Pelvic Floor Exercises – How to Do, Types, Benefits, And Side Effects

Pelvic floor workout or kegel exercise is the best exercise for increasing your strength of pelvic floor muscles. They help to prevent unnecessary urine passing and vaginal prolapse. It also supports the excess weight of pregnancy and boosts sex health. Health expert recommends every woman to perform pelvic floor exercise. Men also get the benefits of prostate health. Therefore, try to perform 5 minutes this exercise every day.

Pelvic Floor Muscles

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Pelvic floor muscles have different muscle layers that strengthen the pelvic organs and the bases of the pelvis region. The pelvic organs have bowel and bladder in men, and uterus, bowel, and bladder in women.

The pelvic floor muscles tighten like a muscular trampoline from the tailbone to the pubic bone front-back and from a sitting bone to another sitting bone. These muscles are usually thick and firm.

Think that pelvic floor muscles as one round mini-trampoline made from strong muscles. Like a trampoline, the pelvic floor can move up and down. The uterus, bladder, and bowel present on the pelvic floor muscles in women.

The pelvic floor muscle layer contains a passage hole to pass through. There are two passages in men, such as anus and urethra, and three passages in women, such as vagina, urethra, and anus. The pelvic floor muscles are generally wrapped strongly around these holes to manage the passages closed. Also, there is an additional annular muscle around the anus, anal sphincter, and urethra sphincter.

Although the pelvic floor is not visible easily, it can be consciously controlled, and therefore, trained like legs, arms, and abdominal muscles.

How Pelvic Floor Muscles Work?

Pelvic floor muscles help to support the organs present over it. The sphincters provide conscious control on the bowel and bladder so that we can release of feces, urine, flatus(wind), and allow to delay the emptying till it feels convenient. When the muscles of pelvic floor muscles are contracted, the inner organs are raised, and the sphincter strengthens the vaginal openings, anus, and urethra. Relaxing the pelvic floor makes the passage feces and urine.

Pelvic floor muscles are also essential for sexual health in both women and men. In men, it is vital for ejaculation and erectile function. In women, squeezing of the pelvic floor leads to arousal and sexual sensation. The pelvic floor muscles present in women support for pregnancy and relax during childbirth.

The pelvic floor muscles stimulate the back and abdominal muscles to balance and support the spine.

How Do the Pelvic Muscles Lose?

  • Pregnancy
  • Childbirth
  • Chronic cough
  • Straining over the toilet
  • Heavy lifting
  • Age
  • Obesity
  • High impact exercise

What Are Pelvic Floor Exercises?

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Pelvic floor workout consists of simple exercise in which you need to squeeze your pelvic floor muscles for some time and then release. It can be performed anywhere and anytime.

The pelvic floor muscles are present under the pelvis area and linked with pubic bone from the front side to the spinal base of back. They have 3- openings, such as the vagina, the bladder outlets, and the anus. These muscles are composed of three different muscle fibers, nerves, tissues, and ligaments. If you still not understanding where these muscles present, then read ahead to know properly.

1.Method: You can find the pelvic floor muscles when trying to hold the urine flow in its midstream.

2.Method: Tighten your muscles as if you are holding back a wind.

3.Method: When you try to tighten or squeeze the muscles, you should feel an upward movement.

Now you understand the pelvic floor muscles. Let’s know how to do this exercise properly.

How To Perform Pelvic Floor Exercises Properly?

No exercise or an inactive lifestyle cause your muscles weak, and pelvic floor muscles are no exception. Therefore, it is essential for women of every age to do exercise. It can cause more problems, than urine leakage in a public place due to cough, or sneeze, or laugh. It will hinder your confidence. Let’s know the correct positions for pelvic floor exercises.

Starting Position

Stand, sit or lie by keeping your feet slightly at distance. Relax the muscles, including buttock, shoulders, and abs. It is your starting position.

Hold

Hold and squeeze for a few seconds and increase the duration as you feel comfortable.

Repeat

Perform 10-slow squeezes to do one set. In the next set, perform 10-quick squeezes. Perform 3-sets with 10-reps twice a day.

Tip: Avoid squeezing hard and holding the pose for too long.

 

Other Alternate Ways to Perform Pelvic Floor Exercise

These are the good pelvic exercise alternative to build muscles to increase strength and tone the body. Make sure to warm up before doing the workout.

Bridge

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Steps

  • Lie down on the floor. Spot your legs hip-width separated, flex your knees, and keep your feet level on the floor. Hold your hands to the side, with the palms looking down.
  • Grasp your pelvic floor and push your backside up. Bolster your body with your arms and feet.
  • Count to 5. Keep breathing and gaze toward the roof.
  • Lower your body and release your pelvic floor.
  • Do a 1-set of 10 reps.

Benefits

  • Stretches the chest, spine, and neck
  • Calms the brain and helps reduce stress and depression
  • Activate abdominal organs, thyroid, and lungs
  • Rejuvenates tired legs
  • Boost digestion
  • Helps relieve the menopause symptoms
  • Treat menstrual discomfort
  • Lower anxiety, backache, fatigue, insomnia, and headache
  • Therapeutic for asthma, osteoporosis, high blood pressure, and sinusitis

Madonna

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Steps

  • Bend your legs and sit in a way that your heels contact your rear end. Your toes should point internally. Spot your hands on the tangle behind you, close to your feet. With your palms confronting the ground and jawline tucked towards your chest, gaze corner to corner toward the roof.
  • Keeping your core joined with and spine without support, lift your hips, and hold your pelvic floor muscles.
  • Hold this move for 10-seconds.
  • Gradually, lower down your hips back to the beginning position and relax your pelvic floor muscles.
  • Perform 10-reps sets.

Pelvic Lift

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Steps

  • Sit down over a mat and stretch your legs in the front direction. Keep your feet little wider than your hip-width and place a hand behind your back, keep palms flat over the floor and facing out, keep chest straight and spine neutral. Look straight.
  • Support your body using heels and Palm, raise your hips upward, engage your pelvic floor muscles, and let your head go back.
  • Be in this pose for ten-second and try practicing quick and slow squeeze while hips are lifted.
  • Gently, reduce the hips, engage pelvic floor muscles, and come back to the beginning position.
  • Perform 10-reps set.

Pelvic Floor Exercise for Men?

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  • Squeeze and pull out the muscles around your urine pipe and back passage simultaneously. Lift them up-inside. You ought to have a feeling of “lift” each time you press your pelvic floor muscles. Attempt to hold them strong and tight as you count to eight. Now, let them relax. You ought to have a specific feeling of leaving it.
  • Repeat this squeeze and lift and release. It is good to take rest for eight seconds in between every lift up of the muscles. If you can not hold for eight, then hold for as much as possible for you.
  • Keep repeating this squeeze and lift as much as you can do, with a limit of 8-12 squeezes.
  • Try to perform 3-sets of 8-12 squeezes each, with rest.
  • You can perform this exercise in any form like sitting, standing, and lying down.

Things to remember while performing pelvic floor muscles workout:

  • Keep breathing.
  • Squeeze and lift
  • Avoid tightening your buttocks.
  • Keep the thighs relaxed.
  • Perform pelvic floor muscle training also.

Some good squeezes are better than many hard ones. If you do not know that you are performing squeezes in a right way, or if you don’t see any change in the symptoms after three months, take your physiotherapist help.

What Makes the Pelvic Floor Muscles Weak?

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The pelvic floor muscles are essential but become weak because of many reasons. One of the main reasons is the over-stretching of the pelvic floor during childbirth. Babies with 8 lbs weight, the forceps use, and tears of muscles during delivery also cause the pelvic floor muscle.

Frequent constipation and inactive lifestyle also cause weakness in pelvic floor muscle. It is clear why health expert recommends men and women of every age to do pelvic floor exercise. Especially women will get benefits during pregnancy, delivery, and post-delivery.

How Many Times Should You Perform the Pelvic Floor Workout?

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Avoid overdoing of pelvic floor exercise. It is good to perform some contractions every set and repeat many times in a day. Overdoing this exercise can cause to shorten the muscles in the pelvic floor, which will later pull on your bladder and urethra. It will cause you urinary incontinence and difficulty to get orgasm during intercourse. Therefore, take your doctor’s advice to know how many sets you need to perform, which depends on your activity levels, age, and medical history.

How Many Days Will You Show You the Result of Pelvic Floor Exercise?

Doing properly pelvic floor exercises helps to bring effective results in one month, but it does not mean that you should stop the workout. Take your health expert advice before starting the exercise routine and diet.

Benefits of Pelvic Floor Exercises?

Pelvic floor exercises are essential for men and women of any age. They provide many benefits and boost your self-confidence. It also prepares your body for pregnancy and childbirth.

Develop Social Confidence

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Urinary incontinence or urine leakage without knowing can be embarrassing and reduce your confidence.

Jumping, sneezing, laughing, exercising, and coughing can leads to unintentional urine leakage in people with weak muscles of the pelvic floor. Doing pelvic floor workout helps to strengthen muscles and treat the symptoms of urinary incontinence in a few weeks.

Improve Bladder Control and Bowel Movement

Strengthening muscles of the pelvic floor helps to improve muscle control. It will also increase bladder control and bowel movement. It will help to pass the stools without difficulty.

Support Pregnancy Weight Growth

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As the baby develops in the belly, its weight also increases. Some mothers will suffer from difficulty to carry weight and hard to manage bladder control. Doing pelvic floor workout helps to strengthen muscles, and pregnant women feel easy to carry the baby weight. It also provides good control over the bladder.

Easy Childbirth Recovery

Women suffer from health problems after delivery.  Pelvic floor exercises help to prevent urine leakage, bowel movement and speed up the recovery after childbirth.

Stop Pelvic Organ Prolapse

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The pelvic organs have bladder, uterus, and rectum. The pelvic floor muscles help in holding these organs from their place to below. If pelvic muscles are weak, then they will not control the pelvic organs in its original place in the pelvic floor region. Gradually pelvic muscles begin to sag down and prolapse the pelvic organ. Therefore, performing pelvic floor exercises helps to strengthen muscles and prevent prolapse.

Promote Prostate Surgery

Pelvic floor exercise is also recommended for men. It helps to speed up the recovery after surgery and prevent urine leakage.

Improve Sex Life

Pelvic floor exercise helps to promote sensitivity during intercourse and promote better orgasm in women. For men, they can help to lower the risk of erectile dysfunctions.

If You Are Suffering from Pain, Then Stop

Pelvic floor exercise can be harmful during pain in the body. When performed properly, most people experience relaxing and painless. If you feel pain after doing pelvic floor exercise, then it means you are doing it properly, or pelvic floor exercise may not be suitable for you. Take your fitness expert advice and continue.

When to Increase Longer Contractions?

If your pelvic floor muscles do not begin to feel tired after 3-6 second contractions, or if your pelvic floor muscles are not much tired after 10-rep, then you can increase the longer holding contractions for -10 seconds and relax for 10-muscles. Make sure to breathe while holding contractions.

Try holding the strong contraction for 10-sec for 10-times.

If you experience difficulty holding the strong contraction for 10-secs, then consider talking with a therapist with a specialization in the pelvic floor to get the right help.

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