We spent Saturday finding, building, and exploring the pelvic floor. What is it made out of? What does it do? What happens if we don’t pay attention to it?
The Pelvic Floor
Several muscles make up the pelvic floor to form a hammock of sorts that keeps your organs from succumbing to gravity and collapsing into the pelvis. Managing your intraabdominal pressure is key in keeping your pelvic floor happy.
What can you do to maintain a healthy pelvic floor?
1. Proper posture
Align the diaphragms! The pelvic floor and respiratory diaphragms should always be aligned, no unnecessary posterior or anterior tilting of the ribcage or pelvis.
2. Correct breathing
Reciprocal breathing, chest breathing, and abdominal breathing can make maintaining the correct intraabdominal pressure difficult on your body by causing it to fluctuate with each inhale and exhale. Proper, 3-dimensional breath will keep the pressure even as you breathe. Stopping the breath to bear down during high intensity exercise repeatedly can set your body up for hernias, pelvic floor prolapse, and urinary incontinence.
3. Maintain muscular balance
Hyperactive tension (too much) and hypoactive tension (not enough) in the pelvic floor can lead to a host of issues, from urinary incontinence to pelvic floor prolapse. By tuning into your body, learning to identify and properly activate your pelvic floor muscles, you can begin to balance the tension.
Learning to use your deep core muscles and other stabilizers is key in any high intensity workout. If your only bracing strategy during high intensity activity is to bear down and squeeze, you are putting lots of undue pressure on your pelvic floor. Evenly distributing the pressure around the entire abdominal cavity is the best strategy.
The Beauty of Pilates Therapy
Our Pilates Therapy classes have mastered the art of building strength and body awareness before high intensity activities. Therapy classes use low threshold movements like leg slides and bird-dog to teach the fundamentals of movement and teach students to tune in and activate the best muscles to do the job. They are great classes to “meet” your pelvic floor, develop an awareness of your body in space, and create healthy movement habits.
And for the months of March and April, new students to our studio can try out a Therapy class for $5 off drop in price, or take $5 off their Intro Pass! $20 for one week of unlimited yoga, mat Pilates, Zumba, and meditation, plus one free equipment class? Call our studio at (773) 358-2998 for details!
Want to experience Body School for yourself? You can still sign up here!
Your home for lifelong health in Hyde Park