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The pelvis is the foundation of our functional dynamic body in motion. It connects the lower body to the upper body and needs stability from our core to effectively and responsibly accomplish this. Consider your abdominal canister as a house. The roof is your respiratory diaphragm, the floor of the house are your pelvic floor muscles (at the base of the pelvis), and the walls are your abdominal and back stabilizing muscles. This is the main focus of our true “core system”. We will discuss how these major muscle groups work together, how posture and breath affect this system, and how we can use these principles to 1) improve performance, and 2) reduce and/or prevent dysfunction such as injury, urinary incontinence, urgency, frequency, and pelvic organ prolapse. These strategies will benefit the high impact athlete (male and female) from high school/college levels to adult weekend warrior, the mindful yoga and pilates practitioners, and anyone who moves throughout their day wishing to fortify their core for a strong healthy lifestyle.

The four main motor components in our true “core system”:

  1. Pelvic Floor Muscles (PFM’s)
  2. Diaphragm
  3. Transverse Abdominal Muscles (abdominal stabilizing muscles)
  4. Multifidus (back stabilizing muscles)

Sports and activities to consider but not limited to:

  • Cycling
  • Sports
  • Running
  • HIIT
  • Pilates
  • Yoga
  • Crossfit
  • Weight lifting
  • Dance
  • Gymnastics

Daily tasks to consider but not limited to:

  • Loading the dishwasher or washer/dryer
  • Lifting loaded laundry basket
  • Lifting baby or toddler
  • Lowering baby into crib
  • Baby carrier, car seat
  • Changing table

  • Washing dishes
  • Vacuuming
  • Gardening
  • Getting out of the car
  • Getting out of bed

PFM Assessment and Treatment:

Many athletes feel that if they have a strong pelvic floor, they will be a super athlete and never have to worry about leakage, or prolapse. However, more often than not, these symptoms are occurring due to PFM overactivity from over training in the shortened phase and not enough lengthening of the muscles. A tight muscle is a weak muscle! This is important to identify before you start doing kegels to “fix” your problem. The kegels may be exacerbating your situation. Learning how to lengthen your muscles very well may be the key to generate an effective contraction with good strength. The focus with lengthening the pelvic floor muscles will be on the inhale.

 

Read More at Essential Pelvic Health

 

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