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7 Exercises To Restore A Weak Pelvic Floor

Pelvic Muscle, Kegel loading...

The pelvic floor is arguably the body region most often overlooked or pushed to the side when it comes to strength and exercise. This is mainly because people tend to feel uncomfortable when referring to this area of the body, so it doesn’t come up as often as it should in exercise courses.

But, just like any other group of muscles, the pelvic floor deserves attention in order to function properly! Keeping your pelvic floor strong can help you better control the bladder and bowel movements, and even maintain more control and pleasure during sex.

What Is The Pelvic Floor?

The pelvic floor involves the muscles, tissues, nerves and ligaments that support the pelvic organs. For men this includes support for the bladder, rectum, and other pelvic organs, while for women this also includes the uterus and vagina.

For many people, and particularly women, the pelvic floor isn’t functioning as well as it should be. This is particularly true for women after childbirth. (1)

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However, although pelvic floor weakness and disorders are common, this doesn’t mean they are un-treatable or unavoidable! Proper exercise can lower the risk of pelvic floor disorders and even reverse effects. (2)

7 Pelvic Floor Strengthening Exercises

Locating The Pelvic Floor

The first step in strengthening your pelvic floor is being able to locate these muscles so that you can target them during exercise.

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You can do this by first lying on your back with your knees bent and your feet on the floor. Then, squeeze and lift the rectal and vaginal areas, imagine that you’re trying to stop yourself from urinating. You should feel as if your genital area is closing as you squeeze. You’ve found your pelvic floor!

In order to get the most out of these exercises, make sure to engage your pelvic floor with each repetition.

1. Bridge

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Strengthens the pelvic floor, core, and hamstrings.

  • Lie down on your back. Bend your knees with your feet on the floor, place arms at your side with palms down.
  • Lift your hips up toward the ceiling, making sure to engage your pelvic floor.
  • Hold for 20 seconds, then lower your hips to the floor.
  • Repeat 3 times.

2. Shifting Plank

Strengthens pelvic floor and core muscles.

  • Lie down on your stomach.
  • Bend your elbows and prop yourself up on your forearms and toes, keeping your body in a straight line. Your shoulders should be directly over your elbows.
  • Keeping your form stable, shift your shoulders over your forearms, pushing yourself forward with your toes.
  • Shift your shoulders back to beginning position, pressing your heels back.
  • Repeat 15 times.

3. Wall Sit

Strengthens pelvic floor, core, and legs.

  • Stand with your back against the wall.
  • Slide your back downward against the wall as you walk your feet out in front of you until your knees are at a 90 degree angle.
  • Hold your arms out parallel to your knees.
  • Hold for 60 seconds, then release.

4. Split Tabletop

Strengthens pelvic floor and core muscles.

  • Lie down on your back. Bend your knees with your feet on the floor, place arms at your side with palms down.
  • Lift your feet off the ground until your shins are parallel to the ground and knees bent at a 90 degree angle. Keep your feet flexed.
  • Separate your thighs, lowering your legs to either side of your body while maintaining the 90 degree angle.
  • Bring your knees back together, squeezing the thighs.
  • Repeat 15 times.

5. Tabletop Pelvic Tilts

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Strengthens pelvic floor.

  • Come to your hands and knees in tabletop position. Your shoulders should be over your wrists, your hips over your knees, and your back straight.
  • Round your lower back and tilt your tailbone down. Draw your navel up and in and tuck your chin to your chest.
  • Straighten your back and come back to center.
  • Repeat 15 times.

6. Bird Dog

Strengthens pelvic floor and core muscles. Improves coordination and balance.

  • Begin on hands and knees in tabletop position.
  • Reach forward with your right hand while straightening your left leg back at the same time. Keep your other hand and knee on the floor.
  • Hold for a moment, then return to tabletop.
  • Do the same for your left arm and right leg.
  • Alternate and repeat 6 times for each side.

7. Full Body Crunch

Strengthens pelvic floor and abdominal muscles.

  • Lie down on your back. Bend your knees with your feet on the floor.
  • Place your arms beside your head, straight, palms up, reaching past your head.
  • Curl up into a ball, reaching for your toes with your fingers, lifting your shoulders and head off the ground, and drawing your knees into your chest.
  • Release and return to starting position.
  • Repeat 15 times.

Conclusion

There is no need to be embarrassed or ashamed of a weak pelvic floor, especially if you have a pelvic floor disorder. Use these exercises regularly to strengthen your pelvic muscles, and keep every part of your body strong and healthy!

By Emilyn Gil

  1. http://www.uchospitals.edu/specialties/pelvic/faq/pelvic-floor-disorders.html#P14_511
  2. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmedhealth/PMH0013612/

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