So you’ve been doing your Kegels, or your lift and drop, and wondering where to go from there…. in this article Clare Hozack gves you some top tips to get more from your pelvic floor by enhancing your pelvic floor practice.
Technique number one is the short foot. This technique involves “grounding” the foot (or feet) as you lift your pelvic floor. There is no one better at explaining how to do “Shortfoot” than Dr Emily Splichal, podiatrist, human movement specialist, and founder of Naboso Technology. Watch her demonstration and instructions here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=laDm_CyRUjs
Our second grounding technique has been borrowed from Yoga, where you spread your hands and press your fingertips in to the floor, do this as you lift your pelvic floor and see if the lift is enhanced – then remember to completely relax and rest in between lifts.
The third and final grounding technique is using the tongue!! and no, don’t go licking the floor – simply press the tongue (or ground it) in to the roof of your mouth as you lift your pelvic floor, then relax as you relax. This one is marvellous for coordinating with other movements as well!
Check out the demo of all of these here: https://www.facebook.com/PowerPlateAustralia/videos/1385381905216339
Exhale on Exertion
Now I feel like we have discussed exhale on exertion a lot already, but it is worth repeating because it is so useful! We are also going to take it one step further than we have in the past…
First, lets revise lifting and dropping (do a few as you read this), then add the exhale as you lift, then add:
Whatever your vulnerability is, we can train it – start with the exhale and build to your best sneeze/cough/scream!
To summarise, getting more from your pelvic floor could be as simple as training specificity – building up and getting better at what you need it to be good at!
Using your co-contractors to enhance your lift OR enhance your drop…
This is a version of the grounding techniques, but instead of pressing in to the floor, we take advantage of the way our body is connected to enhance our ability to lift our pelvic floor – AND the opposite, we can use our body to enhance the drop too (which is more important for those of us who have a hypertonic pelvic floor).
Now before we start, I want to ask a question for those of you who frequent the gym: Do you lift more in a Lat Pull Down or a Bicep Curl? In a tricep extension or a bench press? The reason you lift more in the lat pull down and bench press is that you’re using bigger muscles, sure – but your biceps and triceps are also lifting that bigger weight – the extra ability is due to the synchronisation and activation of the extra muscles.
We can use this trick to get more from our pelvic floor training.
Now, your number one priority is that kegel, so master that technique with the physio first. THEN try these techniques to enhance your contractions (each of us will prefer different ones, so make your way through them all):
- Squeeze a ball
- Press against a band
- Push through the wall
- Press hands together
- Scap retraction with band
- or try a biofeedback kegel trainer such as elvie trainer
To assist your drop:
- Lying, let your knees fall apart on the inhale
- 4-point, let your belly drop on the inhale
- Feet up against the wall (gravity assisted)
A demonstration of these is available here: https://www.facebook.com/burrelledausnz/videos/1287588015100904
Our final way to get more from our Pelvic Floor involves synchronicity – that is, utilising the way the muscles work together to get more from it.
Having said that, if you feel pressure, or see doming, or feel like you need to wee – that’s TOO MUCH. The idea is to move within your competent ranges, to allow your body to get better and synchronising and coordinating the deep core muscles.
To get more from your pelvic floor with movement, you want to move the tissues of your trunk in as many ways as possible:
- all the ways the femur can move inside the hip are good
- all the ways your skin can move across your belly/waist/back is good
To do this, try to move forward and back, left to right, and circles with the:
- Lower back
Demonstration here: https://www.facebook.com/PowerPlateAustralia/videos/1606118719737422