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Yep, Down There: Strengthening Your Pelvic Floor

No one ever brags about how hard they worked their pelvic floor. It just sounds a wee bit smutty. These often neglected, little muscles that support your torso from the base of your pelvis need to be demystified so you can strengthen them correctly; since they are considered an important component of your core.

If you practice yoga you might refer to the pelvic floor (PF) as the mula bandha. Most ladies work their PF by doing kegels, but that just works a portion of the muscles and doesn't necessarily help pull the PF up. The muscles of the pelvic floor fill in the space between your pubic bone (front of your pelvis), your coccyx (tail bone), and your sits bones (ischial tuberosites in anatomy lingo). The overall shape is similar to a kite and contains many different muscles. To activate the pelvic floor you want to imagine those above mentioned bones coming closer to one another as the muscles attached to them activate and pull up. It helps to think of the PF as similar to your diaphragm that moves up and down as you inhale and exhale.

Here is a subtle and simple exercise that you can do right now. It is so subtle that no one will know you are exercising your nether regions. On a four-count exhale, pull the PF up and in toward the center line of your body. Then release slowly on a four-count inhale. Allow your pelvic floor to completely relax in between repetitions. Repeat five to ten times and throughout the day.

Fit's Tip: This exercise isn't just for postpartum mamas. Nope — it is great for everybody since it helps create a stable base for motion. Aside from providing support while running and lifting weights, a toned pelvic floor provides beneficial side effects in the bedroom, too! I actually had husbands of my Pilates clients thank me for teaching their wives this exercise.

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Join The Conversation
palmbeach palmbeach 4 years
Makes your squeeze feel better :)
Tati500 Tati500 8 years
Lol where is it
JustSomeChick JustSomeChick 8 years
Kegels give me the heebie-jeebies. I just can't do them. Ugh.
kungfubunni kungfubunni 8 years
my yoga instructor always has us working our pelvic floor muscles. for the first time yesterday she mentioned "this is a great time to do kegels too." i always wondered why more yoga teachers didn't mention this?
Bettyesque Bettyesque 8 years
**Blushing** but I do them too.
itsallabouttheg itsallabouttheg 8 years
haha... i couldn't help but giggle at those descriptions. thanks amp & fitsugar!
Fitness Fitness 8 years
AMP explained it quite nicely. Imagine if you were holing in pee and trying not to pass gas. That is your pelvic floor. You want to feel those muscles moving up not just clamping down so no gas or pee escapes. I heard a yoga teach explain it like this: pull your perineum (some folks call it the t'aint) up. Hopefully that clarifies it.
UrbanBohemian UrbanBohemian 8 years
I have started up Pilates at the gym, and all the instructors mention the pelvic floor. It's a new phrase to me but I've been hearing it everywhere these days. Now that I'm seeing someone I should pay more attention to working this region out ;-)
AMP AMP 8 years
think of those muscles as the ones you squeeze when you are trying not to pee yourself :)
itsallabouttheg itsallabouttheg 8 years
i'm pretty lost too, muppets4dinner.
MuppetsForDinner MuppetsForDinner 8 years
This is embarrassing, but I have no idea how to do this. Am I the only one that cannot identify the muscles that I'm supposed to be pulling up? Anyone want to give some more specific directions to help identify these muscles?
aimeeb aimeeb 8 years
I've done kegels, then again who hasn't?
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