top exercises to help you strengthen those vital muscles and lead a healthier, happier life.
What Exercises Strengthen Pelvic Floor Muscles Table of Contents
Your pelvic floor muscles constitute the base of the group of muscles known as your 'core'. These muscles work together to help stabilize your pelvis and spine, support your organs, and enable proper bladder and bowel function. A myriad of factors, including pregnancy, childbirth, obesity, and age, can weaken these muscles, resulting in various pelvic-related symptoms.
Let's dive into the top exercises for strengthening your pelvic floor muscles and learn how to perform them correctly.
Kegel exercises, named after Dr. Arnold Kegel, are the most popular pelvic floor exercises. Their primary purpose is to help you gain better control over your pelvic floor muscles.
Start by identifying the right muscles
When you begin urinating, try to stop the flow mid-stream. The muscles you're using to achieve this are your pelvic floor muscles. Once you're familiar with them, you can perform Kegel exercises anytime, anywhere.
Contract and release
In a seated or lying position, gently contract your pelvic floor muscles while keeping your glutes, thighs, and abdominal muscles relaxed. Hold the contraction for three to five seconds, then release and relax for a count of five. Repeat this 10 to 15 times per session, aiming for three sessions a day.
Squats can be highly effective in strengthening the pelvic floor muscles, as well as the glutes, hamstrings, and quadriceps.
- Stand with your feet shoulder-width apart and your toes pointing forward.
- Slowly lower your body into a squat position by bending at the knees and pushing your hips back, as if sitting on a chair. Keep your chest upright and your core engaged.
- Avoid squatting too low, as this can overstrain the pelvic floor muscles. Aim for a position where your thighs are parallel to the floor.
- Slowly rise back to the standing position, engaging your pelvic floor muscles as you do so. Perform 10 to 15 squats, working up to three sets.
The bridge pose is a yoga exercise that targets the muscles of the pelvic floor, core, glutes, and hamstrings.
- Lie on your back with your feet hip-width apart, your knees bent, and your arms by your sides.
- As you exhale, slowly lift your hips off the floor, engaging your pelvic floor muscles and pressing your feet into the ground. Make sure to keep your thighs parallel to each other and avoid arching your lower back.
- Hold the position for five breaths, then slowly lower your hips back down to the floor. Repeat this five times.
Pelvic tilts help activate and engage your pelvic floor muscles while also stretching your lower back.
- Lie on your back with your knees bent and feet flat on the floor.
- Gently contract your pelvic floor muscles and tilt your pelvis upwards, flattening your lower back against the floor.
- Hold this position for a count of five, then release and return your pelvis to its original position. Perform 10 to 15 repetitions, aiming for two to three sets per day.
Remember to consult with a healthcare professional before starting any exercise routine, especially if you're experiencing symptoms related to your pelvic floor. They can guide you on the appropriate exercises and ensure you're performing them correctly.
In conclusion, strengthening your pelvic floor muscles is vital for maintaining proper pelvic health, especially as you age. By incorporating these exercises into your daily routine, you'll experience the benefits of improved bladder and bowel control, enhanced intimacy, and increased overall quality of life. Make sure to share this post with others who may benefit and explore more guides on Pelvic Floor Therapy for additional resources on pelvic health!