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Old 07-12-11, 01:52 PM  
sammycakes
 
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Pelvic Floor

I just had my 5th baby, and this will probably be the last. I don't have problems with incontinence or anything, but if I am "done" having kids, I'd like to focus on getting that area "in shape", preparing for gettin' older. Are kegel exercises the best and/or only thing you can do for your pelvic floor? And how do you really know when that area is strong and helathy?

Any input on what you do/have done to take care of your insides??
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Old 07-12-11, 02:30 PM  
beyond.omega
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More than you ever wanted to know about the PC muscle ;)

My mother had a prolapsed bladder about 5 years ago, and I started getting obsessed with the PC muscle. I discovered many things:

1) Although a lot has changed in the 30 years since my brother was born, a lot has not, and in particular, although there is a lot of information out there about the PC, it is kinda hard to find. The past 5 years have changed it somewhat with the baby boomer generation getting older, and dealing with incontinence issues, but it is still not talked about openly. (ok...off my soapbox now .)

2) Kegels as we were taught in the 80's are not really the way to go, as they don't exercise the full PC muscle.

3) To exercise the full PC muscle, you start by squeeze your sitz bones together, squeeze your your tailbone and pubic bone together (or try to...just imagine it and that is probably enough) and squeeze the entire area between them...that is a kegel as it should be.

The Callanetics Evolution dvd has a discussion about the PC muscle, and Callanetics done this way will develop your pelvic floor.

Anna Benson developed two workouts that focus on developing the pelvic floor, Indeprime and Rootlock, but I have not done them. She recommends using Smartballs, which caused quite a stir here on VF (and not in a good way,) but it might not be a bad idea, especially after 5 kids. Smartballs help by giving your body something to squeeze against when doing a kegel.

Yoga and Pilates done properly will also use the PC muscle. That could be a way to go too. However, since they don't directly work the PC muscle, it is possible to do those style of exercise with the the PC muscle, and you may unintentionally not activate the PC while doing those exercises (I did for a long time...until my pilates instructor finally spelled it out for me.)

hth.
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Old 07-12-11, 04:27 PM  
susan p
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I have two words for you: KATY BOWMAN. Her blog has some EXCELLENT info about the pelvic floor and proper biomechanics for strengthening it.

www.katysays.com

Search for "kegels" and "pelvic floor." The woman is a genius.
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Old 07-12-11, 04:38 PM  
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I've found that squeezing a playground ball between my thighs helps access those muscles.
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Old 07-15-11, 07:28 PM  
Dobby
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Quote:
Originally Posted by susan p View Post
I have two words for you: KATY BOWMAN. Her blog has some EXCELLENT info about the pelvic floor and proper biomechanics for strengthening it.

www.katysays.com

Search for "kegels" and "pelvic floor." The woman is a genius.
A shout out to SusanP! Wow, what a wonderful blog. There is so much there I have been reading for several days and don't feel I have a handle on all her info yet. Many, many thanks!!

Pam
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Old 07-16-11, 12:56 AM  
Liz N
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Pilates is an excellent way of learning how to activate your pelvic floor properly.

I don't recommend squeezing a ball between your inner thighs to try and activate these muscles. They are tonic muscles which means they should be able to switch on at very low levels for a very long time. The adductors are phasic, meaning that they switch on (when we ask) for a contraction and then once said contraction is done, they switch off completely and relax.

I will have to go and look for a few more resources, but as a guide, pilates is best taught one on one - then once you know what you're doing, different DVDs will be useful.
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Old 07-16-11, 01:24 AM  
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Pilates is an excellent way of learning how to activate your pelvic floor properly.

I will have to go and look for a few more resources, but as a guide, pilates is best taught one on one - then once you know what you're doing, different DVDs will be useful.
Is there a particular exercise in Pilates that is helpful or recommended? My pelvic floor might need a workout. Lol.
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Old 07-16-11, 01:42 AM  
Helen
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One of the best exercises to do for your pelvic floor is when you have a wee, practice stopping the flow & release again, letting just a little out at a time.
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To be able to say that, one needs to START doing it, EVERY DAY!

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Old 07-16-11, 02:54 AM  
Liz N
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Originally Posted by Daizyduke View Post
Is there a particular exercise in Pilates that is helpful or recommended? My pelvic floor might need a workout. Lol.
Hi Daizy,

Learning how to activate your transversus abdominus without using your back or superficial abdominal muscles helps switch on the pelvic floor.

Without sounding TMI, inserting two fingers into the vagina and gently drawing up 'over' them will activate the pelvic floor. The key is not to contract fully.

Imagine an elevator - draw your pelvic floor up over your fingers as hard as you can - that's ten floors.

Now breathe normally and draw your pelvic floor up to level two - you may feel some activation between your hips - holding this partial contraction is the key.

Hope this helps. Pilates over the internet is difficult!
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Old 07-16-11, 03:43 AM  
Jennifer R
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Thanks, Susan--Katy's blog is a trove of useful information and a great counter to some of the often repeated myths we hear in fitness circles.
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