This is for all the ladies – and if you are not a lady – this is for you because I am sure you love some ladies in your life and they will love you forever if you bring this information to them.
Getting older and having babies leads to some undesirable changes in the core and pelvic floor.
- ‘Leaking’ when sneezing, jumping, or waiting too long to pee.
- Painful sex
- ‘Mummy Tummy’ pooch
- Peeing every 2 seconds
Unfortunately, these are all too common, but they are NOT a NORMAL part of life as we have come to think. Just because you are getting older or have had a few kids doesn’t mean you have to suffer from these ‘normal’ problems.
How to Heal Pelvic Floor & Why You Need To
- We were not taught how to protect our core and pelvic floor during pregnancy and life to prevent these issues
- We don’t know there are certain exercises and ways of moving that heal and prevent problems
- We don’t know that some common daily movements are seriously making these problems worse
- All we are told is ‘do Kegels’ which could actually make things worse.
- Learn what to do and what not to do during pregnancy and life in general to prevent these issues.
- Do a core and pelvic floor restoration program after birth
- Do daily core and pelvic floor strengthening while avoiding things that make them have problems (some will really surprise you!)
4 Principles of Having a Healthy Core and Pelvic Floor
The way you hold your body is either putting pressure on your core and pelvic floor (causing the ‘pooch’ and leaking) or supporting these muscles.
When you stand, you want to sit up straight, shoulders and chin down, ribs not flaring out, and hips in neutral position – not flaring out or tucked in.
When you sit, you want to sit on your sit bones, not on your tailbone! When sitting always check that you are on top of those bones in your but which happens when you sit up straight and forward a bit.
The way you move daily matters. How you pick up your kids, lift weights, bend down to pick something up, cough, sneeze, and even get out of bed!
Think of this- before you do any of those things, breath in and on your breath out slightly engage your core and lift your pelvic floor. Always breathe out during the hardest part to support those muscles.
Your core and pelvic floor can heal greatly with 5-10 minutes of work 3-5 days a week. I like following a program for floor and pelvic floor, but here are the main moves all experts include:
- Walking! – You may think walking doesn’t do much, but walking 1-3 miles a day aligns and strengthens all the right lady places. Lack of walking and too much sitting is a huge contributor to the problem
- Deep belly breathes – 5-10 minutes a day
- Glute stretchers
- bridges – all variations
- exercise band side leg raise and butt lifts
- bird dog
- SAFE core exercises
- side planks – all variations
- safe leg lifts with proper breathing
- core breathing with small exercise pilaties ball
For more daily exercise ideas you can see here
Avoid The Killers
What NOT to do each day is just as important as doing things to strengthen each day. Here is what you need to know and avoid to prevent and heal pelvic floor issues.
Most women have no idea that things like wearing heals or doing situps is actually making their issues worse.
Here are the killers. . .
- In pregnancy and early postpartum – no frontal planks, pushups, mountain climbers or anything else that puts pressure onto that growing core as this will make ‘mummy tummy’ worse.
- No sit-ups in pregnancy and early postpartum until you have a fully restored core! This includes how you get up from laying down! Never sit straight up. Turn to your side and push yourself up.
- Keep heals to a very minimum as they throw off alignment and put pressure on the core and pelvic floor exaggerating ‘mummy tummy’
- Run only if you have a strong core and pelvic floor
- Sitting and standing in poor posture
Kegels can be helpful, but they can also make things worse depending on your unique situation.
There is a balance to this. Don’t avoid them completely, and don’t do 300 a day like so many magazines and even doctors are throwing out there.
Many women actually have an overactive pelvic floor so doing Kegels will make it worse. If it hurts when you do Kegels or if you have a hard time fully releasing when doing them, avoid them or do a small amount for a period of time.
How to Do Kegels the Right Way
- Do 5-10 3-5 times a week
- Do a variety
- slow and hold
- The most important part is the RELEASE! When you release, really make sure you FULLY relax and release those muscles- not doing this will cause further problems.
- During pregnancy, do daily strengthening and avoid the killers
- After baby do a core and pelvic floor restoration program
- Even if you don’t have kids but have problems – you will benefit from doing daily strengtheners, avoiding the killers, and doing a core and pelvic floor program.
- Every day for every woman
- watch your posture
- lift things with proper form and breathing
- avoid the killers
- do daily strengtheners
- This is the program I did and recommend for core and pelvic floor restoration.
- Femfusion Fitness
- Katie Bowman