When we think of workout, it’s all about weight loss or ensuring you don’t gain more pounds. You target your arms, thighs, or tummy when you hit the gym. But you shouldn’t ignore pelvic floor muscles as they hold many organs in place, including your bowel, bladder, and vagina. That’s exactly why pelvic floor exercises should be part of your fitness regime. But there are times when women don’t get them right. Let’s find out if you are making mistakes while doing pelvic floor exercises.
What are pelvic floor exercises?
Pelvic floor exercises are those movements that help to strengthen those muscles located between your tailbone and pubic bone in the pelvis as well as the core muscles, says the expert.
Here’s how they help women –
• Increase sexual pleasure and reduce pain
• Make the child birthing process easier
• Prevent pelvic floor prolapse
• Strengthen the back and core muscles to increase support when pregnant.
Common mistakes while doing pelvic floor exercises
Someshwar says that pelvic floor exercises are safe for everyone to do, as long as they’re done with the right technique.
Here are some common mistakes made by some women –
• Holding their breath
• Engaging and squeezing the wrong muscles
• Incorrect form
• Following a monotonous programme that doesn’t account for the progression
• Being impatient, inconsistent, and giving up before you see results.
Here’s how to do it right –
• Ensure a neutral pelvic position
• Engage your core by pulling your belly button up towards your chest and back towards your spine without holding your breath
• Imagine that you’re wearing a tight corset or very tight high-waist pants or a zipped jacket that is two sizes small for you
• Now imagine that you want to use the washroom urgently but you have to control
• Make sure you have to exhale through your mouth gently like you are blowing a small candle every time you exert in an exercise.
Pelvic floor exercises to try
If you have strong pelvic floor muscles, you can have increased sensitivity during sex and also stronger orgasms, as per National Health Service.
So, try out these pelvic floor exercises –
1. Glute bridge
• Lie on the floor on your back with your knees bent and feet parallel to each other hip distance apart. Keep your hands by your side.
• Engage your core, squeeze your glutes, and lift your hips up ensuring a natural arch in your lower back.
• Squeeze at the top and slowly release down with control. Exhale as you squeeze up, inhale at the top, and exhale as you lower.
• Lie down on your back and keep your knees bent and feet parallel to each other hip distance apart. Let your hands stay by your side.
• While engaging your core, squeeze your glutes and lift one leg off the floor to the tabletop position.
• Slowly lower the leg down and lift the other leg up then keep alternating.
3. Sumo squat
• Stand with your feet wider than hip distance apart and open your feet out to point your toes to either side.
• Maintain a neutral pelvis, push your knees out in the direction of the lower down maintain an upright posture.
• Exhale, squeeze your glutes as you stand up, and imagine your zipping up tight high waist pants.
• Track your knees, and lower down again.