Pelvic floor weakness is a condition that can be experienced by both men and women over time. As with other muscles, you can perform certain exercises to strengthen the pelvic floor as well as enhance both bowel and bladder control. Have a look at some of the best pelvic floor muscle exercises for women.
How Do You Know if Your Pelvic Floor Muscles Are Weak?
To know whether or not you have weak pelvic floor muscles, read these symptoms.
- Failing to reach the toilet in time
- Passing wind from anus or vagina when lifting or bending
- Urine leakage while coughing, sneezing or laughing
- Sensation of heaviness in your vagina
- Distinctive bulge at the vaginal opening
Causes of Weak Pelvic Floor
These are the causes of weak pelvic floor muscles:
- Chronic constipation and straining to empty bowels
- Pressure on pelvic floor muscles due to obesity
- Constant coughing
- Back pain
- Previous injury to the pelvic area
Benefits of Pelvic Floor Muscle Exercises
The pelvic floor muscles are present underneath your pelvis, attached from the pubic bone in the front to your spinal base at the back. A weak pelvic floor can cause problems such as the inability to control bowels or bladder. Just like the other muscles in the human body, these muscles can also become stronger with exercises.
Here are some benefits of pelvic floor muscle exercises
- Reduce the risk of vaginal and rectal prolapse
- Improve bladder and bowel control
- Improved recovery after childbirth
- Comfortable pregnancy
- Flatter stomach and reduced back pain
- Improve sexual sensation
- Reduces pain during sex
Pelvic Floor Exercises for Women
If you have any of the above-mentioned symptoms, you might be having weak pelvic floor muscles. To overcome this condition try doing these effective pelvic floor muscle exercises.
1. Kegel exercises
This type of exercise focuses on tightening and holding your muscles that control urine flow.
To get started with this exercise, identify your pelvic floor muscles. For this, you have to stop urinating in the midstream. Once you have identified, tighten your pelvic floor muscles as much as possible. Hold on to this position for at least 5 seconds. You should feel the muscles lifting up as a result of the squeezing. Now, release the muscles and rest for 5 seconds.
Repeat this exercise 10*3 times a day.
Kegel exercises help both men and women who struggle with problems such as urine leakage and bowel control. In fact, it is also considered as one of the safest exercises for pregnant women.
If you find it difficult to do kegel exercise, never hesitate to seek help from an expert medical practitioner.
A squat is an excellent exercise that promotes healthy and strong pelvic floor muscles. When compared to deep squats, shallow and narrow squats are always ideal as they help to contract the muscles of your pelvic floor.
Stand straight keeping feet just wider than shoulder-width apart. Make sure to keep your toes slightly pointed out. Bend down your knees and push both your hips and buttocks back as if you are sitting in a chair. Then, keep your chin tucked and neck in a neutral position. Drop down until the thighs are parallel to the floor. Make sure to put your weight in your heels and knees bowed slightly outward. Keep your leg straight and come back to the initial position.
Squats are also one of the effective belly fat reduction exercises.
3. Split tabletop
This particular exercise activates your hips as well as pelvic floor muscles.
Start this exercise by resting your back on the floor. Bend down your knees. Make sure to keep your thighs perpendicular to the floor shins parallel to the floor. Now, brace your abs and activate your inner thighs. Slowly split your legs so that each of your knees falls outward, reaching a comfortable position. To complete this exercise, relax and come back to the initial posture.
4. Bird dog
This exercise focuses on balance and stability and engages so many muscles at once, including the pelvic floor.
Start on all fours by keeping wrists under your shoulders and knees under the hips. Make sure to keep your back straight and neck neutral. Brace your core and bring your shoulder blades towards the hips. Simultaneously straighten and lift up your left leg as well as the right arm. While doing this, ensure that you’re keeping your pelvis and shoulders in a neutral position. Don’t lift or lower your head. Stay in this position for a few seconds. Bend down and lower both your leg and arm. Now repeat the exercise with your opposite leg and arm.
The Bridge exercise stimulates the health of your pelvic floor muscles and tightens your buttocks.
To begin, lie down on the floor. Make sure that your spine is against the floor and your knees bent at a90 degree angle. Keep your feet flat and rest your arms straight at your sides with palms facing down. Breathe in and push your heels. Slowly raise your hips off the floor by squeezing your glutes, hamstrings, and pelvic floor muscles. Now your body that is resting
on your upper back and shoulders should form a straight line down from your knees. After a few seconds, come back to your starting position.
Bridges are also one of the effective exercises to reduce thigh fat.
Other pelvic floor muscle strengthening exercises include Wall sit, Dead bugs crunch, and Shifting planks.
For best results, repeat all these exercises 10 reps of 3 sets. If you have any health issues, consult a doctor before you start doing pelvic floor muscle exercises.