Many of my blog posts come from questions I am asked throughout the week in classes and sessions. A few weeks ago a client told me that she had been informed by a friend that going from kneeling to standing was a pelvic floor exercise and I think she was surprised to hear that my view was that her friend was ‘kind of’ right.
You see when we take our understanding of the pelvic floor away from being an isolated muscle and consider its connections both to the bony structure of the pelvis and all the fascia and connective tissues of the rest of the body and THEN consider big movements such as going from a kneel to a stand, we can see that that the pelvic floor muscles are definitely involved. That said, we can help or hinder the good old pelvic floor connection with the way we manage pressure through our breathing.
A study has shown that there is more intra abdominal pressure (which can cause a downward ‘push’) when going from a seated to a standing position than there is lifting a 20lb weight and as most of my clients know, managing this pressure is key!
When we utilise a good, purposeful EXHALE on the work phase of an exercise (or daily life movement) we naturally get a lift in the pelvic floor, both protecting us from that downward pressure and creating some tension in the muscle. A deliberate engagement and ‘lift’ of the pelvic floor at the same time as this out breath, adds the extra ‘oomph’. Check out the moving image below to see how the pelvic floor lifts on the exhalation…
So by exhaling as we work we are getting the connection in the pelvic floor muscles that we are seeking whatever movement we are performing. You can go from a kneel to a stand and the pelvic floor can work, or we can choose to breath hold and perform the same exercise and the pelvic floor experiences pressure. You choose!
If you want to explore and reconnect these muscles in a focussed, progressed way, do check out the Holistic Core Restore® Everywoman programme and in the meantime, happy moving!