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Why is the Pelvic floor such a big deal?

Introduction

Everyone has a pelvic floor. The pelvic floor muscles are at the bottom of the pelvis and support the bladder, bowels and uterus. They wrap around from the pubic bone to the coccyx (tailbone). If these muscles are weak, then women can have problems with controlling their bladder and bowels and also have problems with low back pain.


During pregnancy, the pelvic floor provides support for the baby. However, childbirth can cause a lot of strain on this area, leading to problems that many women experience for a long time after giving birth. Fortunately, there are ways to prevent this. Strengthening the pelvic floor before pregnancy can reduce muscle damage, while exercising after childbirth (with approval from your doctor) can help with incontinence and allow you to control your bladder so you don't need to constantly rush to the bathroom or worry about small leaks while playing with your kids.



Exercises for Pelvic Floor Strengthening

Activation

The first step to strengthening the pelvic floor is to find the pelvic floor muscles. The easiest way to do so is to begin lying down and imagine you are trying to prevent yourself from urinating* or passing wind. However, to ensure just the pelvic floor muscles are activated, you need to prevent squeezing the legs or buttocks, pulling in the stomach or holding the breath. This is a Kegel exercise. The next step is to be able to hold this contraction for 5 seconds and progress from there.


Progression

Once you have learnt how to activate your pelvic floor, then you can begin adding movements. For example, engaging the glutes and core, whether they are bridges, pelvic tilts, squats, or deadbugs. It is easiest to start with movements lying on the floor, progressing to kneeling and then to standing. Keeping the engagement in the pelvic floor throughout exercises has been found to help further reduce lower back pain in women compared with exercise alone (Abdel-aziem and team).


Kegel Balls

Did you know that Kegels are a unique type of exercise? Unlike other muscles that visibly move during a workout, the pelvic floor muscles engaged during Kegels don't show any obvious movements. That's why it's essential to be mindful of your muscle engagement while doing Kegels. But, let's be real, if you are new to training the pelvic floor it can be challenging to know if you're doing them correctly. Fortunately, there are ways to get feedback. One of those ways is using Kegel balls. These small weights are inserted into the vagina, and when the pelvic floor muscles are tightened, you'll feel the balls lift. Not only do Kegel balls provide feedback, but they also help strengthen the pelvic floor. So, why not give them a try during your next workout?



Conclusion

It's essential for women to prioritize strengthening their pelvic floor. These muscles play a vital role in our everyday lives, yet we often don't give them the attention they deserve. It's easy to ignore the little leaks or discomfort in our lower back and SI joints, but these can be signs of a weakened pelvic floor.


If you're pregnant or have recently given birth, it's even more critical to focus on strengthening these muscles. Pregnancy and childbirth can put a lot of stress on the pelvic floor, leading to urinary incontinence that can last for years. But with our 16-week program that emphasizes pelvic floor strengthening, you can take control of your body and prevent these issues from taking over your life.


Don't struggle in silence with this problem any longer. Our program can provide you with the knowledge and tools you need to prioritize your pelvic floor health. You deserve to live your life without the worry and discomfort that comes with a weakened pelvic floor, so start taking action TODAY!





*TIP: don’t make it a habit to Kegel while urinating to stop the flow- this can lead to a UTI!





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