Pebbles falling into ponds will get you doing it right!
Pelvic floor strengthening or ‘Kegels exercise’ has recently hit the mainstream gyms and news. The importance of the pelvic floor is finally being realised more, which is a great thing. It not only keeps our bladder and bowel control in check, but it also helps us with sex, supports our pelvic organs and gives our spine and pelvis great support. Yes, it is one of the ‘core muscles’.
However, doing it right may not be the easiest.
There are many tips to make Kegels exercises better or more appropriate. Try our ‘pebble in the pond’ method to have you contracting your pelvic floor with targeted appropriateness!
Are you contracting your pelvic floor correctly?
The pelvic floor can be thought of as a hammock at the base of your pelvis, connecting your pubic and tail bones. It incorporates the muscles that are part of your urethra, vagina and back passage. It does NOT involve your buttock, inner or front hip muscles, so isolating the contraction to only the hammock is the trick. It is also the way to get the best out of your pelvic floor strengthening.
To help with this, picture the falling pebble into the pond.
‘Picture a still pond and a pebble falling into its centre. Visualise the circles of ripples this makes spreading slowly out to the edges of the pond. Now rewind this picture, so you can see the ripples moving back evenly to the centre of the pond and the pebble lifting out of the water.’
Now try to relax and then contract your pelvic floor hammock in this way. Can you feel how this image beautifully depicts the relaxing of your pelvic floor (dropping the pebble) and contracting (lifting the pebble) of your pelvic floor hammock?
Have you kept your buttocks and hips soft and isolated the contraction better to the vagina and back passage?
Make it a new habit!
Quietly lying on your back with your knees bent or sitting comfortably, imagine this picture as you very gently activate your pelvic floor muscles. Check that you
- don’t try too hard – just begin with a small and easy contraction
- keep your buttocks soft and relaxed
- keep breathing. Please, no breath holding!
When you feel you have mastered this contraction, make each and every pelvic floor contraction feel this way. Remember, ‘close’ then ‘lift’ subtly when:
- At the gym, yoga or Pilates classes.
- Lifting weight, both at home with the washing basket or at the gym.
- You feel a cough or sneeze coming on to prevent embarrassing leaks.
- You are getting your pelvic floor strong again after having your baby.
Contact us if you wish to chat more about your pelvic floor muscle function and control.