Weightlifting and pelvic floor health- something every woman should know
A woman’s pelvic floor is made up of muscles, ligaments, connective tissues, and nerves that support the uterus, bladder, and rectum.
The pelvic floor is part of the body’s core, which also includes the obliques, the diaphragm, the deep back muscles, the glutes, and other muscle groups.
All of the core muscles—including the pelvic floor—work in synergy to keep the body balanced and stable.
Weightlifting and many foundational strength moves can put excessive strain on the pelvic floor, leading to urine leakage. It’s more common than you’d think!
You may be thinking “so women should just lift less weight!”
It’s not quite that simple. The amount of weight lifted matters, but so does technique. This is why I am so passionate about women lifting to correct form before adding more and more weight which can be detrimental.
Some moves, by their very nature, have a larger pelvic floor load. Certain moves, including deep squats, place an inordinate amount of strain on the pelvic floor.
Paradoxically, when done properly, weight-bearing exercise can IMPROVE core strength, helping prevent prolapse and Urine Incontinence (UI).
⭐ The key is performing the exercises correctly.
More importantly, it’s about listening to your body.
If you are having problems or are concerned..
Consult with your doctor or physiotherapist; have an internal exam done to ensure your pelvic floor is healthy.
If you leak urine while exercising, consult your healthcare provider as soon as possible. Leaking urine is common, with one in three women experiencing UI at some point in her life, but it’s not normal.
Focus on proper technique and balancing weight loads.
Give your body time to heal after childbirth.
So you may be wondering then, how do I strengthen my Pelvic Floors?
To strengthen your pelvic floor muscles, sit comfortably and Squeeze in the muscles around the front passage as if trying to stop the flow of urine .
Squeeze in the muscles around the vagina and suck upwards inside the pelvic.
Squeeze in the muscles around the back passage as if trying to stop passing wind.
Do not hold your breath or tighten your stomach, bottom or thigh muscles at the same time.
When you get used to doing pelvic floor exercises, you can try holding each squeeze for a few seconds.
Every week, you can add more squeezes, but be careful not to overdo it, and always have a rest between sets of squeezes.
After a few months, you should start to notice results. You should keep doing the exercises, even when you notice they're starting to work.
I always find including them as part of your daily routine really helps.
Perhaps before starting work, when you’re at your desk, at the end of the day or even whilst you're brushing your teeth!
Whatever the case...don’t forget your pelvic floor health!
As with all muscle training exercises, practice makes perfect!
NB If this is a concern for you, as with anything medical, please do contact your health practitioner.