The pelvic floor is the set of muscles that supports pelvic organs like the bladder and bowel. Both women and men can experience weakness of pelvic floor muscles over time. Like any other muscle-strengthening exercises and therapies, people can perform various exercises to strengthen their pelvic floor. These exercises and therapies are equally beneficial for both men and women. In the case of women, these exercises help in lowering the risk of vaginal prolapse, upsurge recovery after childbirth, and improve bowel and bladder control.
Similarly, men have benefits including speedy recovery after prostate surgery, minimized risk of rectal prolapse, and better bowel and bladder control. For women who have recently gone through childbirth process must consult with doctors before beginning pelvic floor physiotherapy or any other exercise to strengthen their muscles. Here are a few exercises for the pelvic floor to ensure your muscles can start functioning again.
1. Squeeze and Release
This movement of ‘squeeze and release’ enables pelvic floor muscles to respond rapidly. To perform this exercise, you need to follow these steps:
- Sit as comfortably as you can.
- Picture the pelvic floor muscles.
- Quickly squeeze the muscle and release without trying to endure a contraction.
- Rest for over 5 seconds.
- Repeat these movements for 10 – 20 times.
- Repeat the exercise two times in a day.
This exercise primarily strengthens your gluteus (butt) muscles and hamstrings (back of the thigh). However, when done correctly, it also helps in the better functioning of the pelvic floor. Follow these steps to do a bridge.
- Lie down on your back, bend your knees, placing your feet flat on the floor, and let your arms fall to your sides with the palm of your hands facing towards the floor.
- Lift your buttocks several inches off the ground contacting the buttock and pelvic floor.
- Stay still in this position for over 8 seconds.
- Now lower the buttocks to the ground to relax your buttocks and pelvic floor muscles.
- Repeat these movements for ten more times.
- Rest for a while and perform two more sets.
Kegels exercise, which is also known as pelvic floor muscle training helps in strengthening and tightening your pelvic floor muscles. This exercise is an ideal solution for both men and women experiencing urine leakage or bowel control. You can do this exercise just about any time.
- Sit or lie down, making sure your bladder is empty.
- Tighten your pelvic muscles for up to 5 seconds.
- Repeat this exercise 10 times, three times a day.
- Do not tighten your stomach, thigh, buttock, or chest muscles while doing this exercise.
Squats help you build your leg muscles and can promote stronger pelvic floor and buttocks. Follow these steps to perform squats.
- Keep your feet flat on the floor and stand with the feet hip-width apart.
- Bend halfway to bring the buttocks towards the floor.
- Keep your back straight by slightly leaning forward. Keep your knee and toes aligned.
- While returning to a standing position, tighten your buttock and pelvic floor.
- Repeat this exercise for ten more times.