Doctors and physiotherapists are aware of the benefits of doing floor exercises for the pelvic muscles. This is because when you perform floor exercises for the pelvic region, you can actually control your bladder. If performed properly these pelvic exercises will strengthen your muscles and allow you to regulate your bowel and bladder movements better. The pelvic floor essentially comprises of many layers of ligaments, tissues and muscles which support the womb, bladder and bowel; these muscles are kept firm to avoid urine leakages. These muscles will actively squeeze whenever you cough or sneeze or laugh so that there is no leakage. Though you may not be able to see them, it is indeed possible to control the pelvic muscles and train them just as you can train your abdominal, leg and arm muscles. Following a regular exercise program, you can actually make the pelvic muscles much stronger and this is needed for both men and women. You can do the following floor exercises to make the pelvic region stronger:
- To start with, you can sit, lie or stand with the knees slightly apart and then tighten the pelvic floor as hard as possible. You must try to lift them and squeeze them for as long as possible, starting with about 10 contractions and holding these for about 10 seconds, with breaks of a couple of seconds. It is better to start with slow contractions initially and then increase the hold to challenge yourself further.
- The bridge exercise is where you must lie on the floor with your knees bent and the feet absolutely flat and hip-width apart. You need to take a deep breath and then use the pelvic floor to lift yourself up. You have to hold the hips for about 10 seconds while you breathe normally and then lower the hips down to release this pelvic floor.
- In the dead bug crunch, you have to lie on your back and extend the arms towards the ceiling upwards. As you inhale, you must once again engage your pelvic muscles and extend your right arm beyond the head with your right leg held forward. The pelvic floor is then released and the arms and leg withdrawn to the original position. The movement is then repeated with the left leg and left arm.
- In another useful floor exercise to strengthen the pelvic floor, you can stand against the wall with your feet hip-width apart. In this wall squat, you have to engage your pelvic muscles as you lower yourself slowly into the squat position as if you are sitting on a chair. You must hold this posture for about 10 seconds and then lift yourself back to the starting position as you release the pelvic muscles.
- In the Jumping Jack exercise, you can start with the legs together as you engage the pelvic region and jump as you place the legs apart and draw your arms over your head. The pelvic floor gets released when you hop the lags back together to the original position.