The pelvic floor can be switched on during basically every single workout - but that doesn't mean that every form of exercise is a pelvic floor workout. So understanding how to active it will not only help your form become better, but it will also help your core and stomach get toned faster and more effectively! Here's how it's done.
Courtney Virden, a pelvic floor, health, and wellness expert, explained how to do this properly. “A woman’s pelvic floor should be strong, toned, and responsive, and being aware of it can help you activate it while working out,” Virdin said. “As we breathe in, our pelvic floor descends and lowers slightly, and as we exhale, it gently lifts. Think of your core as a balloon that gently expands and contracts (your pelvic floor is the base, and the diaphragm is the top).”
The goal of this technique is to try and activate the core before you get into your workout - whether it be HIIT, pilates, yoga, or cycling, your core is used for everything! But being mindful that it's on will immensely accelerate its beneficial effects. "To become more aware of this movement, sit in a chair or on top of an exercise ball and breathe in deeply. Feel your pelvic floor slightly lengthen, and as you exhale, the pelvic floor will lift slightly."
So what exactly are the advantages of pelvic floor work? According to Virden, the more you cautiously initiate the core to work, the better your connection with it will be. "For example, deep squats (especially with toes turned out) allow the pelvic floor to lengthen. And as you stand up, the pelvic floor contracts (picture that balloon and what happens as pressure is applied from the top or side, and you can understand how your pelvic floor will react to different movements)," Virden explained. Once you do this, you will quickly feel the tightness occurring around your stomach area. While it does get some getting used to (especially while doing it while breathing properly and holding your form), the more you do it, the easier it will get. And after a few weeks of pelvic floor activation, you'll probably be thanking us!