Three Exercise To Strengthen Your Pelvic Floor Muscle

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Introduction

After childbirth or as you get older, you may notice that your pelvic floor muscles have weakened.

The pelvic muscles support the bladder, bowel, and uterus. When they contract, the organs are lifted and the openings to the vagina, anus, and urethra are tightened. When the muscles are relaxed, urine and feces can be released from the body.

Pelvic floor muscles also play an important role in sexual function. Strengthening these muscles can reduce pelvic pain during sex and increase the ability of achieving pleasurable sensations. During pregnancy, pelvic floor muscles support the baby and assist in the birthing process.

Pregnancy and childbirth can cause the pelvic floor muscles to weaken, and so can other factors like age, obesity, heavy lifting, and chronic coughing. Weak pelvic floor muscles can cause:

  • incontinence

  • uncontrollable passing of wind

  • painful sex

Pelvic floor muscle training is a proven conservative treatment or preventive for pelvic organ prolapse. Research reports this practice reduced the frequency and severity of symptoms of pelvic organ prolapse.

Three Exercise To Strengthen Your Pelvic Floor Muscle

Find your pelvic floor muscles

You can feel your pelvic floor muscles if you try to stop the flow of urine when you go to the toilet.

It's not recommended that you regularly stop your flow of urine midstream as it can be harmful to the bladder. Try these five exercises to strengthen your pelvic floor muscles and mitigate these side effect

  1. Kegel

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Pelvic muscle training, or Kegel, is the practice of contracting and relaxing your pelvic floor muscles. You may benefit from Kegels if you experience urine leakage from sneezing, laughing, jumping, or coughing, or have a strong urge to urinate just before losing a large amount of urine.

Main muscles worked: pelvic floor

Equipment needed: none

  • Identify the right muscles. The easiest way to do this is to stop urination midstream. These are your pelvic floor muscles.

  • To perform Kegels, contract these muscles and hold for 5 seconds. Release for 5 seconds.

  • Repeat this 10 times, 3 times a day

2. Squat

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Squats engage the largest muscles in the body and have one of the largest payoffs in terms of strength improvement. When performing this fundamental move, ensure your form is solid before you add any resistance.

Main muscles worked: glutes, hamstrings, quadriceps

Equipment needed: barbell

  • Stand in an upright position, feet slightly wider than shoulder-width apart and toes slightly pointed out. If using a barbell, it should be rested behind your neck on your trapezius muscles.

  • Bend your knees and push your hips and butt back as if you’re going to sit in a chair. Keep your chin tucked and neck neutral.

  • Drop down until your thighs are parallel to the ground, keeping your weight in your heels and knees bowed slightly outward.

  • Straighten your legs and return to an upright position.

  • Complete 15 reps 3 sets

3. Shoulder Bridge

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The Shoulder Bridge is a great exercise for the glutes. If done correctly, it also activates the pelvic floor muscles in the process. Even without weight, the pause and pulse of this move will have you feeling it.

Muscles workedglutes, hamstrings, pelvic floor

Equipment needed: none

  1. Lie on the floor. Your spine should be against the ground, with knees bent at a 90-degree angle, feet flat, and arms straight at your sides with palms facing down.

  2. Inhale and push through your heels, raising your hips off the ground by squeezing your glutes, hamstrings, and pelvic floor. Your body — resting on your upper back and shoulders — should form a straight line down from the knees.

  3. Pause 1–2 seconds at the top and return to the starting position.

  4. Complete 10–15 reps and 2–3 sets, resting 30–60 seconds between sets.

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