Have you been told to try Kegels to help strengthen your pelvic floor muscles?
The pelvic floor is a group of muscles and tissues that form a hammock-like structure at the base of the pelvis, supporting various organs such as the bladder, uterus, and rectum. These muscles play a crucial role in controlling bowel and bladder functions, stabilizing the pelvis, and contributing to sexual function.
|When it comes to pelvic health, the term “Kegels” often takes the spotlight. While Kegel exercises play a vital role in strengthening the pelvic floor, there are many exercises outside of Kegels that contribute to a comprehensive pelvic floor therapy routine.
Statistics show that 32% of women will have at least one pelvic floor disorder (PFD) at one time in their life.
The Bridge Exercise: Kegels focus on the pelvic floor muscles, but a holistic approach involves engaging surrounding muscle groups as well. The bridge exercise is a perfect example. Lie on your back with knees bent and lift your hips toward the ceiling. This movement engages not only the pelvic floor but also the core and lower back muscles. By incorporating the bridge into your routine, you promote overall pelvic stability and strength.
Deep Squats: Squats are renowned for their ability to target various muscle groups, and when performed correctly, they can be a valuable addition to pelvic floor therapy. Deep squats engage the glutes, hamstrings, and pelvic floor muscles simultaneously. As you squat into position, ensure proper form to maximize the benefits and strengthen the pelvic floor in a functional way.
Pelvic Tilts: Pelvic tilts are an effective exercise to enhance pelvic mobility and flexibility. While lying on your back with knees bent, gently rock your pelvis backward and forward. This simple yet impactful movement helps activate and stretch the pelvic floor muscles, promoting flexibility and preventing tension buildup.
Butterfly Stretch: Stretching is a crucial component of any well-rounded exercise routine. The butterfly stretch, where you sit with the soles of your feet together and gently press your knees towards the floor, targets the inner thighs and pelvic floor. This stretch promotes relaxation and flexibility in the pelvic region, complementing the strengthening aspects of other exercises.
Diaphragmatic Breathing: Often overlooked, proper breathing techniques play a significant role in pelvic floor health. Diaphragmatic breathing involves deep inhalation and exhalation, allowing the diaphragm to move freely. This type of breathing supports optimal functioning of the pelvic floor muscles and helps release tension.
|Remember, the key to pelvic floor therapy lies in diversity — embracing a spectrum of exercises to support a stronger, more functional pelvic floor.
Pelvic floor therapy isn’t just for women.