How to strengthen the pelvic floor

The pelvic floor is the set of muscles and ligaments that surround the abdominal cavity in its lower part. They support all pelvic organs (bladder and urethra, uterus and vagina, and rectum) and ensure their normal functioning.

The pelvic floor functions as a sort of protective arch where the bladder, uterus, and small intestine sit to cushion any pressure that may be placed on the area. Through it pass exit conduits to the exterior of these bodies.

It is important to keep it in good condition to prevent possible health problems, such as urinary incontinence, intestinal prolapse, and also to fully enjoy sexuality.


How do I know if my pelvic floor is weakened?

There are different causes why the pelvic floor tends to weaken. The muscles lose their tone, leading to certain physical and even mental dysfunctions.

The main symptoms that alert us to a weakened pelvic floor are urinary or fecal incontinence, discomfort, lumps, pain and even a prolapse of one of the pelvic organs.

Why does it generally weaken?

Women tend to be more prone to weakening of the pelvic floor for physiological reasons. While in women the urethra measures 3 cm, in men it measures 15 cm, this causes the man to reflexively contract the perineum when urinating, interrupting the emission of urine, which occurs “automatically” in women.

Women are also affected in this area by pregnancy and childbirth, which weaken the muscles of the perineum due to the weight of the uterus.

It is also weakened by chronic constipation, impact sports, obesity, chronic respiratory diseases, smoking or gynecological surgery or aggressive treatments.

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Possible consequences of this muscle weakness

  • Incontinence: It often happens that in the face of a sudden abdominal effort such as sneezing, coughing, laughing or jumping, if the muscles are weakened, it causes leakage of urine droplets or, in the worst case, incontinence. This type of incontinence affects four out of ten young and adult women. The picture may worsen if exercises are not performed to strengthen the pelvic floor, both physically and emotionally, as women stop doing physical activities or enjoying a full sex life, with the consequent loss security and self-esteem and even They may experience anxiety and depression.
  • prolapse. Organ prolapses in the abdominal region are even more serious disorders that often require surgery. These are descents of the uterus (uterine prolapse), bladder (cystocele) and rectum (rectocele).
  • sexual dysfunction. Lack of muscle tone in the pelvic floor decreases blood supply to the area and the strength of contractions. This means that the weight of the internal organs is not sufficiently supported, which leads to a decrease in the intensity of orgasms, which are not achieved and even have painful intercourse.

Why is it good to strengthen the pelvic floor?

To avoid these inconveniences and health problems, it is essential to strengthen this muscular area, even from an early age and especially after childbirth.

Exercises to strengthen the pelvic floor

It is possible to perform various techniques and exercises to keep the pelvic floor in good condition and to improve possible discomforts and diseases.

Naturally, we can tone it with exercises known as Kegel, use accessories such as Chinese balls, among others. which allow the muscles to be mobilized, even those which cannot be worked consciously.

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Kegel exercises

To find out which muscles to contract, one can do one of the following tests, without tensing the muscles of the buttocks, thighs, abdominals or stomach and while breathing normally:

  1. Imagine that you are going to have a gas leak. Squeeze the muscle around the anus (anal sphincter) as hard as you can, pulling it inward. Relax.
  2. Imagine you are going to have a menstrual discharge and you are not wearing a pad. Squeeze vagina to retain flow. Relax.
  3. Imagine that you are urinating. Squeeze as if to stop the flow of urine (urethral sphincter). Relax.
  4. Again, forcefully close, squeeze and lift all three at the same time. You will contract the pelvic floor muscles.

To perform these exercises, it will be enough to sit on a chair, legs comfortably located and slightly apart, feet resting on the floor. Also the torso leaning slightly forward with the elbows or forearms resting on the thighs.

The exercises alternate between long and fast contractions in cycles of five reps each.

Begin by contracting slowly, pulling the pelvic floor muscles as hard as you can, hold for 5 seconds and relax for 10 seconds. Repeat this exercise 5 times.

Then continue with rapid contractions: contract and lift the muscles quickly and strongly and relax them immediately. Repeat 5 times.

For the exercises to be effective, they must be performed at least 10 times a day. The repetitions can be increased as the muscle area gets stronger.

Improvements will be seen quickly within a month and a half and healthy muscle tone will be regained between 4 and 6 months after starting the exercises.

Arabic or belly dancing

By practicing this traditional dance, we learn to move and control the pelvis in all possible directions, something that we do not usually do in everyday life. It also requires a static attitude of the body and dissociation so that a precise place can be moved in time.

One hour of this dance, once a week, increases flexibility, strength and coordination of the entire pelvic region.


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vaginal cones

These cones are inserted into the vagina for a few minutes daily. Gradually his weight is increased to regain tone.

They act by the sensation of loss of the cone which is perceived, causing an involuntary contraction reflex of the pelvic muscles to retain it.

The cone is held for 15 minutes, twice a day and improvements occur within three weeks.

Chinese balls

Due to their diameter and their lightness, these balls remain inside the vagina without tightening. With this, not only the pelvic floor can be strengthened, but they can also increase the female libido. It is possible to get them in the stores of erotic products or sextoys.

hypopressive gymnastics

In 1984, Dr. Marcel Cuafrez, from the University of Brussels, developed a new technique to strengthen the pelvic floor. He saw that the diaphragm, muscle of respiration and engine of pressure in the abdomen, is also the muscle of posture.

In certain positions, the diaphragm rises, reduces intra-abdominal pressure and increases the tone of the pelvic floor and the abdominal belt.

This gymnastics works the involuntary fibers mainly of the pelvic floor. It is a static gymnastics composed of many postures. The first 10 sessions are led by a physiotherapist.

In addition

  • Regularly include fiber and probiotics in the diet that promote health and intestinal transit
  • Maintain a correct weight
  • Maintain good posture, especially when seated
  • Do low-impact activities, such as hypopressive sit-ups, cycling, swimming, or the elliptical


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