Like any muscle, by focusing only on contraction — and not extension or stretching — you can reduce the speed limit of your pelvic floor, keeping it unbalanced and less effective if you do both. For optimal health, you need to be able to tighten the muscles of your pelvic floor And They were completely released by physical therapist Christina Keho, DPT, who specializes in pelvic physical therapy. “Learning to coordinate [engaging] And then it’s important to relax the muscles, ”she says.“ It can play a role in things like constipation or pain in someone’s intercourse. ”Ideally, you want to do exercises that require you to be active (or engaged) and stretch your pelvic floor regularly. .
If you’re not sure, here’s the right way to activate your pelvic floor muscles:
Possible signs that you need to stretch your pelvic floor muscles
According to Dr. Keho, pain in the pelvic or vaginal area can be a sign that you need to work to stretch and relax your pelvic floor. Other symptoms of pelvic floor muscle stiffness include pain during intercourse, chronic constipation, incomplete bowel movements, or a feeling that your bladder is not empty after urinating.
Finally, Dr. Keho says that the urge to urinate is often caused by overly active pelvic floor muscles, which make you feel the need to urinate. “[Any of these symptoms] This can be a sign that you need to learn to relax or expand your pelvic floor, ”he explained. If you experience pain and discomfort, consult your doctor before trying any treatment protocol on your own. If you are generally healthy and looking for ways to maintain your pelvic floor muscles, this is a good place to start adding these stretched parts to your fitness routine.
6 effective pelvic floor extensions
1. Diaphragmatic breathing
“Diaphragmatic breathing is important to help promote pelvic floor relaxation and general relaxation to reduce muscle tension,” explains Dr. Keho, who adds that it also acts as a gentle stretch for the pelvic floor. “As you breathe in, the pelvic floor expands, the muscles expand from the inside.”
How: Find a comfortable position, ideally lying down leaning or with your legs supported and relaxed.
Breathe in for four seconds, stretching the abdomen and rib cage as you imagine the pelvic floor opening and expanding. 4 Exhale to count–6 seconds, allow the abdomen to relax at baseline back to the pelvic floor. Repeat this process for at least 10 deep breaths or 5-10 minutes or more.
2. Pelvic rest posture
“This position allows the pelvic floor and internal thigh muscles to be completely released and relaxed,” Dr. Keho shares. Additionally, “If you are in pain or recovering from labor or surgery, this position can help take the pressure off and close the pelvic floor.”
How: Lie on your back on the floor with your feet supported on a pillow or on a sofa or chair above you. Both your hips and knees should be bent at about 90-degree angles. Let the knees bend slightly outwards and relax so that no tension is felt in your inner thighs. In this position, practice on meditation or deep breathing for 5-10 minutes.
3. Happy children
Dr. Keho says that this yoga posture stretches the three layers of the pelvic floor muscles directly as they run from your tailbone to the pubic bone and are attached to both sides of your pelvic bone. “Happy baby poses will also stretch your inner thigh muscles,” she says. “These muscles are often associated with a tight pelvic floor as they are attached to your pelvic floor,” he explains.
How: Depending on your flexibility, lie on your back and reach the outside of your ankles or knees. Gently widen your legs to the side while bending your knees towards your armpits and to the side. Hold this position, allowing the pelvic floor to release completely for 20-30 seconds. Repeat 2-3 times.
4. Baby posture
“The baby’s posture stretches the pelvic floor, back muscles, and buttocks muscles and also if you take a posture where the knees are on the side,” shares Dr. Keho. He says it can be used not only to stretch muscles but also as a great posture to support general relaxation and as an alternative posture to practice deep breathing.
How: Come to your hands and knees, bring your big toes together behind your body. If you are able, make your knees wider than your shoulders. If it is not comfortable, bring your knees together. Sit your buttocks back to your feet as you move your arms and arms forward in front of your body, lower your chest and place your forehead and arms on the floor.
(Option to place a pillow or rolled towel under your forehead for comfort.) Find comfort in this position by allowing the inner thighs to relax and release the pelvic floor muscles, and hold this posture for as long as necessary to achieve a relaxed feeling. .
5. Deep squat
Holding a deep squat stretches the glutes, hamstrings, adductor (inner thigh) and pelvic floor muscles and can be a special stretch to prepare for childbirth. Dr. Keho has some tips for doing this exercise. “It’s important to have a supportive surface to hold on to so that your muscles don’t actually get tense trying to stabilize in this stretched state,” he advises. “Gravity in this position can really help to feel a release and expansion of the pelvic floor.”
How: Stand in front of a table, counter, or chair. Your feet are slightly wider than your hips, your toes slightly protruding. Tuck your tailbone and bend your knees to sink to the floor, as if you are sliding your back against the wall, while holding on to your front surface. Hold this position for 30-60 seconds. Repeat 2-3 times.
6. Extend the butterfly
Stretch the muscles along your inner thighs that are attached to the pubic bone. Dr. Keho says that many people have tension in the pelvic floor, they have tension and trigger points in this muscle, so stretching the inner thigh can help reduce the tension in the pelvic floor later on.
How to do: Bend your knees and start sitting with your feet flat on the floor. Bring your floors together and spread your legs around like a book, allowing your outer thighs to rest on the floor. If you need a more intense extension, gently press the knee with your hand or elbow and lean forward. Place a pillow or blanket under your knees to reduce the intensity. Hold the stretch for 30-60 seconds. Repeat 2-3 times.
If you are suffering from tight pelvic floor muscles, Dr. Keho says it is important to include general relaxation of the pelvic floor muscles with the exercises you do. “I think it’s easy to work on both, because many stretching positions are good positions to practice deep breathing,” he explains. “Relaxing the muscles should feel like an opening or swelling in the pelvic floor muscles. Stretching, however, should never be painful but it should feel like a gentle tension and stretch without pain.”
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