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Supporting female performance in sport and fitness
Supporting female performance in sport and fitness

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6 Strong to the core: training the pelvic floor

The image shows two females, one of which is lying on her back with her knees bent and other one has one hand behind the back of the female lying down and the other one her knee. She is teaching the female how to train her pelvic floor muscles.

One of the challenges many women encounter when doing any pelvic floor exercises is that it’s not obvious where they are, or what exercises they should be doing.

In Activity 3 Baz Moffat of The Well HQ [Tip: hold Ctrl and click a link to open it in a new tab. (Hide tip)] , who has taught thousands of women to train their pelvic floor muscles, will instruct you on how you should approach them.

Activity 3 A little effort for a big gain

Timing: Allow about 20 minutes

Watch the video below where Baz Moffat will help you to locate your pelvic floor muscles and then show you how to train the muscles for strength and endurance.

Once you have watched the video write down your early impressions of completing these exercises.

Download this video clip.Video player: boc_sfps_1_session4_activity3.mp4
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Your initial impression might be that it can be surprising how difficult the exercises are to do correctly because they involve subtle, small movements. As Baz says there is a tendency to just contract everything and even screw up your face with the effort involved, but it is essential not to engage other muscles. It was important that Baz stressed that they should be done every day and at least 10 lifts to be done slowly and 10 lifts to be done quickly. This will ensure all muscle fibres are worked as the pelvic floor contain both slow twitch muscle fibres (for endurance) and fast twitch muscle fibres (for strength and power).

It is important to reinforce the message from Baz that locating the pelvic floor muscles by practicing stopping the flow of urine or from stopping yourself breaking wind must only be used as a technique to reassure yourself that you are using the correct muscles.

The reason that we should not use this technique regularly is that our pelvic floors are designed to relax while emptying our bowels and bladder. If we do the opposite of relaxing the muscles by contracting them it can confuse the neural pathways between the brain and the bladder and bowels. This can lead to problems in the future, such as an inability to completely empty your bladder that can increase your risk of a urinary tract infection.