Sunday, February 3, 2019

Pelvic Floor Success

The pelvic floor is made of several muscles that support the bladder, uterus and rectum while allowing the urethra, vagina and anus to pass through.  This prevents pelvic organ prolapse while allowing for normal body functions like urination, menstruation, sexual intercourse, vaginal birth, passing gas and bowel movements.

A healthy pelvic floor:
  • functions well with or without conscious contraction and relaxation. 
  • can contract and release consciously and unconsciously
When doing pelvic floor exercises, it is important to remind yourself:

  • Contract on the exhale.  Work with your breath.
  • Release and expand on the inhale
  • The release is as important as the contraction
  • Working with your breath will take practice
  • Try different positions
  • When you are starting out, 50% success is 100% success
When we inhale, our lungs will with oxygen and our diaphragm bears down. This increases the pressure inside our torso in all directions.  We call this increased intra-abdominal pressure. It is difficult to obtain a quality pelvic floor contraction when working against intra-abdominal pressure.  Instead, we inhale to expand and exhale to contract.. 

Another benefit of working with our breath, often called 'core breathing', is that we can give equal focus to the contraction and the relaxation/expansion. Historically, the emphasis was put on the contraction alone. We know now that being able to consciously release our pelvic floor is just as important as being able to consciously contract it. 

Here are are couple of our favourite pelvic floor exercises.  All our Fit 4 Two classes include pelvic floor work.  If you haven't tried a class, please join us for a free trial.  If you do not live in an area that Fit 4 Two serves, check out our online programs. 

The Jelly Fish
Visualize a jelly fish contracting and expanding.  Your pelvic floor is a jelly fish. Inhale to prepare 1-2, 3, 4.  Exhale, slowly contract your jellyfish. Inhale, slowly expand your jellyfish.  Exhale contract 2, 3, 4.  Inhale expand 2, 3, 4. Do 10X.

The Diamond
Visualize a line from your pubic bone, to your right sitting bone, to your tail bone, to your left sitting bone, back up to your pubic bone.  This will make the shape of a diamond.  Inhale 1,2,3 4.  Exhale contract your diamond, 3, 4.  Inhale expand your diamond, 3, 4.  Exhale diamond comes up, up, up.  Inhale diamond goes down, down, down. Do 10X.  

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