Why and how should I strengthen my pelvic floor?
The pelvic floor and its effect on bladder weakness
Updated on 14/05/2019
The pelvic floor is a group of muscles rather like a hammock, stretching from the pubis to the coccyx. It supports the organs inside the lower abdomen. This set of muscles has a key role in controlling the bladder, the sphincters (circular muscles) and movement through the intestines. It needs to have good tone to prevent urinary incontinence.
Reasons for a weak pelvic floor
- There are several factors that could weaken the pelvic floor muscles:
- age-related loss of muscle tone
- lack of exercise
- surgery on the lower abdomen
Keeping your pelvic floor toned will give you better bladder control. As with all muscles, the message is “use it or lose it”!
Exercises for pelvic floor strengthening
- Here is an exercise to do every day, to strengthen your pelvic floor.
- Sit with your back straight or lie down. Your tummy, thighs and buttocks must be relaxed.
- Now imagine that you are urinating and you want to stop the flow: for this, you squeeze various muscles of the pelvic floor that close the sphincters. These are the muscles that need strengthening.
- Keep squeezing for 5 seconds.
- Relax for 10 seconds.
- Start again.
Repeat this exercise several times every day. After two or three weeks you should feel your muscles getting stronger.
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