How to Strengthen Your Pelvic Floor

Although they don’t always get the attention they deserve, the pelvic floor muscles are very important. If they’re weak, problems such as urinary incontinence could occur. In this article, discover how to strengthen your pelvic floor.
How to Strengthen Your Pelvic Floor

Last update: 01 October, 2020

It’s important to exercise all your muscles, due to the fact that they support your body. Despite this, some muscle groups aren’t worked as they should, since most exercise routines are directed at a few specific areas. Thus, your main focus is probably not understanding how to strengthen your pelvic floor.

Although the pelvic floor has a very important function, most people tend to neglect it. In fact, many people don’t even know it exists! But, you should know what the pelvic floor is and how to strengthen it appropriately.

What’s the pelvic floor?

The pelvic floor is a set of muscles and connective tissues responsible for supporting the organs in your pelvic region and lower abdomen. It’s part of the well-known core, responsible for the body’s muscle balance.

The pelvic floor consists of different muscles. The levator ani and the coccygeus stand out, which in turn make up the pelvic diaphragm. The latter’s main function is to support this body part.

The important task of strengthening your pelvic floor

Based on the above, and taking into account the support function for the organs in this area, which consist of the bladder and urethra, prostate and seminal vesicle, uterus and vagina, anal canal, sphincter apparatus, and rectum, experts recommend strengthening the pelvic floor. This way, you can avoid problems such as urinary incontinence, prolapse, sexual dysfunction, or low back pain.

To strengthen your pelvic floor, you must do a series of exercises. The goal is to work the muscles in this area. For this, you can resort to alternatives such as Kegel exercises and hypopressive gymnastics.

Kegel exercises

A pregnant woman doing Kegel exercises to strengthen the pelvic floor.

The advantage of Kegel exercises is that you can do them anytime, anywhere. However, experts always recommend doing them in comfortable and quiet places that promote a sense of relaxation. These exercises can help you strengthen your pelvic floor if you do them in the following way:

Strengthen your pelvic floor: first exercise

You should do this slowly, both when you contract and relax the muscles. Firstly, contract your pelvic floor for about five seconds. Then, relax the muscles and wait another five seconds. Do 15 repetitions.

Second exercise

Squeeze your pelvic floor, making sure you gradually increase the pressure. The idea isn’t to contract and release right away but to contract gradually. You should do this very slowly and wait two seconds between each muscle contraction.

Third exercise

You should do this third exercise, based on contracting and relaxing your pelvic floor ten times, as fast as possible. The goal is to increase the number of repetitions over time. You’ll perceive that these muscles become stronger.

Hypopressive exercises to strengthen your pelvic floor

With proper guidance, you can do them from the comfort of your home. Basically, they consist of performing certain postures with very specific breathing patterns. It’s important to manage your breathing while you do them.

A woman doing hypopressive ab excercises.

According to a study published by the Sao Paulo Medical Journal, the most significant benefit of hypopressive abdominal gymnastics is that it increases muscle tone in the core and pelvis. That’s why experts recommend them to strengthen the pelvic floor.

However, a hypopressive ab routine should be guided by a professional trainer in order to properly execute the exercises. As they have some contraindications, you should consult your doctor before doing them.

Do you need to strengthen your pelvic floor?

The pelvic floor resists the gravitational weight of the lower abdomen and the organs housed in the pelvis. If it’s weak, your entire body could be affected.

Many people have experienced episodes of constipation, which can weaken the pelvic floor. On the other hand, pregnancy often affects the core region, especially the muscle tone of the pelvis. This is due to the weight of the fetus and the force they must exert during childbirth.

Likewise, high-impact sports gradually weaken the walls of the pelvic floor. Therefore, people should start strengthening their pelvic floor from childhood. This way, they’ll be able to prevent low back pain, urinary incontinence, sexual problems, and even pelvic organ prolapse.

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Reasons to Train the Pelvic Floor During Pregnancy
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Reasons to Train the Pelvic Floor During Pregnancy

During pregnancy, the pelvic floor is weakened by hormonal changes. That is why it is very important to train the pelvic floor during pregnancy.

  • Iglesias Guiu, X. (2007). El suelo pélvico. In Clinica e Investigacion en Ginecologia y Obstetricia.
  • Ruiz de Viñaspre Hernández, R. (2018). Eficacia de la gimnasia abdominal hipopresiva en la rehabilitación del suelo pélvico de las mujeres: revisión sistemática. Actas Urológicas Españolas.
  • Gómez Lanza, E., Granda Contijoch, M., & Batista Miranda, J. E. (2009). Ejercicios Del Suelo Pélvico. Archivos Espanoles de Urologia.