More Exercise Examples: Pelvic Floor
Exercise to Find Pelvic Floor Muscles
Lie on your back, or side, or sit with the spine in a neutral posture. Firmly palpate your abdomen 1-2 inches inside of your hip bones. Try the following cues to connect to (contract) your pelvic floor:
- Females – Think of your vagina as a clock, pubis is 12, tailbone is 6, left lateral wall is 3, right lateral wall is 9. Visualize drawing the 12 to the 6, the 6 to the 12 and finally gather the 3 and 9 toward the middle of the clock and gently lift.
- Females – Nod your clitoris down toward the vaginal opening, curl your tailbone toward your clitoris, now gently imagine sucking a jellybean up off of the floor toward your head.
- Females – Visualize ‘squeezing’/close off the urethra (as if to stop urine flow), hold this while you ‘squeeze’/close the anus (as if to stop flatulence) and gently lift.
- Males – visualize gently drawing your testicles up and forward into your abdomen. (aka ‘bring the boys home’).
- Males or Females – Think about a guy wire or line from the anus up to the back of your pubic bone and connect along this line.
– Diane Lee & Assoc Physiotherapy
Changing How Kegels are Taught & Practiced
The oft-given instruction to squeeze the muscles that stop the flow of urine “often leads to a tightening of the wrong muscles, which in turn can lead to everything from urinary incontinence and pain during sex to pelvic organ prolapse.” (Meghan Rabbitt)
Consider these instructions instead:
Picture the pelvic floor muscles between your two sitting bones.
- Inhale, and as you exhale, draw the muscles together as if they were the two halves of an elevator door closing to meet in the middle.
- Once this door is closed, lift the elevator up and then release.
Next, imagine the pelvic floor muscles between your pubic bone and tailbone.
- Inhale, and as you exhale, draw those muscles together in the same elevator-door fashion, lift the elevator, and then release.
Now, draw all four elevator doors together at once, meeting at one point in the middle, then lift and release. Repeat 5 times, and rest.
– Meghan Rabbitt
Inner Thigh Activation
Some teach inner thigh activation to help with pelvic floor recruitment. For instructions on inner thigh activation, see “Core Integration with a Block” here.
Reading Katy Bowman’s last book … I’ve started to incorporate more movement into my life other than and independently from exercising. And especially, I’ve started to squat more, when playing with my toddler, picking things off the floor and even going to the toilet. Learning to untuck my tail has made me finally realize why I still had to push my baby out and not bear it gently down, letting the gravity do the job, in spite of all the birth preparations and beautiful relaxation techniques I mastered beforehand. – Ivanna Demmel