Most women have heard of the Kegel Exercise and most women are tired of being told that it’s THE way to strengthen their Pelvic Floor muscles. Did you know that seven out of ten women have weakness or disorders of the pelvic floor?? Did you know that not ONLY women have this problem? Though not as common, men suffer from it too. (some info for men here)
MORE surprising? If done wrong Kegels can actually do MORE damage than good!(Why Kegels are Bad for your Tight Pelvic Floor)
What are the signs?
The symptoms of a weakened pelvic floor include:
- Leaking small amounts of urine when coughing, sneezing, laughing or running
- Failing to reach the toilet in time
- Uncontrollably breaking wind from either the anus or vagina when bending over or lifting
- Reduced sensation in the vagina
- Tampons that dislodge or fall out
- A distinct swelling at the vaginal opening
- A sensation of heaviness in the vagina.
It is NOT fun to pee yourself when going about your day. Laughing, coughing, sneezing, running, trampoline jumping and just FORGET about doing jumping jacks!! Not to mention weak pelvic floor muscles can also cause sexual difficulties such as reduced vaginal sensation!! Um, HELLO?! THAT is NOT okay! I’d say its where we need to draw the line.
The good news is you do NOT have to change your lifestyle and there ARE ways to improve the situation! Better ways then doing Kegels at stop lights or every time you go to the bathroom *roll eyes here*
Better ways to build your floor:
Pilates and yoga
These two forms of exercise specifically target the strengthening of your core and can have amazing results with the pelvic floor. Most of us don’t think of strengthening and toning our vaginas like we do our abs or triceps! But, in fact, any exercise that strengthens your core will help you improve pelvic floor strength.
The bodyweight squat works your hamstring muscles, quadriceps and buttocks. Begin in a standing position with your knees bent slightly and your shoulders even. Spread your feet about hip distance apart and point your toes forward. Hold both bended arms in a boxer position and align your back in a straight line from your hips to your shoulders and ears. Maintain this position throughout the exercise. Inhale, and lower your body by bending your knees as if sitting in a chair. Squeeze your quadriceps as you squat and shift weight to your heels instead of your toes. Your knees should be positioned over your ankles. Exhale and raise your body to a standing position while squeezing your buttocks muscles and your hamstrings. Repeat eight times.
The bent-knee crunch works your abdominal muscles. Begin on your back with your knees bent and feet flat on the floor. Place your hands behind your head without interlacing your fingers. Allow your hands to gently support your head. Press your lower spine to the floor. Exhale and lift your shoulders slowly using only your abdominal muscles. Avoid using your hands to move or pull your head. While performing the slow lift, pretend you are pressing your belly button into your spine. Continue to press your back into the floor as you perform a pelvic tilt by pointing your pubic area toward the ceiling as you perform a Kegel to tighten your pelvic floor. The pelvic tilt and the Kegel protect your pelvic floor. Inhale as you slowly return to your starting position by lowering your shoulders to the floor. Repeat eight times.
Sooooo, let me get this straight…a better butt, a sexier tummy, better orgasms and NOT peeing your pants!? If you need better reasons to START doing something you might just want to stock up on Depends!! You are not helpless and you are not alone!
Peace, Love and Fitness!
HopeReferences: http://www.womentowomen.com/urinaryincontinence/pelvicfloorhealth.aspx http://www.betterhealth.vic.gov.au/bhcv2/bhcarticles.nsf/pages/Pelvic_floor http://www.livestrong.com/article/328874-squats-crunches-to-help-incontinence