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Let’s start with some basics. The pelvic floor is made up of a group of muscles that make a bowl shape in the base of your pelvis. As you can see, both men and women have these muscles and can both experience urine and/or bowel incontinence.
Think of these muscles like a hammock. They run front to back and side to side. This is why some people only have urine dysfunction or bowel dysfunction. When we experience weakening of these muscles is when we start to have a hard time with leaks during stress on the body. Sometimes the dysfunction is caused by tightness of these muscles, meaning you can not relax enough to fully release your bladder.
What causes Pelvic Floor weakness?
traumatic injury to the pelvic region
While I could stand to have a stronger pelvic floor my dysfunction actually came from Tightness. If you notice yourself clinching your jaw during the day/night or clinching your butt cheeks when standing in line you most likely are tensing your pelvic floor muscles as well. These muscles can tighten without you even realizing that you are doing it.
Here is a short video on how to do some pelvic floor release at home to see if this helps you. I use a firm medium size ball to release the tightness. You may need a firm ball or softer ball depending on how uncomfortable it is for you.
So you may be asking, what does this have to do with exercise? Well, a lot of people will put pressure down on the pelvic floor when doing heavy lifting or jumping exercises. So you are more likely to lose control of your bladder or bowels when putting pressure down on the pelvic floor with heavy lifting, coughing, sneezing, jumping, etc.
The key is to do deep breathing. I call this 360 breathing when you breath into your ribcage and belly before lifting. The 360 comes in by getting your ribcage to expands like an umbrella. You want your ribcage to expand (front, sides and back) getting air into your ribcage and belly (not just bypass the ribcage and go directly into the belly). Once you start your movement you will exhale contracting the pelvic floor muscles and abdominal muscles. This creates and brace and lifting action with the muscles. When done right you are basically doing a kegel for the entire amount of time you exhale your breath. This my friends, with some specific exercises and adding this breathing technique to all other exercises I do has strengthened my pelvic floor.
I rarely have those embarrassing accidents of peeing on myself when I jump or cough. You can join my 5 week Program that takes you through accessing what you have going on, teaching you the breathing technique, and exercises that will help you correct the dysfunction. https://www.candacerorrer.com/product-page/pelvic-floor-diastasis-recti-fix