We know that pregnancy does a number on our core. The pelvic floor is part of your core unit. So it needs attention during the postpartum phase too. Hip pain, low back pain, leaking urine, prolapse, and more dysfunction can all stem from issues with the pelvic floor.
So consider the pelvic floor during your post natal workouts and do these exercises for pelvic floor muscles.
Pelvic Floor Muscles
It’s easy to think of the pelvic floor muscles when you do a Kegel. But there is so much more function to the pelvic floor!
The pelvic floor muscles weave around your pelvis to form a basket. That basket supports your bladder and uterus. And that basket moves every single time you breathe.
Take a look at this picture:
This is what your pelvic floor looks like when looking down into it.
The two muscles I want to highlight are the Piriformis and Obturator Internus. These two muscles rotate your hip.
Now have a look at the “Deep 6” muscles.
All of the deep 6 muscles rotate your hip outwards. Look how close the sciatic nerve is to the piriformis and obturator internus.
When one of the six has to do the job of the others, it can literally cause a pain in the butt!
Read about my client who had a weak, painful piriformis here.
It’s a good idea to have the deep 6 muscles tested to determine which one may be causing pain. If you’re local to Loudoun County, VA, I can test your muscles. If not, visit a NeuroKinetic Therapy Practitioner or Pelvic Health Specialist.
Once you know which muscles need to be stretched and which need to be strengthened, you’ll have an action plan to improve your pelvic floor!
Exercises for Pelvic Floor Muscles
You can strengthen the deep six muscles with one exercise done at various angles. Because they all do the same thing, this exercise for the pelvic floor looks very similar for all six muscles.
However, you will not need to do all six angles to isolate each muscle. This exercise would be a good starting point for just getting back into exercising after having a baby. Then you can progress to the next one below.
In mom life, you don’t get to spend too much time on your workouts. So a more integrated exercise may be a good time-saver. Check out the Bridge with Hip Rotation. It hits the glutes as well as the deep 6 muscles.
I stole the above exercise from Christina Christie, a physical therapist, who developed the Pelvicore. Do about 10 reps of the bridge with your toes turned inward. Then turn your toes outward and repeat for 10 more.
The idea is that you’re stimulating the pelvic floor muscles through rotational movement.
Remember to Practice Breathing
Additionally, because the pelvic floor is highly involved with respiration, it’s a good idea to incorporate breathing exercises into your daily routine.
Keeping your pelvic floor healthy will make you a happy mama for the rest of your life. Give these exercises for pelvic floor a try and see if your incontinence or sciatica improves.
It only takes a few minutes to exercise your pelvic floor muscles. Simply incorporate them into your warmup or playtime on the floor with your kids.