What do the Pelvic Floor Muscles do?
The pelvic floor muscles are the layer of muscles that provide support for the pelvic organs, the bladder and bowel in men, and bladder, bowel and uterus in women. The pelvic floor muscles give us control over our bladder and bowel movements and allow us to delay emptying them until it is convenient to do so.
The pelvic floor muscles in women provide support for the baby during pregnancy and assist in the birthing process.
The Pelvic Floor muscles also form part of the group of muscles commonly referred to as the core. The core muscles provide support for the pelvis and lower back and help to protect these areas from injuries, they also assist with all movement made by the body, aid balance and improve posture.
The pelvic floor muscles span the bottom of the pelvis and stretch like a muscular trampoline from the tailbone (coccyx) to the pubic bone (front to back) and from one sitting bone to the other sitting bone (side to side). These muscles are normally firm and thick and just like a trampoline, they are able to move up and down.
As we cannot see these muscles they are often forgotten about. Sometimes we only remember to exercise them when they show signs that they are weakening.
Why Should I Exercise My Pelvic Floor?
Overtime the pelvic floor muscles loose tone and strength. Having strong pelvic floor muscles gives us control over the bladder and bowel. Weakened pelvic floor muscles mean the internal organs are not fully supported and you may have difficulty controlling the release of urine, faeces (poo) or flatus (wind).
Although the pelvic floor is hidden from view, it can be consciously controlled and trained, much like any other muscle in the body.
Regular pelvic floor exercises are designed to improve muscle tone and may even prevent the need for corrective surgery.
What Causes the Pelvic Floor Muscles to Weaken?
Common causes of a weakened pelvic floor include: -
Pregnancy and childbirth for women
Straining on the toilet
High impact exercise
In some instances the pelvic floor muscles can become too tight, pelvic floor exercises also help maintain the flexibility of these muscles.
Always consult with a health practitioner before commencing any new exercise routine.
The Yoga 2 Hear Pelvic Floor Yoga Class is ideal to help you maintain the strength, tone and flexibility of the pelvic floor muscles.