until pretty recently pelvic floor health was not widely and openly discussed. why, you ask? to some, talking about your pelvis can be uncomfortable; maybe the word pelvis gives them flashbacks of 5th grade health class or maybe they haven’t heard that our pelvic floors are clamoring for attention.
because the signs and symptoms of pelvic health issues include low bladder control, incontinence, sexual discomfort, and erectile dysfunction, i can understand why it’s not a particularly hot topic. however, those reasons are precisely why building and maintaining pelvic floor strength is so necessary for both women and men. i don’t know about you, but good bladder control is a part of life i enjoy and I’d like to keep it that way.
i could go on forever about pelvic floors - really, i could - but for now my goal is to demystify your pelvic floor and help you send it the love it so desperately desires with three simple moves that are centered around your breath and don’t involve kegels.
1. corseted breathing: in an all fours position on the floor, find your neutral spine. inhale deeply, sending your breath into the side and back body rather than the chest, letting the belly fall towards the floor. exhale forcefully and let that initiate the wrapping of your abdominal muscles to lift your belly away from the ground, while knitting the ribcage together like you’re wearing a corset. hold this corseted hug for a beat, then repeat.
2. pelvic rocks: lie down on your back with feet planted on the floor, arms by your side. again, find your neutral spine - depending on the natural curvature of your back you may have space between your back and the floor, you may not. inhale here, filling up with up with three dimensional breath: front to back, side to side, top to bottom. as you inhale, tip the pelvis forward slightly to create a bit of space between your low back and the mat. on your exhale, wrap the core muscles to knit the ribcage closed as the side body hugs in closer towards your midline. simultaneously you tip your pelvis back, shortening the distance between your floating ribs + hip bones, feeling your pubic bone reaching towards your sternum as you press the low back down to imprint your spine on the floor. hold for a beat, then repeat.
3. leg extensions: with imprint spine: on your back with feet planted, find the imprint spine that you activated in your pelvic rocks; you’ll maintain your imprint spine throughout this entire exercise. inhale to press into your left heel as you lift your right knee to a hovering table top position. exhale to extend the right leg long on a diagonal. inhale to pull the right knee back to tabletop and exhale to carefully place the right foot down on the ground to reset. repeat on the left.
try repeating these three exercises slowly for one minute each. your pelvic floor will thank you.