HOW TO EXERCISE THE PELVIC FLOOR
The pelvic floor is made up of 2 different kinds of muscle fibre, slow twitch fibres and fast twitch fibres. This means it’s important to exercise both types of muscle fibres for best effect.
FAST TWITCH MUSCLE EXERCISE
You can do this exercise lying down, sitting or standing:
• Tighten and relax your pelvic floor as quickly as you can 10 times in a row
• Repeat this exercise 10 times
It’s usually easier to engage the fast twitch muscles so this is a good exercise to start with.
SLOW TWITCH MUSCLE EXERCISES
1. Sit on a chair with your feet flat on the floor
2. Engage the muscles in your vagina and pull them upwards (almost like you’re trying to stop yourself from peeing)
3. Hold them in this position for a count of 4, whilst breathing normally
4. Repeat for 10 repetitions
5. When this becomes too easy, hold for longer counts
Be sure you’re not engaging the muscles in your buttocks or thighs, you can check this by sitting on your hands, if you feel any movement then stop and refocus on just your vaginal muscles.
• Sit on a chair with your feet flat on the floor
• Imagine your pelvic floor muscles are a lift
• Engage and tighten them, as if closing the door of the lift
• Now tighten them a little more and if you’re going up to the first floor
• Then tighten again as if going up to the second floor
• Then tighten them again as if going up to the third floor
• Once you’re there, don’t let go, but squeeze and release repeating the same action all the way back down to floor one.
After birth you can resume your pelvic floor exercises as soon as you feel able, within 24 hours is advisable if you’ve had a normal vaginal birth. In fact, exercising these muscles will help to reduce any swelling, and speed up the healing process!