Exercise of the pelvic floor

1 min reading time

Pelvic floor exercise. Worth it?

If I told you that the majority of women at some point in their lives suffer from some type of urinary incontinence when they jump, cough or sneeze, what would you think?

Would you be interested in more information? Have you ever wondered why women seem to suffer more than men? Or would you consider it a normal event that you would be faced with at some point in your life?

However, if you were given the ways and the right information to prevent or deal with the problem, would you be interested?

If yes, continue reading…

What is the pelvic floor?

The term itself is somewhat misleading because we all imagine the earth to be flat and square but in reality it is dome shaped. It consists of muscles that run from the coccyx to the back of the symphysis pubis and extend into the pelvis, creating a vagina. You can feel the symphysis pubis if you feel with your fingers from the navel to where the soft tissue stops at a bony edge of the pubic symphysis. The coccyx is at the end of it and you can feel it by palpating it to the tip. This will give you an idea of where the pelvic floor muscles are between these 2 points.

The muscles that make up the pelvic floor are many and unified. They tilt at different angles and levels as they touch different parts of your pelvis.

You realize that you are exercising these muscles when you are holding in not to go to the toilet or when you are holding in not to ventilate. The feeling is the same for both men and women.

The pelvic floor is also considered an erotic muscle as it can be used during intercourse by gently squeezing your partner. It is elastic and mobile, and varies in strength and stability, depending on how the muscle attaches to the bony wall of the pelvis.

The importance of the pelvic floor is due to the organs that lie above it. In women there is the bladder, uterus and bowel which terminate in the urethra, vagina and anus. In men there is the bladder and intestine which terminate in the penis and anus.

The pelvic floor supports these organs as well as the weight of the rest of the body. Its good stimulation is important for the integrity and good functioning of the bladder, vagina, penis and rectum, while preventing the loss of muscle elasticity. When this happens, we have as a symptom the prolapse of the organs (of the uterus, or of the rectum). Sometimes when the muscles don't respond to exercise surgery is required to correct the prolapse and this is the best reason to start exercising your pelvic floor as early as possible.

What weakens the pelvic floor?

Pregnancy contributes significantly to the weakening of the pelvic floor. The weight of the growing baby, the changes in hormones. A long labor, multiple births, or large babies can also cause perineal weakness.

The perineum is the area between the vagina and the anus for women and between the testicles and the anus for men. Many of the pelvic floor muscles join here at this vital point, the weakness of which is considered the Achilles heel.

Many women suffer from incontinence after childbirth because the pelvic floor may have been stretched or damaged due to a tear or episiotomy.

During birth, the shape of the pelvic floor allows the baby's head to rotate. When relaxed, the perineum also aids in defecation. If the muscles have been stretched or weakened then we should think about their proper rehabilitation.

By construction, women are very different from men and should avoid anything that would cause repetitive overstretching of these muscles. This includes obesity, constipation, smoker's cough, vigorous aerobic exercise, constant weight lifting, repeated sneezing from allergies and persistent abdominal exercise.

If we lived in a prehistoric culture, then we would be deep seated every day. This forces the pelvic floor to work hard to prevent leakage. We may have been working in the fields or climbing trees, activities that help strengthen the BC. But due to the modern lifestyle (sedentary work, driving and less exercise) the muscles are not fully exercised.

Men, this goes for you too!

The good stimulation of the p.e. has shown to help prevent prostate cancer in men and improve sex life. It also helps prevent incontinence in later life.

Exercise of the pelvic floor

Most muscles have 2 types of fibers that help them in the activities they need to perform. When we stand or squat, for example, we use the slow twitch fibers of the muscle. But when we hold our urine or run to catch the bus, activities that require a quick reaction, we activate the muscle's fast-twitch fibers. Consequently to obtain a strong balanced p.e. we need to exercise both types of fibers.

If you are not sure where the EB is, then sit on a soft surface (chair, or mattress) with your legs slightly apart and put your fist in your mouth and cough. You should feel the bc muscles. between your legs moving outwards against the chair. Then what you need to do is pull the muscles up, in the opposite direction.

If you're still unsure, just imagine that you're holding yourself back from urinating, defecating, or venting.

If uncertainty still overwhelms you, don't worry! This is a muscle that takes a while to start working or strengthening especially if you haven't "worked" it before.

If your glutes, adductors, or the back of your legs are tight, then you're not using your BC muscles. It might be a good idea to strengthen these muscles first so you'll notice the difference when you try to work the BC muscles.

The exercise regarding stopping and resuming urination was observed to have ambiguous results because some of the women could not restart the process of urination while others did so with too much comfort, causing an infection in the area.

Today, exercise is used mentally and has much better results. While it may seem strange at first, do it. Muscles are muscles and with a little encouragement they will start working again.

Much of the yoga and pilates regimen activates the pec muscles. , however simpler exercises that can be done at home are listed below.

Exercise 1

  • Imagine you are holding yourself back from going to the bathroom
  • Pull the muscles up and in
  • Hold the position for 5 years
  • Then return to the starting position and relax
  • Repeat as many times as you can until you feel the muscles fatigue
  • Breathe normally during exercise

Exercise 2

  • Pull the muscles up and in as before
  • Then pull in the muscle a little more and try to make the 2nd contraction stronger than the 1st
  • Relax, rest and start over again
  • Breathe normally during exercise

This exercise works the slow twitch fibers of the muscle.

Exercise 3

  • Try to do short contractions without resting pauses in between. It is similar to the feeling of the pulse.
  • Breathe normally

This exercise works the fast twitch fibers of the muscle.

There are 5 different positions to try these exercises.

- Lying down with bent knees

-Lying on their backs

-Lying face down

- In the right place

- Seated

Try to do each of these exercises for 2-3 minutes or until the muscles tire. Make sure you rest between exercises.

You could exercise in 1 or 2 different positions a day while sitting at work or waiting for the water to boil. To remind yourself to exercise, you can place small unobtrusive stickers on your kitchen cupboard, bathroom mirror, bedroom or coffee table and do the exercises when you see them.

Continue your practice for at least 6 weeks to 3 months.

PS There are some situations during which the exercise of the p.e. it doesn't help. If your problems persist then contact your gynecologist, who will help you more...

Rossopoulou Alexandra

Ballet teacher, contemporary dance, yoga and pilates, trained in Great Britain


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