Many of us carry tension in the pelvic floor, just as one might in the neck or shoulders. The great news is that once shown the basics of how to relax the pelvic floor, you can experience relief immediately. Here's how
By Cheryl Coppa
You may not realize this, but with every movement, your pelvic floor is either with you and supporting you, OR it is getting weaker and more damaged.
Are you experiencing back pain with everyday tasks? Are you leaking? Do you always have to use the bathroom?
These symptoms become major inconveniences in our lives and most of the time we don’t even realize why. But, once we know better we can do better! All the symptoms listed above are just a few of the many symptoms of core and pelvic floor dysfunction, a weak pelvic floor, and a weak core. But here is the thing: is it tight even though you know you may have a weak pelvic floor? This is important because you can’t strengthen a tight muscle. If you were to do strength exercises (Kegels) in an effort to strengthen your pelvic floor, you would be causing more harm than good.
"Even if your arms and legs are capable of lifting heavy objects and carrying children, groceries, and car seats, when your pelvic floor is not strong enough, most likely, the force you are pushing and lifting will go into the pelvic floor, which will exacerbate your dysfunction."
In order to strengthen a muscle we need to be able to release it. It sounds effortless, and it can be! Some women are shown the basics of how to relax the pelvic floor and experience relief immediately. For others, it takes a couple of weeks. If you've been tight for years, even decades it might take a couple of months to learn how to relax the pelvic floor and experience what that feels like. You might need extra guidance on what to work on and what to avoid. This is why a guided program is so effective. Especially if you are high anxiety, it takes practice to calm and relax and connect with these muscles.
The great news is we can achieve this through education of our bodies and learning training techniques for releasing your core and pelvic floor. I’m going to share below a few poses that are helpful to relax the pelvic floor. Give them a try!
In our on-demand program and ongoing LIVE program, we are using so many different techniques to address tension and tightness in the pelvic floor. Because here is another thing we want to address, why do you have this tightness in the first place? Is it the way you move or the way you don’t move? Do you hold stress in this muscle? Just like one might hold tension in the neck or shoulders, many of us hold tension in the pelvic floor. Whatever the answer is, it's always changing, right? Based on whatever you are going through. This is why the ongoing program is so helpful for so many women.
As we face different stresses at different times in life, we can still manage this in a guided fashion and release the tension and stress that we carry in our bodies. We are only as strong as our weakest link. So, if you are weak or tight in your pelvic floor, this will affect nearly all your movements. Most often shows up as back pain and the other pains mentioned earlier, but it doesn’t end there, because everything is connected! If your arms are strong enough to carry groceries and car seats and children, and your legs strong enough to bend and pick things up, but your pelvic floor is not, this is a big concern. This is a concern because the force we are moving and lifting is most likely going down into the pelvic floor contributing to the dysfunction. We want the full function of our pelvic floor and core for these muscles to support ALL these everyday movements.
If we don’t address this now it is only a matter of time before things get worse. This is why it is crucial for pelvic health and fitness and it starts with releasing. Release tension, let it go, and relax. Meditation is always a great way to connect with the body and release. Also, give these poses a try. No rush, permission to slow down, do the slow stuff so you handle the tough stuff. Your body is amazing and it is resilient.
You can rehab and retrain your core and pelvic floor.
Wide knee tuck & roll - Have your knees wide, and pull them in toward your chest. Push your low back into the ground and gently roll side to side. Close your eyes and just breathe easily. Invite calm and relaxation as the stress and tension are released.
Extend the legs up, widen only as what feels good to you. Roll your ankles as you encourage blood flow to your pelvis muscles to help release and relax.
Happy baby pose, if you can grab the bottoms of your feet. If not, just grab your shins. Relax and rock back and forth as you encourage the muscles to relax.
About Cheryl Coppa
A certified Core Confidence Specialist (Core and Pelvic Floor retraining)
A certified Personal Trainer specializing in women's fitness over 40
Low-Pressure Fitness / Hypopressive certified by creator Dr. Tamara Rial
Pre/postnatal corrective exercise specialist
Instructor of the Pelvic Floor Health program, Ola KaOla
40 years young, wife & mother of 3