Having two children through natural birth and not really thinking too much about my pelvic floor, I have to say I don’t think I have much of one. I am hoping with the aid of the genius Elvie Pelvic Floor trainer I can soon change that.
What is your pelvic floor and why is it important to keep it strong?
I’ve always heard people discuss how important it is to have a strong pelvic floor but I never realised that regular pelvic floor exercise was that essential. After having my children, I have to say I am now starting to realise that I wish I’d paid more attention.
Your pelvic floor is a powerful layer of muscles that sits like a hammock between your tailbone and pubic bone, supporting your bladder, uterus, vagina, and rectum, to help each work effectively. If your pelvic floor is weakened those internal organs will lack full support. It’s true that one in three women has pelvic floor issues and these can affect lots of aspects of your life including core stability, bladder control and intimate wellbeing.
During pregnancy, your abdominal muscles stretch and separate slightly which creates the ‘post-baby pooch’. When trying to reverse this effect many women try starting with crunches but that’s not always the best approach.
Strengthening your pelvic floor first will provide a foundation of support to your abdominals and to the rest of your body.
The same applies to your back. Your back goes through a tough time during pregnancy and carrying your newborn, but just some small exercises to strengthen your pelvic floor are an easy, and effective way to help build the muscles from the inside.
All of these core muscle groups are linked, so start with the basics and you’ll have the strongest foundation to work from.
What are the symptoms of a poor pelvic floor?
- Leaking urine when coughing, laughing, sneezing, jumping or running
- Accidents after attempting to get to the toilet in time
- Passing wind from either the anus or vagina when bending over or lifting
- Reduced sensation in the vagina
- Tampons that dislodge or fall out
- A distinct bulge at the vaginal opening
- A sensation of heaviness in the vagina
Elvie to the resue
Exercising these hidden muscles without any help can be difficult (and boring!) The best way to get around this is with a personal trainer like Elvie.
Wearable kegal trainer
Recommended by over a thousand health professionals, the Elvie trainer is a wearable kegal trainer that works in tandem with its accompanying app. The small, sleek device is inserted like a tampon and connects to an app on your smartphone, which visualizes your pelvic floor movements in real-time and guides you through exercises designed by pelvic floor specialists to strengthen and tone your pelvic floor.
The app takes you through a series of fun exercises – reminding me a little bit of those 1990’s 2D Mario Nintendo games. The process is really engaging, but most importantly, the Elvie trainer is really discreet. It’s something you can do pretty much anywhere, once the trainer has been inserted.
Feedback, goals and progress
The Elvie app gives you real-time biofeedback, and enables you to set goals and track your progress as you train.
What I found really useful about the Elvie kegal trainer, is that it demonstrates exactly how to perform these exercises correctly – and this is REALLY important if you’re ‘pushing’ rather than ‘lifting’ you can cause injury.
Multitasking made easy
With a baby to look after, you probably feel like you don’t have any spare time for ‘exercising’ so you’ll be pleased to know you don’t need much! You can do your pelvic floor exercises whilst waiting for the kettle to boil or watching TV.
Step one: Get to know yourself… intimately
If you’re hoping to improve your pelvic health, it makes sense that you should get to know your body first. Understanding the basic anatomy of the pelvic region will give you a better idea of what’s going on inside when you squeeze.
Step two: Isolate your pelvic floor
Your pelvic floor muscles are the ones you use to stop urine mid-flow. Doing this is not in itself an exercise, merely a way to isolate the muscle group.
Step three: Find a comfortable position
The optimal positions are to lie down on your back or to stand up straight with your feet shoulder-width apart.
Step four: Lift, hold, release, repeat
Squeeze the muscles that we previously discussed (pulling up NOT pushing down) and hold for a few seconds before releasing. Repeat 5-10 times. Make sure you don’t hold your breath during squeezes.
Step five: Take it to the next level
As Elvie provides fun, five-minute workouts, you don’t have to worry about timing yourself or counting reps. Instead, you can focus on the benefits that you’ll gain; better abs, back and yes, even better sex!
It’s never too late
It’s a myth that pelvic floor exercises are only for certain groups of women, and a bigger myth that once the damage is done it’s too late to change. Even if you’ve had three kids and have never even considered doing them, today can be the day you start. See below for our quick how-to guide for beginners or visit Elvie for more information.
The Elvie Trainer is available to purchase from Elvie for £169
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