The pelvic floor is a group of muscles at the base of the abdomen that support internal organs such as the bowels and bladder. While these muscles are often overlooked when it comes to working out, strengthening your pelvic floor is crucial for maintaining core stability and pelvic health. When practiced regularly, exercises to target the muscles of the pelvic floor can help to prevent issues like urinary incontinence and pelvic organ prolapse from developing over time. If your fitness routine could use a bit of pelvic floor work, read on to learn more about some exercises worth trying:
Kegel exercises are one of the most well-known and effective ways for both men and women to strengthen pelvic floor muscles. To perform a Kegel, contract and hold the muscles you would use to stop the flow of urine midstream. Hold the contraction for a few seconds, then release. Repeat 10-15 times, gradually increasing the hold time and number of repetitions as the movement gets easier.
Bridge pose is a yoga asana that can be used to engage the pelvic floor, glutes and core muscles. Lie on your back with knees bent and feet flat on the ground. Lift your hips off the floor, forming a straight line from your knees to your shoulders. Squeeze your glutes and engage your pelvic floor muscles while maintaining the position for a few seconds. Lower your hips, then repeat the exercise 10-12 times.
Squats are a popular movement that are often performed for their booty-building benefits, but did you know that they’re great for your pelvic floor as well? Start by standing with feet shoulder-width apart, then bend your knees and lower your body as if sitting back into an imaginary chair. Keep your weight on your heels and ensure your knees stay behind your toes. Return to the starting position by pushing through your heels. Aim for 10-15 repetitions.