For a Stronger Pelvic Floor, Avoid These 5 Common Mistakes
Even though I’m a foot specialist, I am all about the pelvic floor. It is connected to the feet, after all! As I teach my patients and professionals how to reconnect to the pelvic floor muscles, I want to remind them that these anti-gravity postural muscles are deeply connected to our feet, breath, and emotions. Below are five of the most common mistakes I see people make when trying to build a stronger pelvic floor.
5 Common Mistakes That Might Be Keeping You from Having a Stronger Pelvic Floor
1. Holding Your Breath
The diaphragm moves in rhythm with the pelvic floor and should be integrated as such during your exercises. As the pelvic floor lifts, so should the diaphragm as you exhale. In yoga, this is referred to as “stacking the bandhas.”
2. Forgetting to Lift
The pelvic floor is an anti-gravity postural muscle. This means as we contract or “say hello” to our pelvic floor, we should feel a lift. When you perform a lift of your pelvic floor, you should actually feel a decrease in pressure under your feet!
3. Pelvic More Mistake: Overachieving
This is a big one! I like to cue 20 percent max contraction when activating and connecting to the pelvic floor. Stronger contractions should match the movement. This means that under load or heavy lifting, the percent of contraction of the pelvic floor should be higher.
4. Making Your Glutes Do All the Work
Isolating the pelvic floor is a skill. I often find that when people are not as familiar with pelvic floor contraction, they compensate by squeezing the glutes. Instead, we want to find a pelvic floor connection without strong gluteus maximus contractions.
5. Not Integrating Your Feet: Pelvic Floor Mistake #5
My favorite, of course! As we bring pelvic floor training into functional movement we need to make sure it is coordinated with the feet. Short foot will be the exercise to link the feet to the pelvic floor. You can see a video of that exercise below.