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July 11, 2021

Best Pelvic Floor Exercises for Men and Women

The internal muscles that surround your bladder, urinary tract and sex organs are collectively known as your pelvic floor muscles. Doing specific exercises to strengthen your pelvic floor muscles will help you to overcome urinary problems and incontinence. Having a strong pelvic floor will also improve your sex life, allowing for better lubrication, greater orgasms, more control and, if you’re a guy, stronger orgasms.

Locating Your Pelvic Floor Muscles

The pelvic muscles are like a hammock that runs from the pubic bone to the hip bone. These muscles act as a protection for the uterus, the bowels and the bladder in women and the bladder and bowels in men.

The best way to identify your pelvic floor muscles is to contract to stop your flow of urine when you are taking a pee. Those muscles that you feel tightening are the ones that we will be working in the four workouts to come. Don’t hold your urine very often however, because this can contribute to a urinary tract infection. (If you are experiencing any bladder or urinary tract problems be sure to consult your health professional).

To be able to fully benefit from the pelvic floor exercises to follow, you need to be able to both contract and relax your pelvic floor muscles. To do this, we need to think once again about what happens when you are urinating. When you are peeing your pelvic floor muscles are totally relaxed. Your belly will be slightly pushing out and slightly down.

 

Male pelvic floor muscle exercises should be the same as those for women.

Home Workout Beginners:

Hip Spirals

  • Sit cross legged on the floor, getting as comfortable as possible.
  • Place your hands on your knees and arch your back slightly.
  • Begin moving your belly button in a circular movement, first to the right, then down, to the left and up. Imagine that you are stirring a pot with your belly button! Push your butt down into the ground as you do this.
  • This move is a variation of the kegel exercise.

Bridge Thrust

  • With your back on the floor, keep your knees bent and your arms on the floor by your sides.
  • Thrust your pelvis up as high as you can, contracting the pelvic floor muscles as you do so.
  • Hold for 3 seconds and then lower back to the floor.

Leg Up Thrust

  • While you are on you back on the floor keep your knees bent and your arms on the floor by your sides.
  • Lift one foot into the air so that your knee is at a 90 degree angle.
  • Thrust your pelvis up as high as you can, contracting the pelvic floor muscles as you do so.
  • Hold for 3 seconds and then lower back to the floor.

The Workout:

  • Hip Spirals – 3 sets of 15 reps
  • Bridge Thrust – 3 sets of 15 reps
  • Leg Up Thrust – 3 sets of 15 reps

Home Intermediate Workout

Open the Doors

  • With your back on the floor with your knees bent and your arms on the floor by your sides.
  • With your knees bent at a 90 degree angle, lift your legs from the floor so that your lower legs are parallel to the floor.
  • Now move your thighs apart to open up your legs.
  • Hold for a two count, drawing in a deep breath.
  • Bring your legs back together as you breathe out.

Ceiling Flex

  • With your back on the floor with your legs outstretched.
  • Bring your straightened leg up to as high as is comfortable.
  • Now move your thighs apart to open up your legs.
  • Hold for a two count, drawing in a deep breath.
  • Bring your legs back together as you breathe out.

Clamshell

  • Lie on your side, with your legs stacked, one on top of the other, knees bent.
  • Lift your top knee to open up your legs, while keeping your feet together.
  • Hold this open position for a two count.
  • Return to the start position

The Workout

  • Open the Doors – 3 x 15
  • Ceiling Flex – 3 x 15
  • Clamshell – 3 x 15 (each side)

Gym Beginner Workout

Smith Machine Full Squats

  • Load the appropriate weight on a Smith Machine (start with just the bar) and stand in front of the machine.
  • Position yourself under the bar, resting it across your trapezius and shoulders.
  • Unrack the bar.
  • Hinge at the hips to descend into a full squat, tightening your pelvic muscles in the bottom position.
  • Push through the heels to return to the start position.

Barbell Hip Thrust

  • Lie on the floor with a lightly loaded barbell in front of you (start with just the bar).
  • Roll the bar up your lower body so that it is resting at the level of your pelvis.
  • Bend your knees and grab the bar to support it.
  • Thrust your hips up as high as you can.
  • Contract your pelvic floor muscles in the top position.
  • Lower and repeat.

Cat Cow

  • Get down on the floor on all fours.
  • Round you back the way that a scared cat does. Hold for a two count.
  • Reverse the action to push your chest up, arching your back down and tensing your pelvic floor muscles.

The Workout

  • Smith Machine Full Squats – 3 x 15
  • Barbell Hip Thrust – 3 x 15
  • Cat Cow – 3 x 15

Home Intermediate Workout

Barbell Full Squats

  • Load a barbell on a squat rack.
  • Position yourself under the bar, resting it across your trapezius and shoulders.
  • Unrack the bar.
  • Hinge at the hips to descend into a full squat, tightening your pelvic muscles in the bottom position.
  • Push through the heels to return to the start position.

Hip Thrust Machine

  • Load the appropriate weight on a hip thrust machine.
  • Position yourself on the machine.
  • Thrust your hips as high as possible, holding the top position for a 2-count. Tense the pelvic floor muscles in this position.
  • Lower and repeat.

Diagonal Extension

  • Get down on all fours.
  • Simultaneously extend out your left arm and right foot.
  • Tighten your core and pelvic muscles as you hold for a 2-count.
  • Lower and repeat.

The Workout

  • Barbell Full Squats – 3 x 15
  • Hip Thrust Machine – 3 x 15
  • Diagonal Extension – 3 x 15 (each leg)

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Steve (Qualfied Personal Trainer and Nutritionist)


Steve Theunissen has qualified from the International Sports Sciences Association (ISSA) and is a certified Personal Trainer and Nutritionist. He has over 30 years experience in fitness and nutrition and currently working with famous fitness professionals. He is currently living in New Zealand with is wife and daughter.

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