Even though I’m a foot specialist, I am all about the pelvic floor. It is connected to the feet after all!
As I teach my patients and professionals about how to reconnect to the pelvic floor muscles I want to remind that this anti-gravity postural muscles is one that is deeply connected to our feet, breath and emotions.
Below are 5 of the biggest mistakes I see people make when trying to get a stronger pelvic floor:
➕ Holding your breath
The diaphragm is in natural rhythm with the pelvic floor and should be integrated as such during your exercises. As the pelvic floor lifts, so should the diaphragm in the form of an exhalation. In yoga this is referred to as stacking the bhandas
➕ Forgetting to lift
The pelvic floor is an anti-gravity postural muscle which means as we contract or “say hello” to our pelvic floor we should feel a lift. A fun trick is when you perform a lift of your pelvic floor you should actually feel a decrease in pressure under your feet!
This is a big one! I like to cue 20% max contraction when activating and connecting to the the pelvic floor. Stronger contractions should match the movement, meaning under load or heavy lifting the % contraction of the pelvic floor should be higher.
➕ Letting your glutes do all the work
Isolating the pelvic floor is a skill. I often find that when people are not as familiar with the pelvic floor contraction they compensate by squeezing the glutes. We want to find a pelvic floor connection without strong glute max contractions
➕ Not integrating your feet
My favourite of course! As we bring pelvic floor training into functional movement we need to make sure it is coordinated with the feet. Short foot will be the exercise to link the feet to the pelvic floor. You can see a video of that exercise below.
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