If you’re hoping to get pregnant in the near future, now is an important time to start focusing on pelvic floor strength and core stability. Even if motherhood is still a ways off for you, these exercises can benefit any woman by supporting bladder control, easing back pain and enhancing comfort during intimacy.
Why Pelvic Floor Strength Matters
Your pelvic floor is composed of multiple muscles stretching across your pelvic region. This muscular “hammock” plays a crucial role supporting your reproductive organs, bladder and bowel. Pelvic floor weakness can occur due to age, hormones, excess weight, pregnancy and delivery trauma. Strengthening these muscles now makes pregnancy, labour and delivery safer plus minimises problems like urinary incontinence after birth.
Perfect Pelvic Floor Exercises
The four moves below effectively target your pelvic muscles as well as surrounding areas like your lower back and abs which provide crucial additional support. Aim to do these exercises most days.
The classic pelvic toner, Kegels involve contracting and relaxing your pelvic muscles. Start by identifying these muscles by stopping urination mid-stream. Perform sets lying down, tightening muscles for 5 seconds then relaxing for 5 seconds. Work up to 10 second holds. Complete at least 30 contractions per day.
Squats strengthen your glutes, hamstrings and entire lower body to better support your pelvic region. With feet wider than hips and toes slightly outward, send hips back while lowering until thighs are just below parallel. Use core to stand back up while keeping weight in heels. Go for 2-3 sets of 10 squats daily.
Engage Your Transverse Abdominus
Your transverse abdominus (TA) muscles stabilise your core and spine. Find them by pulling belly button toward spine while exhaling. Practice engaging this muscle automatically with movements like lifting, coughing or bending.
These small muscles along your spine aid posture and back support. Lie on stomach with hands under forehead. Tilt tailbone up slightly then lower back down. Repeat for 3 sets of 10.
More Pelvic Floor Tips
Certain yoga poses can also help strengthen your pelvic muscles, including:
- Bridge pose
- Child’s pose
- Happy baby
Focus on contracting your pelvic floor during these yoga poses. Yoga is also great for improving flexibility and circulation to support conception.
Devices like Kegel weights or electrical stimulators can also help strengthen pelvic muscles through resistance or stimulation. Use these in combination with exercise.
Watch Your Weight
Excess weight puts more pressure on your pelvic floor. Try to stay within a healthy BMI range if possible through diet and cardio exercise before conception. Losing even a small amount of weight can relieve pelvic pressure.
High stress causes tense muscles throughout the body including your pelvic region. Practice relaxing activities like meditation, yoga, massage therapy or even just quiet time listening to music. Reducing baseline tension makes pelvic exercise more effective.
Make It a Habit
Consistency is vital when building pelvic floor strength. Set reminders to fit in these quick exercises each day. Also make sure to engage muscles like your TA and multifidus during activity. Building strength now means your body will be that much more prepared for pregnancy and childbirth down the road.