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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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