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Here’s How to Strengthen Your Pelvic Floor

If you’ve ever had a baby then you’ll probably be familiar with the concept of your pelvic floor, but beyond that it’s not something that gets talked about often. The pelvic floor is a set of muscles and connective tissues that are attached to the bones at the bottom of your pelvis. They’re important because they support your pelvic organs. These organs include the bladder, urethra, intestine and rectum and, if you’re a woman, the reproductive and sex organs too. If you’re not sure how strong your pelvic floor muscles are, there are some signs to look out for; incontinence, constipation, lower back pain and discomfort during intercourse for women are all signs your pelvic floor isn’t as strong as it should be. Luckily there’s a lot you can do help strengthen them, starting with these three tips…

Kegel exercises

Kegels are one of the best ways to strengthen and tighten your pelvic floor muscles. Once you get into the habit of doing them, you should find they’re something you’re easily able to do every day and with noticeable difference.

  1. Make sure you’re sitting comfortably and then try to visualise the muscles that would stop urine flow if you needed to.
  2. Squeeze these muscles 10 to 15 times, holding each squeeze for around 3–5 seconds before you release.

Deep breathing

Deep breathing, and in particular diaphragmatic breathing, helps strengthen the connection between the diaphragm and the pelvic floor.

  1. Lying flat on the floor, place one hand on your stomach and the other on your chest.
  2. Focus on inhaling through your nose and filling up your stomach as you do this. Your chest should stay still as your stomach expands. Breathe in for as long as is comfortable and then slowly exhale.
  3. Repeat several times.

Heel slides

These are a great way to stimulate pelvic floor contractions at the same time as drawing in your deep abdominal muscles.

  1. Lie flat on the floor with your knees bent and your pelvis stable and in a neutral position.
  2. Inhale so that your rib cage expands then exhale through your mouth, allowing your ribs to naturally decompress.
  3. Engage your pelvic floor muscles and your core as you slide your right heel away from your body. once your leg is extended out, inhale and bring it back to the starting position.
  4. Repeat on the other side and for 10 reps on each side.

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