How To Train Your Pelvic Floor Properly
The pelvic floor (PF) are an important group of muscles that provide a sling for the organs within the pelvis. They all have an important role to play when it comes to continence of the bladder, uterus and bowel.
We frequently come across people explain to us that they activate their PF daily or as much as they can. For example when they are sitting at the traffic lights or by stopping themselves from using the toilet mid stream.
We think it is great that people are actively thinking of improving their pelvic floor however, there is a specific way to go about improving its efficiency. If done incorrectly it can have a negative effect on the pelvic floor and cause more problems than expected.
Here are some helpful tips when improving your pelvic floor size and strength:
1. Do not activate as much as you can
a. Activate your pelvic floor gently! if you are activating as hard as you can this is too much it needs to be a gradual activation only approximately 20-30 % of your max.
b.If you think of activating as much as you can it would be like trying to stop yourself from urinating mid stream this can be detrimental to the control of your pelvic floor.
2. Only needs to be practiced 2 to 3 times a week
a. Just like any other muscle the PF can fatigue. It needs to have rest to recover so it is ready to do its job properly.
3. The ideal activation of the pelvic floor is a lift of 10mm for 10 sec.
a. We use Real-Time Ultrasound to assess how long you can hold this contraction. If you cannot lift 10mm or you cannot hold for 10 sec you have a dysfunctional PF.
4. Similar to strengthening other muscles
a. Surprisingly the PF needs to be improved in size (hypertrophy) to improve its efficiency as a secondary continence controller and so it can be trained in a similar way any other muscle in the body.
Here is the ideal way to improve your pelvic floor :
Complete 3 sets of 10mm lift holding for 10 sec. This only needs to be done approximately 2-3 times per week, not every day or every hour!
Ask one of our Physiotherapist’s or Exercise Physiologist’s if you are would like to have a pelvic floor assessment.