Why is it important to strengthen the pelvic floor muscles? How is it strengthened?
You’ve probably heard the words “pelvic floor muscles” and “Kegel exercises” more than once in the same sentence. Considering that this muscle group plays an important role in your health, it is no coincidence that you often hear its name.
Although the pelvic floor muscles are commonly associated with women, it is actually extremely important for men to maintain pelvic strength. Because this muscle group has very serious tasks, from stabilizing the pelvis to preventing sagging of the pelvic organs, from preventing fecal incontinence to controlling the bladder.
Therefore, the strength of the pelvic floor muscles can affect the sexual function of every person, regardless of gender. Having strong pelvic floor muscles in women can help them recover faster during childbirth and after pregnancy.
Read on to learn more about the pelvic floor muscles.
Why is it important to strengthen the pelvic floor muscles?
Pelvic floor muscles can weaken for many reasons, including childbirth, loss of connective tissue strength, menopause, weight changes, and various surgeries, all of which can affect a woman’s overall health. For men, there are many risk factors for weakened pelvic floor muscles, including aging, injury, obesity, various surgeries, injuries, and digestive problems such as constipation.
When your pelvic floor muscles are weakened, you may experience problems such as urinary incontinence, pain during intercourse, and even sagging organs in the area above the pelvic muscles. It can also have negative effects on other parts of the body that compensate for imbalances that result from problems such as stomach or back pain.
Before thinking about strengthening your pelvic floor muscles, it is important to understand if you are experiencing any symptoms that indicate weakness. For example, focusing only on strengthening your pelvic floor muscles and consistently exercising to do so may not be the right course of action. As with all muscle groups, you need to strike a balance between strengthening and stretching your muscles. Because if your muscles are already tight and overactive, workouts that don’t consistently strengthen them can exacerbate existing symptoms, such as urinary urgency, bladder pain, or pain during intercourse.
If you suspect that you have weak pelvic floor muscles, be sure to see your doctor for an official diagnosis. Depending on the diagnosis, treatment options may include dietary changes, physical therapy, medications, or surgery.
Benefits of pelvic floor exercises
Now you know what the pelvic floor muscles do and why they are important. So what are the benefits of pelvic floor exercises?
Research shows that pelvic floor exercises can help fight many diseases associated with the bladder, intestines, and pelvic organs. In addition, before and during pregnancy, pelvic floor muscle exercises can reduce or prevent urinary incontinence.
The benefits of pelvic floor exercises can be briefly summarized as follows:
Improves bowel and bladder function.
Increases sexual function.
Provides support for the pelvic organs.
Improves posture health.
Reduces the risk of sagging pelvic organs.
Accelerates recovery after surgery.
This improves the quality of life.
How to find the pelvic floor muscles?
Before we move on to pelvic floor exercises, let’s talk about how you can feel this muscle. If you try to stop the flow of urine while going to the toilet, you may feel the pelvic floor muscles. Stopping the flow of urine regularly is not recommended, as this can damage the bladder.
Exercises that strengthen the pelvic floor muscles
When it comes to strengthening the pelvic floor muscles, most people immediately think of Kegel exercises. These exercises, which can be done anytime, anywhere, help strengthen the area around the uterus, intestines, and bladder. To do Kegel exercises, make sure your bladder is empty and then contract and relax your pelvic floor muscles for 10 seconds, as if you were holding urine.
Having mastered this basic exercise, you can move on to more complex exercises. Be sure to do each exercise slowly and carefully and focus on the targeted muscles for the mind-body connection. Here are other exercises you can do in addition to Kegel exercises to strengthen your pelvic floor muscles.
This exercise isolates the pelvic floor muscles, which are critical when you need to quickly protect your body from increased abdominal pressure such as coughing or sneezing. For quick cuts:
Activate your pelvic floor muscles by imagining yourself jumping up and down while contracting and activating your abdominal muscles.
Tighten your pelvic floor muscles as much as possible for 1 second, then release and repeat.
This exercise can be done in 3 sets of 8-10 repetitions.
As the name suggests, this type of contraction aims to keep the pelvic floor muscles active longer. It also helps maintain posture and the pelvic organs during vertical movement, the two main functions of the pelvic floor muscles. For endurance exercises:
Isolate the contraction of the pelvic floor and hold it for at least 5 seconds, imagining that you are holding the contraction at the same pressure.
Start this exercise with 3 sets of 6-8 reps each day.
You may notice that you quickly lose contraction intensity during exercise, remember that this is something that will improve over time.
stair climbing exercise
This exercise is similar to controlled stair climbing and is a more difficult exercise that improves pelvic floor control. As a general rule, only do this exercise when you can sustainably engage your pelvic floor muscles for at least 8 seconds. For the ladder exercise:
Hold for about 4 seconds, tensing your pelvic floor muscles as much as possible.
Then again for 4 seconds, relax the muscles by half the initial effort.
You can do this exercise for 1 set of 5 reps each day.
You can also strengthen your pelvic floor muscles by doing the above exercises one after the other without rest. By trying to control the intensity of the contraction, you are actually preparing your body for whatever may happen to it. For example:
Do 6 quick contractions, then 5 seconds of stamina, then 5 more quick contractions.
Continue this with 1 rep of the ladder exercise.
The last word
The pelvic floor muscles are very important in supporting the pelvis, bladder, and intestines. The stronger the muscles in this area, the less likely you are to experience incontinence or discomfort during intercourse. Sometimes strengthening this area with exercise can solve the problem. However, if you experience persistent problems such as pain during bowel movements, persistent urge to urinate, or discomfort in the genital area, be sure to see a doctor. You may be interested in: “Kegel Exercises”, a way to increase sexual pleasure
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