The human body really is incredible, with different parts of the body being connected to each other in ways that people often don’t realise. The pelvic floor, for example, is, in fact, connected to the feet!
For anyone who is looking to reconnect with their pelvic floor muscles, and there can be a number of reasons to do this, then we should also be looking at how we use our feet in exercise and the importance of breathing correctly. Doing all of this can actually have huge benefits when it comes to building a stronger pelvic floor.
Pilates is an excellent regime to follow for all three of these. The exercises help to focus on breathing techniques which are beneficial for the pelvic floor and a range of different sports and disciplines. The anti-gravity postural muscles, which you use in many Pilates exercises to help you balance, are deeply connected to both the feet and breath (and also to the emotions).
Some common mistakes
Of course, as with any type of exercise, there are some common mistakes that people make that will prevent them from improving the strength of their pelvic floor.
Not considering your breathing
If you are holding your breath rather than ensuring that you exhale as you lift your pelvic floor, then you will not be achieving your best results.
Not remembering to lift
The pelvic floor is an anti-gravity postural muscle. When the pelvic floor contracts, it is important to feel a lift. When this is done correctly, you will not feel the decrease in pressure under your feet that would occur otherwise.
Making your glutes do all the work
There is some skill involved in isolating the pelvic floor muscles. A reason many women often neglect this important muscle is that they believe they are isolating it whilst, in fact, they are not. When you haven’t managed to isolate the muscle properly, there is a good chance that what you will be doing instead is squeezing the glutes. What you need to be doing is looking for the pelvic floor connection whilst avoiding strong contractions of the gluteus maximus.
Integrate your feet
We have already mentioned feet, but it really is essential when considering pelvic floor training to ensure that any movement is coordinated with the feet. This should be done through doming or short feet.
A good Pilates class will help to ensure that you are following the right steps to improve the strength of your pelvic floor. If you’re interested in learning more, why not check out one of my online courses, or come and see me in person? I’d be happy to help you achieve your goals.