More women need to take a huge sigh of relief and realise that the pelvic floor is probably the hardest muscle group in the body to try and work. I don’t know about you but every time most women I know try to work the pelvic floor their eyebrows get an amazing workout lifting or frowning!!!
Which one are you a lifter or a frowner?
The majority of women who have a pelvic floor weakness either just live with it and spend a small fortune on panty liners or seek help usually being referred to a women’s health physio. The standard rehab technique being Kegels or pelvic floor contractions. These conscious muscle contractions work the muscles in the pelvic floor but there are only 30% of the muscle fibres which can be squeezed on demand!
If you are amongst the high percentage of women that feel the pelvic floor is their personal nemesis, that actually have no clue whether their pelvic floor actually exists let only is being squeezed when they tell it to, then you can all breathe a sigh of relief because those of you that didn’t know this already Kegel’s or pelvic floor squeezes are not the only way to get rid of those panty liners for good.
The biology facts!
If 30% of the floor can be contracted on demand how do we activate the other 70%? This is the bit that blew our minds when we first started our journey learning hypopressives. When we inhale the diaphragm and the pelvic floor contract, there is a subconscious contraction of the pelvic floor (that’s the magic 70% of the muscles working). Let me say that again, when we squeeze we only work 30% of the pelvic floor when we breathe deep in to the rib cage we work 70% of the pelvic floor – Game Changer!!!
Now we know the questions is why are so many women affected by a weak PF?
Because we shallow breathe, which is not properly activating the pelvic floor. By bringing in deep diaphragmatic breaths we improve our pelvic floor contraction massively.
I need you to focus on this gem of information before you get disheartened and feel like nothing is ever going to work for you. We need our pelvic floor to be strong especially when we have no time to activate and squeeze it!
When you sneeze do you get time to squeeze it? When you cough can you lift it? If you have to run after the dog, toddler or bus can you hold it? Its unlikely, but if your pelvic floor has been strengthened subconsciously, by breathing deeper, then it is strong without having to think about squeezing. It works when we need it with out thinking about it, perfect right?
We hope that once you understand that there are very good reasons why not everyone has success with the traditional strength exercises you will join our tribe of strong women who are using a simple and effective technique to give their pelvic floor the workout it really needs. Stop pulling those funny faces as you try to squeeze and just start to breathe!!
Hypopressives is the new kid on the block in the UK, it has been successfully used in Europe since the 1980’s but now its our turn to see the amazing benefits of this core rehab method. It combines the deep diaphragmatic breath with postures and pressure control to improve core function. The benefits to this training as we have already discussed, its an easy way to work and strengthen the pelvic floor, a reduction in pressure which will help improve the symptoms of prolapse often avoiding surgery, recovery from post abdominal surgery, postnatal recovery, rectus diastasis, back, shoulder and neck ache and discomfort. But in a world that is becoming more hectic and stressful by taking time out of our day to focus on breathing, posture and restoring the natural balance of our core this system also helps with mindfulness, wellbeing and relaxation.
The major point I wanted to get across from this is that if you can’t kegal you are not alone, don’t give up. The journey to a strong core starts with a single deep breathe.