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The Pelvic Floor!

From time to time I’ll mention pelvic floor muscles during class and often wonder if people know what it is, where it is, what it does and how to strengthen it. So if you’re not sure, read on; WHAT IS THE PELVIC FLOOR AND WHERE IS IT? The pelvic floor comprises of a group of muscles, which attaches from the pubic bone (found at the front) to the tailbone (found at the back). It forms the base of the pelvis acting like a hammock or sling. Both Men and Women have pelvic floor muscles… WHAT DOES THE PELVIC MUSCLE DO? The pelvic muscle supports the pelvic organs; the bladder, uterus, and bowel. A strong pelvic floor prevents problems such as incontinence and prolapse. It acts as a control for bladder and bowel function i.e. holding in from going to the toilet until the right time and place. WHAT CAUSES WEAKNESS IN THE PELVIC FLOOR MUSCLES? Below are some examples of the causes of pelvic floor weakness; - Childbirth (especially in the case of larger babies) - Growing Older - Constipation - Heavy Lifting - Being Overweight - Coughing Excessively HOW CAN THE PELVIC FLOOR BE STRENGTHENED? Gentle exercise such as walking can help however I would say nothing quite targets the job as good as Pilates and the exercises involved within this discipline, but I am bias on this subject. I often use the analogy of lightly holding / clasping a pencil between the buttocks as a way of pulling up the pelvic floor muscles and as a way to align the pelvis to promote better spinal alignment. Avoid clenching pencil in buttocks, just lightly clasp!!! This is something which can be done, and is recommended to practice, on a daily basis… it doesn’t take long to do – a couple of minutes for a better lifestyle and prevention is better than cure. One way to work the pelvic floor is to stop urinating in midstream or imagine you're trying to prevent passing gas! In some cases the pelvic floor can only be strengthened through surgery or medication… However if you’re not concerned, keep up with the Pilates Happy training! #pelvicfloor #engage #core #strength #livelife

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