The Importance of Strengthening Pelvic Floor Muscles

November 12, 2012

The Importance of Strengthening Pelvic Floor Muscles

As women age, they often have pelvic floor problems. There are certain exercises beyond Kegel that you can do to strengthen those vaginal muscles to get in shape.

The pelvic floor is a major part of your body’s core. It’s important for movement, balance, stability and flexibility of our bodies. This area supports essentially everything from above including the spinal column and rib cage and everything in the abdominal cavity. It is reported that 7 out of 10 women have pelvic floor issues and not surprisingly so with all it has to support. Think about what happens during pregnancy and birthing to this area. Unbelievable!

What Happens When the Pelvic Floor Loses Strength

The pelvic floor takes a beating and can lose strength at any time. This area contains muscles, tendons, ligaments and nerves that can weaken or even be damaged. This is likely to happen due to pregnancy, childbirth, C-section, chronic coughing, straining during bowel movements, obesity, menopause, inactivity and hysterectomy. All of these occurrences can cause a decrease in tone and flexibility of the pelvic floor. A weakened pelvic floor may generate urinary or stool incontinence, sagging uterus, bladder or rectum, lower back and abdominal discomfort and sexual issues.

Building Pelvic Floor Tone

A loss of pelvic floor tone doesn’t have to happen. There are ways to strengthen the muscles in this area with some simple exercises. No doubt you are familiar with Kegel exercises and they are great, however, research has brought us a long way since then. You might want to add perineal massage and squatting to your regime of exercises. When you massage the perineal area, this increases blood circulation to the pelvic floor and allows the area to have more stretch. If you’re not familiar with the perineum, it is the skin between the vagina and the rectum. The perineal body extends inwards from the perineum and acts as an insertion point of eight muscles that make up the pelvic floor. A perineal massage required you to lubricate your thumbs and inserting them inside the bottom of the vagina. You want to press downward towards your spine. This requires practice and will take time however, this will make the pelvic floor more flexible.

Another exercise involves squatting. This allows for stretching of the pelvic floor. This exercise should be done throughout your life. This strengthens your entire core and legs as well. It can develop the muscles of your inner thigh as well.

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