World Continence Week has just passed, however this article isn’t about incontinence – it’s about simple pelvic floor exercises to help you strengthen your pelvic floor.
Many women don’t realise that pelvic floor exercises can help manage and overcome a range of pelvic floor problems including prolapse symptoms, bladder or bowel leakage and even constipation.
This Pelvic Floor Physiotherapist information teaches you:
When Are Pelvic Floor Exercises Important for Women?
Pelvic exercises are important throughout life.
There are times and events in a woman’s life when they become even more important for pelvic health:
(A) Positioning your body
Set the correct posture:
(B) Locating your pelvic floor
To find where your pelvic floor sits in your body, feel the area in and around where you are sitting:
This is the area where you should feel your pelvic floor exercises.
Pelvic floor exercises involve repeatedly contracting and then relaxing the pelvic floor muscles.
Pelvic floor exercises feel like squeezing and lifting inwards, in and around all 3 pelvic openings together followed by a distinct letting go sensation as you lower your pelvic floor back to resting position.
Correct technique for pelvic floor exercises involves squeezing and lifting in & around all three pelvic openings; the anus, vagina & urethra (urine tube)
You should never feel discomfort or bulging/bearing down with pelvic floor exercises. In the unlikely event that you do, stop your exercises and consult with a Pelvic Floor Physiotherapist or doctor.
It’s important to progress your exercises to challenge your pelvic floor and promote ongoing strengthening.
To progress your pelvic floor exercises
How Long To Notice Results?
There are initial rapid gains with pelvic floor exercises – even over the first month of training. Some women notice improvements during these early stages including better bladder control or decreased prolapse symptoms.
Most women need a minimum 4-5 months of strength training. Studies show that in women with weak pelvic floor muscles, pelvic floor strength increases over 6 months of training (Bo et al 1990).
Michelle Kenway is a Physiotherapist and author of the Inside Out women’s safe exercise program. Michelle’s Inside Out Strength exercise DVD shows women how to strengthen safely with a physiotherapist guides workout.
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