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What is the pelvic floor?

Female Anatomy:

Male Anatomy:

LESSON 1: URINARY INCONTINENCE

Urinary incontinence is an accidental loss of urine.  About 50% of all people have urinary incontinence.  Urinary incontinence although common is not normal.  Urinary incontinence can be "cured” with bladder training exercises.

 

There are 4 main types of  urinary incontinence.

 

1-Stress Urinary Incontinence-this is when urine leakages with extra pressure or stress on the bladder, such as with a laugh, cough or sneeze. 

2-Urge Incontinence- this is when you get a sudden urge to urinate that is beyond your control to hold, often happens when you get home and put the "key in the door”.

3-Functional Incontinence-this is when your body or mind does not allow you to get to the bathroom in time, such as from a mobility impairment.  

4- Mixed Incontinence -is when more than one type of incontinence is present i.e. urge and stress incontinence. 

Other common bladder conditions are overactive bladder and urinary frequency.  Overactive bladder is having a strong urge to urinate, incomplete bladder emptying and urinary frequency which contributes to urine leakage.   Urinary frequency is having to go to the bathroom more than 1 time in 2 hours.

 Bladder Control Tips

Notebook Dried Plants

#1-Voiding Diary

Having a voiding diary gives insight to how frequently you are going to the bathroom and what may be causing you to leak.

Keep a log for 3 days.  Consider sharing with your health care provider.

Voiding Log PDF

https://www.voicesforpfd.org/assets/2/6/Voiding_Diary.pdf

Alarm Clock

#2-Timed Voids

Try to wait 2-4hr in-between trips to the bathroom.  If waiting 2 hrs is difficult, start by adding 15 minutes to your current habit i.e if you go every hour, try to go every 1 hr and 15 minutes, then 1hr and 30 minutes for the next few days, progress to 1hr and 45 minutes until you can wait 2-4 hr between trip to the bathroom.

Vegan Bowl

#3-Nutrition

Take a look at the % Daily Value of your vitamins.  Aim for no more that 300% on water soluble vitamins i.e Vit C and Vit B etc.  Some foods also can irritate the bladder such as artificial sweeteners, caffeine, carbonated beverages, and alcohol. 

Fruits and veggies are a win! Managing constipation is important as full bowels prevent proper bladder contraction which leads to incontinence. 

To help prevent UTIs consider real cranberry juice, apple cider vinegar, and yogurt. 

Exercise: Diaphragmatic Breathing

Place your hands on your stomach and notice your hands rise as you take a deep breath in, exhale and let a long breath out.  Keep your shoulders relaxed.  Practice daily for 2-5 minutes. 

 

After you feel comfortable performing diaphragmatic breathing, bring your attention to your pelvic floor muscles and see if you can get some movement.  The pelvic floor movement is subtle and similar to gently bearing down as if initiating a bowel movement.  

 

Being able to relax your muscles helps improve bladder control.  We perform diaphragmatic breathing as a stretch in order to prepare us for an effective kegel. 

Locating the right muscles

Screen Shot 2022-01-26 at 6.51.05 PM.png

March 2020, 3D medical animation is still shot depicting levator ani its exact position and structure, Creative Commons, accessed 2 June 2020, 

Exercise: Kegels

Quick Kegel

Endurance Kegel 

A word on muscle fiber type: Fast vs. Slow

Our bodies are made up of 2 muscle fiber types from head to toe.  Fast twitch-fibers that do not need oxygen and slow twitch-fibers that need oxygen and thus a rich blood supply.

Fast twitch fibers get us across a busy street fast or help us jump, while slow twitch fibers keep us walking long distances. 

 

Our pelvic floor muscles also have fast and slow twitch fibers.  30% of our pelvic floor muscles are made up of fast twitch fibers and 70% are slow twitch. 

 

So what does that mean for you?  Well to get dry performing quick kegels all day alone will not work.  You need to challenge those slow twitch-fibers that need oxygen.  The way you do that is performing the endurance kegel.  If you cannot hold a kegel for 10 full seconds, start where you are and add one second per week until you can reach 10 seconds contracting and 10 seconds resting for 10 repetitions three times a day.

Advanced Exercises:

Balance Counter Series 1

Tip: Keep a chair behind you for safety, place your hands on the counter as needed for balance 

 

1- Stand with feet together x 30 sec

2- Stand with feet together and eyes closed x 30 sec

3-Place on foot on top of the other x 30 sec

4-Switch sides and place the other foot on top x 30 sec

5-Place on foot on top of the other and close your eyes x 30 sec

6-Switch sides and place the other foot on top and close your eyes x 30 sec

7-Return to standing with your feet together x 30 sec

The "5 Pillars of Strength" refer to fundamental movement patterns that encompass various human movements and functions. These movement patterns are commonly used in fitness and strength training programs to build overall physical strength and functional capacity. Here's an overview of each pillar:

  1. Push:

    • Pushing movements involve exerting force away from the body. Examples include:

      • Push-ups: Engage the chest, shoulders, and triceps.

      • Shoulder press: Target the deltoids and triceps.

      • Bench press: Work the chest, shoulders, and triceps.

      • Overhead press: Focus on shoulder and triceps strength.

    • Importance: Pushing movements build upper body strength, enhance pushing power, and contribute to functional activities like pushing doors, lifting objects overhead, and performing tasks that require upper body strength.

  2. Pull:

    • Pulling movements involve pulling objects or resistance toward the body. Examples include:

      • Pull-ups/chin-ups: Target the back, biceps, and shoulders.

      • Bent-over rows: Work the upper back, lats, and biceps.

      • Seated cable rows: Engage the back and biceps.

      • Lat pulldowns: Focus on the lats and upper back.

    • Importance: Pulling movements develop back strength, improve posture, enhance pulling ability, and support activities like lifting, carrying, and pulling objects.

  3. Bend:

    • Bending movements involve flexing and extending at the hips while maintaining a neutral spine. Examples include:

      • Deadlifts: Target the hamstrings, glutes, and lower back.

      • Romanian deadlifts: Focus on hamstring and glute strength.

      • Kettlebell swings: Engage the posterior chain (hamstrings, glutes, and lower back).

      • Good mornings: Work the hamstrings and lower back.

    • Importance: Bending movements strengthen the posterior chain, improve hip mobility, support lifting and bending activities, and help prevent lower back injuries.

  4. Squat:

    • Squatting movements involve bending at the knees and hips while maintaining proper alignment and balance. Examples include:

      • Bodyweight squats: Engage the quadriceps, glutes, and hamstrings.

      • Barbell squats: Target the lower body muscles (quads, glutes, hamstrings).

      • Goblet squats: Focus on lower body strength and core stability.

      • Front squats: Engage the quads and core muscles.

    • Importance: Squatting movements develop lower body strength, improve leg power, enhance mobility and stability, and support functional movements like sitting down, standing up, and lifting objects from the ground.

  5. Abdominal Exercise:

    • Abdominal exercises focus on strengthening the core muscles, including the abdominals, obliques, and lower back. Examples include:

      • Planks: Engage the entire core, including the abs and lower back.

      • Russian twists: Work the obliques and improve rotational strength.

      • Bicycle crunches: Engage the abs and obliques while promoting hip flexor flexibility.

      • Leg raises: Target the lower abs and hip flexors.

    • Importance: Abdominal exercises improve core stability, enhance posture, support spinal alignment, and contribute to overall strength and balance during daily activities and athletic movements.

By incorporating these "5 Pillars of Strength" into a well-rounded exercise routine, individuals can improve overall strength, mobility, and functional capacity for everyday activities and athletic performance. It's important to perform these movements with proper form, gradually increase intensity and resistance, and consult with a fitness professional or physical therapist for personalized guidance and recommendations.

5 Pillars of Strength

Downtime

Click on the link to learn how to Activate-the-Parasympathetic-Nervous-System:

https://www.wikihow.com/Activate-the-Parasympathetic-Nervous-System

Practice one Technique Daily

Relaxing Candles
Introspection
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