There are a number of muscles that feed in and out of the pelvis.
Let me make a little list for you:
- Hip flexors,
- Quadriceps (front of your thighs),
- Glutes (your bum),
- Outer thighs,
- Inner thighs,
- Hamstrings (backs of your thighs).
Each and every one of these muscles needs a good bit of attention particularly if:
a) you’re pregnant and preparing for childbirth,
b) you’re postnatal and getting frequent pelvic/back pain,
c) you’re suffering with pelvic floor weakness, and/or
d) you’ve sat down a good part of your life.
When you exercise with me, at the end of your workout, or sometimes interspersed between exercises in my classes, I add some release work in for you.
It’s not all about strength, strength, strength all the time.
And, this is sort of why traditional pelvic floor exercises don’t work.
I’m talking about those “squeeze and release” type exercises where you imagine you’re stopping the flow of urine, and repeat 15 times or whatever.
You need to be able to release your pelvic floor, before start adding load or strength work to it.
That general rule applies to most of the muscles in the human body if I’m honest if there’s dysfunction present.
If you released all of these areas of your body on a regular basis, I’d hazard a guess that you’d:
- get less back pain,
- suffer with fewer aches in your hips and pelvis,
- increase your pelvic floor strength and function,
- increase your chances of delivering your baby naturally,
- decrease the chances of you tearing during childbirth,
- decrease the severity of menstrual cramps,
- increase your chances of fertility,
- suffer less with leg cramps, restless legs and other circulatory conditions,
- improve your gait pattern, and
- therefore improve your pelvic floor function
There’s this misconception that pregnant and postnatal women can’t stretch.
Or, perhaps that they can stretch, but for only short periods of time.
Google’s a great tool granted – but if you have a question relating to exercise that isn’t located on my blog, can I get you to ask me directly instead?
Because internet searching can also call up a tonne of misinformation and really old hat advice!
I update my skills on a regular basis, and there are exercises I would not have done 12+ years ago when I first qualified…
…only to now include them because we now realise in the pre/postnatal fitness industry, that’s it’s a little foolish to blacklist certain movements altogether when you’re likely to need to be able to do them after birth, caring for your newborn.
With a few tweaks in the way you use your body throughout the day, you’ll be rewarded with less back, pelvic and knee pain and fewer symptoms of pelvic floor weakness.
Hip tightness and back tension often refers into the pelvic floor, so if you have a pelvic floor issue – for full-body function, you need to sort out your pelvic mechanics, and get more mobility in your spine.
If you have pelvic floor dysfunction, take onboard all of these tips because the key to pelvic floor rehab and labour prep is actually getting your whole body working better for you.
If you’re pregnant reading this right now and concerned you’re not doing enough exercise that is specifically designed to strengthen and release the right muscles to prepare you for childbirth, then, you’ll want to book on my pregnancy fitness classes in Lady Bay which are an education in itself.
My Bump to Babe pregnancy fitness classes on Mondays in Lady Bay provide cardio, toning, Pilates, stretching and tonnes of education about what happens to your body during pregnancy.
For a gentler approach to exercising in pregnancy, my Pregnancy Pilates classes sell out from one course to the next because they’re fab for releasing tension in your back, hips and shoulders, and help you relax after a hard day’s work.
Want a specific pelvic floor exercise class where you can learn MORE about the full-body approach to pelvic floor function? Check out Your Pelvic Matters for the next course start dates!