Pelvic floor weakness is common, and not talked about enough. So why is our pelvic floor strength important, and how can we work on it?
The pelvic floor is a set of muscles built for endurance. These muscle fibers work in a lot of different ways, like to:
- Brace for a sneeze
- Control bowel and bladder continence
- Support your uterus during pregnancy
- Keep your pelvic organs in place
- Make sex more pleasurable
Just to name a few! It has a big job, and these muscle contractions work in short bursts. But we find much of the pelvic floor strengthening advice calls for prolonged contractions (like holding Kegels for extended periods or using weighted devices). That’s not how this mighty muscle group works. Squeezing your pelvic floor all day can make pelvic floor symptoms worse.
You want the pelvic floor to get not only strong but also fully relax and contract both quickly and with endurance. To do this, here’s what we recommend.
First things first. Learn how to contract your pelvic floor quickly in short bursts. Think about pulling the muscles around your urethra and anus inward and upward toward your uterus. Do this fast and release, fully relaxing after each rep. Go for ten.
This can be practiced at any time throughout the day. An excellent place to start is in the bathroom. Try to stop your urine flow midstream. This is your PC muscles hard at work!
Once you can get in ten good reps a few times a day, you can increase your contraction length to 10-15 seconds. Again, try this ten times. Pay attention if you start to lose strength in your contraction. If so, scale back a bit on the duration and focus on getting in quality contractions.
Additionally, make sure you move a lot during the day. Exercise is great for the pelvic floor. And don’t forget the importance of a healthy sex life alone or with a partner. Sex helps keep the pelvic floor active and engaged.
Finally, consider a little help from our favorite tool, vFit. This Ob-Gyn-designed, patented device uses gentle heat and red-light technology to stimulate tissue and encourage blood flow for better pelvic floor health. Our device is designed to enhance strength, sensation, natural lubrication, and overall sexual function. And you can do this all from the privacy of your own home. Plus, it’s an affordable option to add in addition to your daily pelvic floor exercises.
A final word of wisdom: make it a habit. Like anything else, it’s easy to get excited about pelvic floor exercises in the beginning. But they may feel tedious or challenging to the point where you give up. Or, if you’re like me, get distracted from everyday life.
I recommend scheduling in PC exercises and the use of your vFit on your calendar. Do this for a month, and you will develop the habit of daily practice. Your body will thank you!