The Pelvic Floor is a sling of muscles, which pass from the pubic bones to the coccyx. A little bit like a hammock.
It supports abdominal organs and the growing baby. It is also involved with continence of urine and faeces. It has the ability to stretch to allow birth to happen.
The muscles are made up of both different muscle fibre types.
Slow Twitch – These fibres are slow to fatigue. They have the ability to contract over a long period though not a very strong contraction.
Fast Twitch – These fibres have the ability to produce immediate strong contractions.
To put it simply when we are busting for the toilet it’s our slow twitch pelvic floor that works. When we laugh, cough or exercise it’s our fast twitch pelvic floor muscles that are working.
All that said it’s easy to see why it is so important to maintain a healthy pelvic floor.
You probably don’t realise but every time you squat you are using your pelvic floor as it tightens and stretches through the range of movement. A squat is a very natural way of using the pelvic floor, and in my opinion my preferred method of working it.
A great way to work it alongside Kegals is to hover above the toilet sit with good squat form and slowly allow yourself to wee. Try stopping mid flow and then starting up again.
Kegals will isolate the muscle, which I don’t feel is the best or exclusive way it should be train.
I believe importance should be placed on the whole body approach thus addressing your posture and core strength.
“Ok but Sal I am pregnant I can’t do core exercises like I use to”
Imagine you have a clock face on your tummy and hips.
12 is your belly button while 6 is your pubic bone. 3 and 9 are either side of your hips.
Work on bringing 12 and 6 together and releasing. Next 3 and 9, draw together and release.
Mix in slow and fast pase and bingo your working on your core.
Try this for a few minutes each day alongside some toilet squats.
Remember past 37 weeks your squats don’t want to be super deep. This can bring on signs of early labour.
Sally Dixey is a Crossfit London Coach.