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6 Best Pelvic Floor Exercises for Women

Strengthening the pelvic floor muscle is very important as it helps undertake daily functions with ease. (Photo by Anna Shvets via pexels)
Strengthening the pelvic floor muscle is very important as it helps undertake daily functions with ease. (Photo by Anna Shvets via pexels)
Ruby khanna

The pelvic floor mainly consists of layers of ligaments and muscles that stretch from the pubic bone and go all the way to the end of the backbone. The pelvic floor muscles are very important for daily functions as they support all pelvic organs, including the urethra, anus, bowel, bladder, uterus, prostate, vagina, intestines, and cervix. Plus, it also aids urinary continence and control as well as sexual function.

Pelvic floor weakness has become a widespread issue among women. Childbirth, pregnancy, and age are some of the major causes of pelvic floor weakness. But the good news is that practicing specific pelvic floor exercises can potentially help strengthen these muscles and reduce the risk of symptoms that come with pelvic organ damage, including urinary leakage, lower back pain, pelvic fullness, frequent urge to urinate, urinary incontinence, painful urination, pelvic muscle spasms, etc.

Just like any other muscle, the more you exercise the pelvic floor muscles, the stronger they will be. When done in the correct form, these workouts can develop and strengthen the pelvic floor, thereby helping you control your bowel and bladder.


Exercises for women to improve their pelvic floor muscles

1) Kegels

To perform this exercise:

  • Sit straight in a comfortable position. Close your eyes.
  • Tighten the muscles that can stop urine flow.
  • Tighten as much as possible and hold the position for 5 seconds.
  • As you squeeze, you should feel as though your muscles are lifting up.
  • After a few seconds, release the muscles.
  • Rest for a minute and then repeat this move at least 10 times.

You can do this exercise while standing, crouching, or lying down.

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2) Bridge

To perform this exercise:

  • Lie straight on your back and bend your knees. Your feet should be flat on the ground at a hip-width distance. Your arms should be on the sides with your palms facing down.
  • Now contract your pelvic floor muscles and buttocks and slowly lift your hips a few inches off the floor.
  • Pause for a few seconds and then relax your muscles.
  • Lower your hips to the floor.
  • Repeat the move 10 times, relax and repeat.
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3) Side lunges

To perform this exercise:

  • Stand straight. Keep your feet leg’s length apart.
  • Bend your right knee and bring your hands to the ground.
  • Keep your left leg straight and rotate it from your hip area so that your toes get pointed towards the ceiling.
  • Hold the position for a few breaths and then repeat the same with the other leg.
  • Keep switching your legs and perform the exercise for a few repetitions.
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4) Pelvic tilt

To perform this exercise:

  • Sit on a stability ball with a tall spine and your feet on the floor.
  • Inhale and tilt your pelvic floor muscle forward. As you exhale, push your glutes out and slightly arch your back.
  • Tuck and then untuck your pelvic muscles for 10 reps, while taking breaks in between.
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5) Hamstring stretch

To perform this exercise:

  • Take a position on all fours with your hands flat on the floor and your hips aligned with your knees.
  • Extend your right leg straight out and then bend your foot.
  • Make sure to keep your left leg directly over your left knee and not round your spine.
  • Now press your hands on the floor to deepen the stretch and maintain stability.
  • Hold the stretch for a few seconds and then release.
  • Repeat.
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6) Bird dog

To perform this exercise:

  • Take a tabletop position. Your shoulders should be above your wrists and your hips in a straight line with your knees.
  • Engage your pelvic muscles and abs, extend your left arm forward and slowly lift your right leg behind you.
  • As you do this, make sure to keep your right foot flexed.
  • To deepen the stretch, push your heels on the wall and reach your hand forward.
  • Hold the stretch for a few breaths and then bring your leg and hand back down.
  • Repeat by switching legs.
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Summary

Performing the above-mentioned exercises not only strengthens the pelvic floor muscle but also offers other advantages including fast recovery after childbirth, decreasing the symptoms of vaginal prolapse, reducing the chances of rectal prolapse, and so on. However, women who have recently given birth or undergone surgery should first consult a doctor before beginning any pelvic floor exercises mentioned above to ensure safety.


Edited by Sabine Algur

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