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  • Writer's pictureBankstown Physiotherapy

But what are my pelvic floor muscles?

A commonly discussed area in pregnant women, the pelvic floor is best described as a sling of muscles that support the pelvic organs. These muscles act much like a trampoline and when activated, they are able to assist with the passing of urine, faces, and wind at a time that is convenient for you. Strengthening these muscles is incredibly beneficial for pregnant women, especially due to the added pressure that pregnancy can have on the bladder.

However, due to the tricky location of these muscles, the pelvic floor can be quite difficult to activate, especially for people who do not have a strong understanding of the importance of such muscles. As well, these muscles can lose strength over time due to heavy lifting, constipation, multiple pregnancies and being overweight.

But how do I activate them?

The easiest way to train these muscles is to lie down or sit with the buttocks, thighs and abdominal muscles relaxed. Gently squeeze the ring of muscle around the back passage, as if trying to stop yourself from passing wind. Then relax. Try this 4-5 times, trying to isolate the muscles without clenching your buttocks.

When doing this, you should feel a small lift and squeeze. If you are struggling to perform the muscles, a specialized physiotherapist, such as our very own women's health specialist Clare, is a great way to start.

Ideally, the strongest pelvic muscles should be able to hold this stretch for ten sets of ten seconds. However, this is much harder than it sounds. For those struggling, sets of six seconds are also great.

A physiotherapist is able to help by showing you the correct way to activate these muscles and the best exercises to do so in accordance to any issues or concerns that you may have. Our team is well equipped with showing you the correct way to work these muscles so that you can do so correctly and accurately when at home. These exercises are a great way to create relief in pregnancy.

However, such exercise is also great for men as they can help strengthen any problems that may arise with weakened bladder or poor control over passing faces and wind.

For more information, contact us on 97933119 or visit our website.

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