Recently, Pilates Can instructors Trudi, Emma, and Lynn attended an interesting workshop about the pelvic floor. Presented by Marietta Mehanni, an award winning fitness instructor and ambassador for Pelvic Floor First. The workshop was informative and engaging.
Did you know?
What is the pelvic floor and why is it important?
The Pelvic Floor muscles support the pelvic organs and sit like a hammock across the bottom of the pelvis. The pelvic floor keeps our internal organs inside of our body, control bladder and bowel emptying and play an important part of sexual function and satisfaction. The muscles of the pelvic floor also work with the abdominals and back muscles to stabilise and support your spine.
The pelvic floor muscles are about as thick as your cheek (if you were to pinch your cheek in between your finger and thumb). The tensile strength is like the webbing between your thumb and first finger. There are two layers to the pelvic floor – an inner and outer layer. The pelvic floor has two types of muscle fibres:
- 1Slow twitch fibres (endurance muscles) which are responsible for maintaining tone and supporting the internal organs. These muscles provide “urge control”.
- 2Fast twitch fibres (fast acting muscles) that respond quickly to increase intraabdominal pressure and maintain sphincter closure. That’s just a fancy way of saying these muscles stop you wetting yourself when you cough, laugh or sneeze.
What can make these muscles loose or weak?
How do I know if I have a problem?
Common signs of pelvic floor weakness include:
Pelvic floor issues are on the increase
The good news
There is a lot you can do to help strengthen your pelvic floor. At Pilates Can, we have a team of dedicated instructors who can help you learn the correct technique and exercises to develop your pelvic floor strength. If you need a little extra help we can also refer you to appropriate professionals like physiotherapists who can work with us to help achieve gthe best possible results.
Give it a try!
Here’s a little exercise you can do at home to start working on your pelvic floor.
Sit on a chair, with your back a little bit away from the backrest. Place your feet flat on the floor with knees slightly apart. Imagine your pelvis is like a diamond shaped clock face. The pubic bone at the front is at 12 o’clock, the coccyx (tailbone) is at 6 o’clock, and each sit bone is 3 and 9 o’clock.
Each pelvic floor contraction should be performed at maximum effort. It is very important to release the pelvic floor contraction fully between each repetition. Try and perform the lift slowly a few times. Rest for a minute, and then try a few quick repetitions.
Repeat this exercise a couple of times a day, and you should feel results fairly quickly (within a couple of weeks)
If you are experiencing signs of pelvic floor weakness, please speak to one of our friendly team. Don’t be embarrassed, we aren’t! These are just like all the other muscles in the body. We are here to help. We can design a program that is tailored specifically to your needs.
Want more information?
The following may be useful resources for you: