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Strengthening the pelvic floor

Strengthening the pelvic floor

A strong pelvic floor is essential in preventing or remedying issues such as incontinence, prolapse, and constipation in both males and females. The good news is that it is fairly simple to strengthen the pelvic floor and prevent related issues, or at least reduce symptoms of weak pelvic muscles, by simply incorporating some basic exercises into your fitness routine.

What is the Pelvic floor?

According to Michael Burbidge, Head of BODYTEC Training Academy, “the pelvic floor is a group of small, deep core muscles that play an important role in sexual function as well as controlling the urination and the defecation process. Both men and women have these muscles, but they are often more relevant to women as they can be damaged during pregnancy”. The pelvic organs include the bladder, urethra, intestines, and rectum. A woman’s pelvic organs also include the uterus, cervix, and vagina.

What is the pelvic floor’s function?

The pelvic floor muscles assist in stabilising the hips and torso, particularly while walking and standing. These muscles are most commonly known to become weakened during pregnancy and childbirth. This may result in a variety of complications, ranging from modest pain and discomfort to pelvic organ prolapse.

However, pregnancy and delivery are not the only causes of pelvic floor dysfunction. Age, menopause (in women), surgery, moving heavy objects repeatedly, and sitting for an extended period could increase strain on the abdomen in both women and men. Certain behaviours, symptoms, or illnesses, such as endometriosis, irritable bowel syndrome, interstitial cystitis, and practices of delaying or limiting bowel motions, might lead to pelvic floor problems.

Strengthening the pelvic floor | BODYTEC

What are the benefits of strengthening the pelvic floor?

Similar to other muscles in the body, the pelvic floor functions most effectively when the muscles are strong and able to relax completely after a full contraction. The bladder, bowels, and sexual organs are better supported by strengthening the pelvic floor. Additionally, it may aid with bladder and bowel control as well as sexual sensation and function. Researchers have shown that enhanced pelvic floor function improves the quality of life.

Exercises to strengthen the pelvic floor muscles

Kegels

Kegel exercises require rapid contractions of the pelvic floor to assist in engaging the muscles more quickly and effectively in order to prevent leakage during sneezing or coughing.

Heel slides

Heel slides stimulate contractions of the pelvic floor while targeting the deep abdominal muscles.

Marches (also called toe taps)

Marching, like heel slides, strengthens core stability and promotes pelvic floor contractions.

BODYTEC EMS training

“Pelvic floor muscles can be difficult to activate (contract) and train voluntarily, and this is where Electro Muscle Stimulation strength training can help. The impulse delivered by the EMS device will cause even the deep pelvic muscles to contract, which, over time, will cause them to become stronger”, says Michael.

“However, strengthening the muscles is only one side of the coin; gaining control is the other side. This is where the dynamic side of our EMS training at BODYTEC comes in. While the EMS device stimulates the muscles to contract and become stronger, the range of exercises you perform during the training session will develop the muscular control necessary to make use of strength gains”.

Incorporating exercises that strengthen the pelvic floor into your daily routine is a fantastic approach to engaging these muscles and improving your overall health. Every time you do an exercise, make sure to keep proper form and function in mind.

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