I think you knew the pelvic floor (PF) chat was coming😯…no eye rolling pls! Its the internal muscles we cue in pilates ( think back passage through to front passage) and it’s not just an exercise for the women – men also should be exercising the PF.
Exercising and strengthening this muscle can help us with an overactive bladder ie the sudden need to urinate, frequently needing a wee or sometimes just not quite getting to the toilet in time! It can also help alleviate stress incontinence ie leaking when you cough, laugh or exercise; (some runners can experience this).
The PF is a layer of muscles that stretch from the pubic bone to the tailbone and from side to side. They help control your bladder and bowel and relax when you go to the toilet and activate when you laugh, cough or sneeze to help prevent any leakage.
Like any muscle they weaken; regularly exercising them will strengthen them to improve bladder control and leakage. – Its difficult to find these muscles and isolate them – you shouldn’t be able to see any movement on the outside so you can exercise them anywhere try not to pull your tummy in, no squeezing thighs together and no buttock clenching or holding the breath, try keeping them all as relaxed as possible, gently breathing..you will feel a slight pull in of the lower tummy as your pelvic floor draws up & in.
Here’s how to do it (you could do it now…no-one will know! 😉)
First tighten (squeeze) the muscles around ur back passage, as if you’re trying to stop yourself passing wind. While holding this squeeze, tighten around the front too as if you’re trying to stop yourself mid-wee. It should feel like a ‘squeeze and lift’ inside. After each ‘squeeze and lift’ make sure you fully relax your muscles by letting them go. Now try squeezing and holding for as long as you can – you may only manage 3-4 secs for now but as you practice ( daily) you’re aiming to progress to hold for 10 secs. – Build up to 3 sets of 10 squeezes, holding each squeeze for 10secs, resting for 4 secs between each. Take time to make this a permanent daily exercise; performed correctly you should feel some improvement after a few weeks