Exercises you can do to strengthen the pelvic floor and stop those embarrassing leaks when you laugh, run, sneeze etc.
I read many books and articles, and attended several courses whilst researching this topic to find the best and easiest to follow exercises for you, to fit in to your busy lives. I decided a combination of all I had learned was maybe the best option.
So, below are a couple of exercises that will be easy to do every day without having to get your mat out
Pelvic Floor Exercises
Please bear in mind that the pelvic floor muscles can be exercised every day unlike other muscles, which need ‘rest days’. You don’t need to overdo it – a few minutes, several times a day is sufficient. Don’t feel bad about having days when you don’t do them, but try to stay focused and keep doing them regularly.
Pelvic floor exercise routine
Breathe normal and sit or stand upright
Without visibly moving, imagine that you are pulling your vagina (middle passage), then urethra (front passage) and then back passage, upwards, and feel the sensation of them lifting towards your belly button.
Hold this position and then slowly release.
Work towards holding the contraction for 10 seconds, although it may take some time before you can achieve this
Repeat this exercise several times a day.
Follow the same steps as above, but this time don’t hold the contraction – contract and release the muscles in a fast ‘pumping’ action. Imagine you are switching a light on and off.
Repeat this 10 – 15 times.
Sit on a chair, toilet or stability ball.
Perform the pelvic floor exercises as before, hold for a few seconds and then release slowly.
Now place your elbows on your knees and lean forwards. Repeat the same pelvic floor exercise again, but this time notice that you feel the movement more around the front and middle passage, and less around the back passage.
By alternating between sitting upright and leaning forwards, you are able to isolate different areas of the pelvic floor.
Think of the pubic bone at the front of the pelvis and the coccyx (at the tail of the spine) at the back of the pelvis.
Imagine drawing these two parts closer together, hold for 10 seconds then slowly relax the muscles.
Focus on the ‘sitting bones’ at the bottom of your pelvis. Think of drawing these two points closer together, again hold for up to 10 seconds and then relax.
Now think of the front, back and bottom points all drawing closer together. Feel as if you are pulling these muscles up towards your belly button. Hold for up to 10 seconds and then slowly relax.
Lift your pelvic floor upwards as described in the previous exercise.
Imagine a lift going up and down – hold your pelvic floor muscles at each level, trying to reach 5 levels.
Release your pelvic floor muscles slowly, again stopping at each level on the way down.
Try to avoid:
Actively contracting the abdominals
Gripping with the muscles of the legs
Tensing or clenching your buttocks
Holding your breath as you work the pelvic floor
Tensing your shoulders (you also need to keep your hands relaxed)