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Pelvic Muscles: Developing the Core

Pelvic Muscles: Developing the Core

If ever there was a part of the body that is underrated for the power and stability it brings to every aspect of life, it would be the hammock of musculature in the pelvis known as the pelvic floor. This group of muscles, ligaments and tendons are the literal foundation for the body core.   Although the physiology is almost identical between genders, for women these structures hold up the reproductive organs as well as the bladder.   They are the internal structures that work with the deep abdominal and back muscles to create a sense of core strength.

Lacking core strength is almost as rampant in our country as our quickly increasing tendency towards obesity.  Chronic low back pain is perhaps the most common symptom of little core strength.  The PC muscle (or the pubococcygeus) surrounds the openings of the urethra, vagina and anus.  Weakness around theses openings create varying degrees of incontinence and pelvic organ prolapse which sometimes requires surgical repairs.   Another consequence of a weak pelvic floor is increase in sexual discomfort.

I am a textbook case of both the decline and capacity to rebuild the pelvic floor. After my fourth child my pelvic floor was so weak that all I had to do was turn too quickly and I would be down on the floor with another back injury. I literally had nothing inside holding me upright.  Even mild sexual activity threatened the tenuous stability of my back and hips. I ended up as one of the statistics for prolapse repair and spent many hours working hard to identify and locate the pelvic floor muscles that needed rebuilding. Although I did kegel exercises every time I thought about it, I often was not hitting the correct muscles and ended up straining other muscles to compensate.

The difficulty for many women in strengthening an internal muscle is that it can be challenging to locate and if you consistently do the exercises wrong, you can exacerbate the problem. If you have little or no tone in the pelvic floor it is easy to confuse an overall tightening of the vaginal muscles with the correct version which is like a pelvic floor lift. One way to test if you are using the right muscles is to see if you can stop the flow of urine. This action should also feel like a pulling up of the pelvic floor muscles.

There are also some great tools on the market which help to locate the muscles and build strength through both holding and lifting objects that you insert. The natural contours energie barbell has been a favorite device to provide both weight resistance and exercise trainer to strengthen the PC muscle. I have also been a long time advocate for the feminine exercise balls which have been modeled after the ancient use of oriental Ben Wa balls.  I love our new Je Joue collection because it provides both a range of shapes and weights which you wear for extended periods in your day and act as an internal reminder cue to pull up your PC muscles.

In fact some advanced Pilates instructors use them to help their students feel the different muscle groups as they exercise. For many women the increasing weights allows them to build up their muscles slowly and steadily.

I bow to Joseph Pilates whose understanding of core strengthening has saved soldiers, dancers and millions of womens lives over the last seventy five years. Since beginning this exercise method, I have become as physically strong as I have ever been and the power of maintaining a solid visceral core has translated into an emotional and mental confidence and ease throughout the rest of my life.   If you make only one resolution for your body in this life time–start with your core, you will be amazed.

Related:
4 Lifesaving Exercised for Sex
20 Things Every Woman Should Know About Her Vagina

Read more: Ask the Loveologist, Gynecology, Health, Love, Making Love Sustainable, Sex, Women's Health, , ,

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Wendy Strgar

Wendy Strgar, founder and CEO of Good Clean Love, is a loveologist who writes and lectures on Making Love Sustainable, a green philosophy of relationships which teaches the importance of valuing the renewable resources of love, intimacy and family.  In her new book, Love that Works: A Guide to Enduring Intimacy,  she tackles the challenging issues of sustaining relationships and healthy intimacy with an authentic and disarming style and simple yet innovative adviceIt has been called "the essential guide for relationships."  The book is available on ebook.  Wendy has been married for 27 years to her husband, a psychiatrist, and lives with their four children ages 13- 22 in the beautiful Pacific Northwest.

65 comments

+ add your own
2:52AM PST on Dec 14, 2012

Thanks for information!

5:35PM PST on Dec 13, 2012

important stuff

11:28AM PST on Dec 13, 2012

thanks for the info

12:04PM PST on Dec 12, 2012

Thanks!

12:51AM PDT on Sep 2, 2012

Good and important information.

12:39PM PDT on Aug 31, 2012

thanks..

11:58AM PDT on Aug 27, 2012

Wow, interesting stuff.

12:52AM PDT on Aug 27, 2012

Thank you

7:37AM PDT on Jun 6, 2011

thanks

6:21PM PDT on May 10, 2011

Ta!

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Disclaimer: The views expressed above are solely those of the author and may not reflect those of
Care2, Inc., its employees or advertisers.

people are talking

Wow, this is just unbelievable.

Thank you for all the good tips. I will need everyone of them come January 1st.

avocado and coconut were surprising..

The same thing should happen to people who have a disabled sign hanging from their rear view mirror …

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