Demystifying the ‘Pelvic Floor!’

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The muscles of the ‘pelvic floor’ are not core muscles but they are just as important!

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This area of the body is particularly challenging to understand and work with both as a student and a teacher – the deep muscles at the base of, and inside of, your pelvis.

Here, one of our better Pilates instructors puts an end to the mystery, describing clearly, simply and briefly (the way we like it!) what problems may arise and the best corrective Pilates exercises.

And to my great surprise, she explains why Kegel exercises are not necessary and may even cause problems! This was total news to me!

By the way, this article is over at PilatesIntel, the best Pilates blog in the universe – no kidding! Well worth signing up for the weekly post.

Take a look! 

Pilates and the Pelvic Floor by Marie Wittman, PhD

What is a “pelvic floor”? 

I don’t have a pelvic floor, do I?
(Male client)

Should I be doing Kegels to strengthen my pelvic floor? 

Is Pilates good for the pelvic floor? 


I just have to worry about my pelvic floor during pregnancy, right?
pelvic floor in pilates
It is estimated that 80% of the population will have a pelvic floor disorder at some point in their lives. This includes men and women who have not given birth. While pelvic floor disorders are commonly associated with pregnancy, they are not intrinsically caused by pregnancy or birthing……
Fundamentally, it is the quantity and quality of inactivity in modern lifestyles that renders all of us, not just pregnant women, susceptible to failure of the pelvic floor muscles……
That said, there is plenty of great things we can do in the studio to help our clients. I will discuss a few of the many exercises that are beneficial for clients with pelvic floor issues or suspected pelvic floor issues. I will also mention some exercises that should be avoided when teaching a client with issues related to pelvic floor, which includes sacroiliac joint pain, pubic symphysis pain, low back pain, and any hip issue……
The pelvic floor muscles serve the main purpose of supporting the weight of the abdominal and pelvic organs. With this function in mind then, functional pelvic floor muscles will be strong enough to support the weight of the organs at rest and during movement. We can think of this as the Goldilocks strength profile……
Kegels are not necessary. Yes, I said it; Kegels are not important for functional pelvic floor muscles…..
Kegels are, at best, a temporary fix, and at worst, detrimental. Kegels do not necessarily improve the functional strength of the pelvic floor muscles. In fact, Kegels or similar concentric contraction (or action) exercises run the risk of actually weakening the pelvic floor muscles……
For the rest of this fascinating article go to issue #119 at PilatesIntel.com.

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