The free online workout that'll make exercising those pelvic floor muscles easier than ever
Hands in the air who can say that they actually remembered to do all those pelvic floor exercises and Kegels we were all meant to be doing after giving birth?
Yeah – same.
And it seems we are not along in that leaking (hah!) boat.
In fact, new research from Always Discreet recently showed that as many as one in ten women admit that since exercising more regularly at home during the lockdown, they have either experienced leaks for the first time or have been experiencing more leaks. And what more; despite the increased availability of online workouts in the past months, 74 percent of women say they have never seen a workout dedicated to strengthening pelvic floor muscles.
As well as this, studies have shown that many women have cancelled or postponed pelvic health appointments over the past six-seven months due to the Covid-19 crisis. Seeking advice from a healthcare professional is an important first step in the improvement journey and if you are experiencing leaks, don't wait in seeking help from your GP or nurse.
Lucky for us, Always Discreet has teamed up with bladder leak sufferer Ferne McCann to launch a free online pelvic floor workout. Pelvic Power by Always Discreet was developed by a personal trainer and in partnership with a Pelvic Health Sports Physiotherapist Helen Keeble, and the goal is to make it easier for women to make pelvic floor exercises part of their daily routine.
Speaking about the workoet, McCann commented:
“As someone who realised I was experiencing bladder leaks, while I was exercising, I’m really excited to help launch Pelvic Power by Always Discreet and raise awareness of the importance of pelvic floor exercises. Pelvic Power by Always Discreet is a workout dedicated to strengthening those important muscles, helping to prevent and improve leaks. It’s been developed by a personal trainer and in partnership with a Pelvic Health Sports Physiotherapist. Its quick, fun and makes it easier than ever to get squeezing!”
Helen Keeble, Pelvic Health Sports Physiotherapist and Always Discreet partner commented:
“Although some forms of high intensity exercise can induce leaks, this type of activity can be equally helpful in strengthening the pelvic floor area. Recent studies show that activities such as jumping can cause pelvic floor muscles to contract involuntarily and this can actually strengthen the muscles when part of an integrated treatment plan. The combination of regular and concentrated squeezing along with movements that encourage involuntary contraction, are likely to give you the best chance of improvement. “
We recently sat down with Keeble to talk pelvic health and just why the heck we should all be doing those exercises:
"Training your pelvic floor muscles and having a strong pelvic floor is so important for so many reasons, thePelvic Health Sports Physiotherapist explains.
"When the pelvic floor muscles are strong they can perform all of their functions easily. Remember, the pelvic floor muscles are responsible for: Preventing bladder and bowel leaks, preventing pelvic organ prolapse by supporting our pelvic organs (bladder, uterus and bowels) in their optimal position. As well as this, our pelic muscles support the joints within the pelvis (symphysis pubis & sacro-iliac joints) and our sexual function - they allow for penetration to occur and be enjoyable and also hugely contribute to our ability to and strength of orgasm."
As well as this, the pelvic floor muscles are the most important part of our core – they connect into the tummy muscles so a strong pelvic floor also gives us a strong core.
Here are Keeble's best advice for keeping your pelvic floor muscles in their best shape:
- Practise pelvic floor squeezes every day - if you have no pelvic floor symptoms then aim to do 3-5 squeezes twice per day, if you have symptoms (eg leaking, pain or prolapse) then aim to do 20 squeezes twice per day.
- Do include a mixture of short aswel as long squeezes in your routine - short squeezes increase the power and speed of the pelvic floor and long squeezes improve the endurance - they are both equally required to have the best pelvic floor
- Do start in lying and then gradually build up into sitting, and then into standing
- Do a deep breath in and out in between every single pelvic floor squeeze - this keeps the pelvic floor flexible
- Do persevere – it takes approx 6 weeks to see improvements and anything up to 6 months to see resolution of symptoms
- Do see a pelvic health physiotherapist if you don't notice any improvement or would like a check of your pelvic floor muscles