Many muscles help tell us a story about what’s happening at the pelvic floor from the outside, but the glutes, abs, and adductors tell us an especially good story. Let’s take a minute and listen to what these muscles are telling us.
To have a great pelvic floor for a lifetime (no one wants to find themselves shopping for Depends) you need strength in all the muscles surrounding the pelvic floor, not just in the pelvic floor itself.
Now, before we continue looking at clues from the rest of the body, you must first master a great pelvic floor contraction. This means you get a good squeeze and lift and then fully relax, lengthening the pelvic floor muscles. A basic contraction is a must!
Why you must relax to get a good contraction: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vArDmvaoMko
I’ve often had patients who try so hard to do their kegels and get their pelvic floor functioning properly, but kegels alone just aren’t working. So now it’s time to look at the rest of the body.
When your glutes are weak, your pelvic floor and deep hip rotators have to work overtime to compensate. When this happens it can cause tightness and subsequent weakness in the pelvic floor muscles. It can also cause that nagging deep butt or hip pain. The deep hip rotators don’t like to overwork, but someone has to do the job if the glutes aren’t doing the work.
Some of my favorite exercises for building glute strength are in this program. Do you feel them in your glutes? Making sure you feel a glute exercise in the glutes is step one for increasing effectiveness!
With really strong glutes the pelvic floor and those deep hip rotators have to do less work, and in this case less is a good thing, because it will decrease tightness and pain and increase effectiveness.
The abdominals play a huge role in pelvic floor strength. Did you know that your abs help your pelvic floor contract? The body is so cool! The pelvic floor initiates a contraction and then the abdominals join in. To get that last bit of a really strong pelvic floor contraction, the abs do most of the work. So, if you don’t have strong lower abdominals, it might be hindering your pelvic floor strength.
Here is one of my favorite abdominal exercises. It’s basic, but when you get it right, it’s very effective.
We’ll have this one along with so many other good ones in the program, I can’t wait to share it with you!!
How to do a deadbug or abdominal brace correctly: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TA6QGXL-0nU
Lastly, let’s take a look at the adductors. Think about these inner thigh muscles as anchors for your pelvis. Are your inner thighs strong? These muscles have overlapping fascia into the pelvic floor, so it’s safe to say there is a big connection when it comes to function. I often see one-sided adductor weakness coordinated with pelvic floor weakness on that side, and by working on the adductor, it helps boost pelvic floor strength.
For checking adductors, it’s important to not only check strength but to check for tightness and trigger points. This can make a muscle less effective at contracting.
How to check your adductors for trigger points and equal strength: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Y_PakJzQnoU
So, when you put it all together, full body strength helps you have great pelvic floor strength.
Did you like this exploration of your body? Did you discover something new? This is what the Glutes, Core and Pelvic Floor Workout System is all about! Discovery + correct execution.