Your pelvic floor can weaken over time owing to many reasons, including childbirth or severe impact. Your bowel movements and bladder functioning are largely dependent on your pelvic strength. It’s important to routinely engage in a fitness regimen that enhances pelvic health by strengthening the pelvic muscles.
Here are 5 exercises that help maintain your pelvic health.
1. Hip alignment
Alignment may not sound like an intense workout to many, but statistics show that a good body posture helps burn calories. Many individuals ignore the importance of maintaining an aligned posture; however, doing so can lead to dire consequences in the long-run. Poor sedentary positions misalign the pelvic floor. This is harmful to the pelvic floor because the abdominal wall rests on it and misalignment can strain and damage it. With improved posture, the pelvis is able to support the pelvic floor and the abdomen in a better way. Consequently, the pelvic structure strengthens.
2. Head alignment
The head—together with the weight of the brain, skull, teeth, and facial muscles—has a mass of about 11 pounds. Since it rests on the spine—which is linked to the pelvic structure—the occiput alignment can potentially play a major role in pelvic health.
A bad posture often includes any of the following: slouched shoulders, excessive curving of the lower back, and forward head posture. Individuals with a forward head posture could be at a risk of developing pelvic issues. Aligning your head with your neck and spine helps reduce the stress put on your pelvic floor.
3. Breathing exercises
Breathing exercises help maintain the health of your pelvic floor health. A deep breath must engage the diaphragm as well as the pelvic structure. With correct breathing, you’ll feel pressure shifting downwards on the pelvic muscles. When you inhale a deep breath, the diaphragm expands to its fullest which can then strengthen the pelvic floor naturally.
4. Core workout
Unless your abdominal muscles are as strong as they need to be to support your weight, your pelvic floor will have to hold and support most of your weight. When engaging in core workouts, it’s important not to overstress the core initially and gradually progress towards more complex movements. Your routine must include exercises for hip rotation to build strength in the core and thus the pelvic floor.
5. Kyphosis exercises
Reducing the lumbar curve and increasing the lower back curve (kyphosis) can potentially be a cause of incontinence which can ultimately lead to pelvic floor dysfunction. Sitting or standing in a slouched posture with drooping shoulders and a protruding belly can affect the curvature of the spine and hence the pelvic floor. Squats are a great exercise to help increase lower extremity strength and increase stability in your lower back!
Sports & Exercise Medicine Institute is a greater Toronto area based sports medicine, physiotherapy, and massage therapy clinic that offers a wide range of services such as Pilates, personal training, and bracing and exercise aid for better back posture.