Random title but because of a conversation I had with a student the other day....I wondered whether this was totally clear to us as fitness professionals and therefore the women we serve.
The picture above to the right shows the Pelvic Floor in its supportive role to the pelvic organs and also as the exit points for said organs via the anus, vagina and urethra. The major structural attachment points are the Pubis, Coccyx and Ischial Tuberosities (sit bones). The picture directly below shows the Pelvic Floor muscles clearly as the majority of the red areas and the organ outlets of the anus, vagina and urethra as exactly that - organ outlets.
So, it follows that although creating tension in the vagina and anus (think Kegel style squeezing and clenching for dear life) which MOST WOMEN THINK IS PELVIC FLOOR EXERCISE will be reflected in the Pelvic Floor muscles and 'something' will be felt, the actual PF muscles are not being strengthened according to the age old principle of performing eccentric and concentric movement of the muscles according to their anchors.
In the rest of fitness, we've got this. Think bicep curl, lengthen the arm (eccentric phase), bend the arm (concentric phase) add a load, even better. Exhale as you lift even better. But somehow these basic principles have been bypassed in the world of 'interior fitness' for fitpros.
Thankfully, we have also been provided with our very own God-given system of activating the PF via respiration - exhale and Diaphragm should lift and PF should tension, TVA (deep abdominals) should activate and the deep Lumbar muscles and fascia should activate. Lots of 'shoulds' I know and indeed, after childbirth or gynae intervention these should's' need to be re-established through a bespoke programme of core restore specifically aligned with the client's degree of trauma and stage of recovery.
In summary, if we un-teach the 'clenching' and introduce the wonder of functional movement patterns that reflect the activities of all our lives squat, lunge, push, pull, bending, rotating and balance.....and the real-life challenge they pose to the PF in the eccentric/concentric fashion we will be taking a huge step forward. If we then tie these movement patterns to the the PURPOSEFUL BREATH on the concentric phase of movement this will further SUPERSIZE the activation of all the components of the CORE CANNISTER (below). The Ambassadors and I are nailing this and getting AMAZING results in our FooFooFunClub classes.
And lastly, if we work diligently and mindfully during this period of re-connection and healing (and add great nutrition and rest) we will, without a doubt create a super-strong foundation to movement that will take our clients from 'arghhhh, what's happened to my belly and PF' to deep strength, stability and power that can truly withstand force and women who don't fear trampolines or double-unders :-), look/feel great but most importantly.......function brilliantly.
To 'feel' this connection just simply bend forward slowly and feel what happens to your PF and lean backward slowly and feel what happens to your PF! It simply LOVES movement!
For more 'Down-Under', Pregnancy/Post Natal, Women's Wellness Education - I'll see you on a course soon but til then, join hundreds of us in my brilliant FB Group - just click the logo to join!