Two exercises every woman should do
The pelvic floor includes a group of muscles and ligaments that form a “floor like” structure that supports key organs including the bladder, bowels and uterus (for women).
Women tend to be more prone to issues related to the pelvic floor including prolapse. Prolapse occurs when the muscles and tissues supporting these organs weaken and some causes include pregnancy, child birth and hormonal changes including menopause.
Common complaints of women experiencing pelvic floor prolapse include pain or pressure in the pelvic area, urinary issues such as incontinence or pulling or stretching in the lower back and groin area. Regular exercise is important to strengthening pelvic floor muscles and relieving these issues.
It is highly recommended that women do pelvic floor exercises daily to prevent weakness and, if needed, to improve the strength of the pelvic floor muscles. Two important exercises that women should do daily include: Pelvic Clocks and Kegels.
Getting ready: Lie on your back and keep your knees bent and feet flat on the floor. Be sure that the back side of your pelvis has a full range of movement and keep your spine in a neutral position. Imagine that there is a clock on your lower abdomen, where 12 o’clock is at the bellybutton, 6 o’clock is at the top of the pubic bone and your hip bones are at 9 and 3.
The exercise: Bring your bellybutton down to your spine by making the “clock” tilt, down at 12 o’clock and up at 6. Return to the neutral. Repeat this motion 3 times then continue in other diagonals of your clock (3 to 9, 2 to 8, 10 to 4, etc).
As with any muscle, consistently performing the right exercises always helps. Gentle exercises (like walking regularly) can also help strengthen the pelvic floor muscles.
Getting ready: Make sure your bladder is empty and either sit on a chair on lay down on the floor.
The exercises: Squeeze your pelvic floor muscles for five to ten seconds. It will feel like when you are trying to hold urine in. Release your muscles for ten seconds Repeat the exercise ten times.