Pelvic floor trainingPelvic floor training

Woman's Life | Blog | Pelvic floor training

With pelvic floor training for a healthy and strong pelvic floor at all ages


Have you already done your pelvic floor training today? It is often assumed these exercises are only necessary after pregnancy.

The American gynaecologist and inventor of pelvic floor training, Arnold H. Kegel at the beginning of the 19th century, focused on pelvic floor training exercises in connection with urinary incontinence. The development of pelvic floor therapy drove the surgeons in the 80s, Prof. Kurt Richter (cf. Pöpper, 2005, p. 40). With pelvic floor training, the pelvic floor muscles can be strengthened also to support excess weight and a lower uterus.

The latter is particularly important when it comes to urinary and faecal incontinence. Pelvic floor therapy is also beneficial if your pelvis is put under a lot of stress during physically difficult work or exercise.


Content overview: 

  1. What is the pelvic floor and what is it for?
  2. How does a weak pelvic floor develop?
  3. Pelvic floor training for improved quality of life and confidence
  4. Pelvic floor training: ways to exercise
  5. Pelvic floor training set for targeted muscle building

What is the pelvic floor and what is it for?

Your pelvic floor ensures a stable core; it is the centre strength of your body. With its muscles, ligaments and connective tissue, it carries and protects your bladder, uterus and bowel. The pelvic floor has high resistance and flexibility, and its tasks are extremely demanding. The muscles work continuously and help you to walk upright. To do this, it bears your weight and flexibly cushions any increase in pressure.

If you have to sneeze, cough, lift something heavy or do a lot of physical activity, your pelvic floor will provide the necessary resistance to the high pressure on the abdomen. The pelvic floor muscles support the closure of the bowel, urethra and vagina. This allows the sphincters to reliably retain urine or faeces and open when needed.

The muscles of the pelvic floor consist of three layers. The strongest layer of muscle lifts and closes the anus. The middle muscle layer closes your urethra. The swelling muscle tensions the vaginal entrance. This muscle layer is flexible and also causes your clitoris to straighten when you are agitated.

Your pelvic floor is in constant motion. When healthy and trained, it even supports and improves sex function. Strong pelvic floor muscles increase the intensive experience of the orgasm for you and your partner.

A strong pelvic floor is also required during the birth process. The baby will stretch the pelvic floor with its head during the final stage of birth. By training your pelvic floor during pregnancy, you can ease the birth process and reduce the risk of injuries to muscles, ligaments and tissue.

"With all the important functions, it's no wonder that the pelvic floor is considered the body's centre of strength. It's your inner strength that can be kept healthy and trained if you're weak."

A strong and healthy pelvic floor:

  • stabilises your core
  • carries and supports your organs
  • relieves pressure on the abdomen
  • ensures continence and regulates your body functions
  • facilitates the birth process
  • improves sexual function

How does a weak pelvic floor develop?

Even if you train your pelvic floor almost subconsciously every day, your muscles may be weakened. Women with urinary incontinence are often affected. The causes are diverse and can be triggered by pregnancy, birth, hormone changes or weight gain, as well as physically demanding activities.

The Berufsverband der Frauenärzte e.V. (German Association of Female Physicians) (BVF) refers to the widespread spread of the disease and estimates the number of people affected to be around 15 million across Germany (BVF, 2018).

A weak pelvic floor mainly affects women due to their anatomy. However, men can also benefit from pelvic floor training, such as after prostate cancer surgery. This prevents incontinence and erectile problems.

Are you a smoker and suffering from bladder weakness? Smoking can contribute to pelvic floor weakness and may result in stress urinary incontinence. Another indication of pelvic floor weakness is constipation. If you suffer from this, you will put stress on your pelvic floor during every bowel movement, weakening the muscles further which can lead to bladder weakness.

Not forgetting menopause, which often comes with a host of symptoms. These are, among others: Hot flashes, joint pain and weight gain. With muscle weakness, incontinence and lowering of the organs or uterus are not uncommon.

Pelvic floor training for improved quality of life and confidence

Now you know where the pelvic floor is in the body. But can you feel it too? Accurate localisation is important before you start practising sophisticated and effective pelvic floor training. The pelvic floor stabilises your core from the inside out and gives you the necessary strength for all movements.

To feel the pelvic floor, contract your vagina and parallel the anus. With this tension, the outer muscles of the pelvic floor are noticeably active. You cannot consciously perceive the other two muscle layers, but they react with every breath you take.

Pelvic floor training: ways to exercise

There are various ways to train the pelvic floor. You should actively train your pelvic floor from a young age to prevent deterioration. After pregnancy, training and restrengthening is recommended. Training as part of a fitness group is also a great way to meet and spend time with new people. You can also ask open questions about pelvic floor training on site at any time. However, pelvic floor exercises can easily be done at home. You could integrate this into your everyday routine or your personal exercise programme.

Pelvic floor training thrives on the tensing and relaxation of the muscles. You should know that conscious breathing will take you step by step to a trained pelvic floor. Each pelvic floor training exercise starts at the relaxed jaw and extends to the lumbar spine.

"There are certain points on the jaw that trigger your pelvic floor muscles. If these jaw areas are tense, your pelvic floor cannot be relieved."

Do you do yoga or pilates? With the associated breathing exercises and stretches, you can easily train your pelvic floor at the same time.

You can train your pelvic floor with little effort. Repeat your exercises about five to eight times in a row:

  1. Stand upright with your feet shoulder-width apart. Place your palms on your buttocks and deliberately pull your pelvic floor muscles up and back again. Use your hands to check that you are not using your glutes

  2. Stand still with your feet shoulder-width apart again. Stretch your arms out to the side. Bend one leg and pull towards the chest. Your pelvic floor will now automatically tense. Hold this position for about 10 seconds and change to the other leg

  3. You can also do both of the exercises above while sitting on a stool
Pelvic floor training excercise 1Pelvic floor training excercise 1

4. Lay flat on the floor with your knees together. As you exhale, lift your buttocks and retract your stomach. Hold this position for about three seconds

Pelvic floor training excercise 2Pelvic floor training excercise 2

Pelvic floor training set for targeted muscle building

To get your weakened pelvic floor muscles up and running, the Pelvic Floor Training Kit is the answer. By using different weights, you can determine your training intensity.

Train naturally and actively step by step. The training set has a pleasant and smooth surface and is comfortable to use. Whether after pregnancy, menopause or during a hormone change, with targeted training, you can actively promote your muscle strength and take control of weakened pelvic floor muscles.

Do you like running, cycling or tennis? Then let's get going, your pelvic floor will love it. Because almost every movement engages your pelvic floor muscles and makes you stronger from the inside out.

Train your pelvic floor a maximum of twice a day with the pelvic floor training set. Different weights help prevent and treat weak pelvic floor muscles.

 

 

Sources:

  • BVF – Berufsverband der Frauenärzte e.V. (German Association of Female Physicians) (ed.) - Frauenärzte im Netz (2018). Urinary incontinence. https://www.frauenaerzte-im-netz.de/erkrankungen/harninkontinenz/ (31.08.2022).
  • Pöpper, M (2005). Physicians Pelvic floor training guide. Not just a matter for women. Georg Thieme Verlag Stuttgart – New York, 3rd Jg., No. 10.