As mums, there is no doubt that you have been told that it is important to work your pelvic floor. But do you actually do it? Maybe you have in the past but no longer do for whatever reason? Maybe you think you are too far gone and well, bladder leakage is life now right? (wrong by the way).
What if I was to tell you that there is a secret, pleasurable benefit to strengthening your pelvic floor? If you are a bit intrigued, then read on….
What is your pelvic floor?
I know you want to get to the juicy stuff, but before we go there we need to go back to basics. What is this pelvic floor you hear so much about?
Pelvic floor refers to the sling of muscles that support the pelvic organs (bladder, bowel and uterus) and span the bottom of your pelvis. All women have a pelvic floor (and men to) and as with all muscles, if they are not worked regularly, can weaken with age. Pelvic floor weakness is not just limited to ladies who have had a baby! The good news is that like other muscles in your body, your pelvic floor muscles can be trained and will become stronger with a regular exercise program.
Strengthening your pelvic floor muscles can help you with:
- Improved bladder and bowel control – think sneezing, jumping or *ahem* making it to the toilet in time
- Reduce the risk of prolapse. In women this may be felt as a bulge in the vagina or a feeling of heaviness, discomfort, pulling, dragging or dropping
- improve recovery from childbirth and gynaecological surgery
And lastly, here is the juicy bit:
- increase sexual sensation and orgasmic potential.
Ok, so now I’ve got your attention and you are reading this while secretly doing some pelvic floor exercises right?
Well, we better make sure you are doing them effectively then!
How to work your pelvic floor muscles
Check out this 5 minute video where I walk you through how to work your pelvic floor and the two basic exercises; quick flicks and long holds.
Basically you want to squeeze around your anus as if trying to stop wind, squeeze the vagina like you are trying to keep a tampon in and squeeze around the urethra as if you are trying to stop the flow of urine. All.At.The.Same.Time! What you should feel is a tightening and a lift as if you are pulling everything down there upwards.
You can do them anywhere
One of the most awesome things about doing your pelvic floor exercises is that no one can actually see you working out. This means that you can do your long holds or quick flicks wherever you like. Here are some places I sneak in a few exercises:
- While i’m supervising my kids in the bath
- When i’m stopped at a red traffic light
- During TV ad breaks
- Those LONG boring minutes of laying next to your toddler waiting for them to fall asleep
- In the line at the supermarket
- Waiting for the kettle to boil
- Watching the kids play at the park
- In bed before I go to sleep – or as a warm up before ‘sexy’ time – haha just joking I don’t want my muscles to be too fatigued for that!
Join me for a pelvic floor workout
Now don’t get me wrong – quick flicks and long holds are super effective for working your pelvic floor but, like repeating anything over and over and over, they can get a little boring to do. So, on Thursday 7 June at 8pm (AEST), I will be doing a live video for you that includes a range of whole body exercises that you can do while working your pelvic floor! #Multitasking. Come do the workout with me or catch it on the replay: https://www.facebook.com/MumMe.Fit.Time/
I have a weak pelvic floor, what should I avoid doing?
Finally, I just wanted to draw your attention to ways you can exercise if you have identified that you have a weak pelvic floor. Whipping on a pad to go exercise is not the best way to go about it, as you are potentially doing more damage and may weaken your muscles further.
So, if you do have a weak pelvic floor, keep these tips in mind:
- Avoid high impact exercise such as skipping, running or jumping
- Lighten your weights or resistance so that you aren’t putting pressure on your pelvic floor. If you are lifting weights, aim to lift from your hips and up, rather than lifting from the floor
- Reduce the depth of your squats and lunges
- Keep your legs closer together during exercise
- Choose supported positions such as sitting on a fitball, chair or against a wall
- Avoid holding your breath. Exhale rather than breathe in when performing an exercise
- Maintain good posture
Until next time, get that pelvic floor strong and enjoy the benefits.
P.S. I offer a range of tips, motivation and inspiration on all things fitness, nutrition and mindset within my FREE facebook community group. Come join me and other mums on our health and fitness journey – all mummas welcome! https://www.facebook.com/groups/197233594180647/