How to Strengthen Your Pelvic Floor

Strengthening the Pelvic Floor: A Guide to Improving Urinary Incontinence, Sexual Function, and Core Strength

The pelvis is a complex network of muscles, ligaments, and connective tissue that plays a crucial role in supporting the urinary system, sexual function, and overall core strength. When these muscles weaken or lose tone due to aging, childbirth, injury, or surgery, it can lead to issues such as urinary incontinence (UI), pelvic organ prolapse (POP), and decreased sexual satisfaction. In this article, we will explore the importance of a strong pelvic floor and provide actionable steps for improving overall core strength through exercises specifically designed for strengthening these muscles.

Understanding the Pelvic Floor

The pelvic floor is a thin layer of muscle fibers located between the pubic bone in front and the coccyx at the back. This delicate balance of muscles, nerves, and connective tissue is responsible for regulating urine flow, supporting bladder function, maintaining vaginal health during menstruation or sexual intercourse (and beyond), as well as contributing to overall lower body strength.

Weak Pelvic Floor: The Silent Epidemic

According to various studies, a significant proportion of the population experiences pelvic floor weakness. Statistics suggest:

  • Urinary Incontinence (UI) affects approximately 17% of adult men and up to 30-40% of women.
  • POP occurs in around 20-50% of women post-hysterectomy or childbirth.

The consequences are far-reaching: UI leads to increased stress, reduced social interaction, and emotional distress. POP may result in symptoms like bulging, pressure sensations (sensation of fullness), discomfort during sexual activities or everyday movements.

Strengthening the Pelvic Floor through Exercises

  1. Kegel exercises: Squeeze the pelvic muscles as if stopping the flow of urine.
    a) Contract and hold for 2-3 seconds, release for 5 seconds.
    b) Repeat this cycle (10 reps × 3 sets).

Additional Tips:
* Relax your perineal muscles while squeezing.
* Avoid tensing glutes or thigh muscles during Kegel contractions.

Kegels are the foundation of strengthening pelvic floor muscles and can be done discreetly anywhere, at any time!

  1. Pelvic tilts (Piriformis exercises): Slowly tilt pelvis upwards, holding for 3-4 seconds.
    a) Repeat in both directions (forward and backward).
    b) Do these motions several times daily.

These slow movements can be practiced during quiet activities or even while watching television. Remember to control the movement without overstraining or bouncing!

  1. Heel slides: Sit on floor with knees bent, feet flat.
    a) Slowly slide heels away from body (approximately 2-4 inches).
    b) Pause for 1-2 seconds and return.

These exercises not only engage pelvic muscles but also stimulate the nerves connecting to this area. As you become more comfortable, gradually increase the distance traveled.

  1. Pelvic lifts: Sit on floor with knees bent.
    a) Tuck tailbone towards public bone.
    b) Lift pelvis slightly higher (approximately 1-2 inches).
    c) Lower and repeat for multiple cycles.

This exercise strengthens key pelvic muscles responsible for supporting the bladder, rectum, and small intestine. Focus on slow movements without bouncing or jerking!

  1. Combination exercises: Alternate between Kegels, tilts, slides, or lifts.
    a) Start with short series (2-3 reps per set).
    b) Gradually increase as muscles become stronger.

Remember to pace yourself and avoid overexertion. It is essential to maintain control while engaging these muscle groups!

Practical Tips for Inclusion in Daily Routine:

  • Perform Kegels during:
    • Showering or bathing
    • Taking a walk or doing household chores
    • Relaxation techniques (yoga, meditation, deep breathing)
  • Incorporate heel slides and pelvic tilts during:
    • Television watching (adjust posture periodically).
    • Reading books or listening to audiobooks.

Incorporating these exercises into your daily routine can own a significant impact on improving overall core strength!

Additional Strategies for Enhanced Pelvic Floor Strength:

  1. Posture correction: Maintain proper spinal alignment and avoid slouching during standing, sitting, or sleeping.
  2. Bodyweight movements: Incorporate squats (frontal planes), lunges (transverse planes), and hip thrusts into your exercise routine to strengthen surrounding muscles.

To further augment the effectiveness of these exercises:

  • Strengthen gluteus medius through clamshell and side-lying lifts for optimal pelvic floor support.
  • Include isometric contractions while engaging core, lower abdominal, or thigh muscles.

By incorporating these targeted exercises into your daily regimen and implementing additional strategies for posture correctoin and bodyweight movements, you can significantly enhance the overall strength of your pelvic floor!


Strengthening the pelvic floor offers an array of benefits extending beyond urinary incontinence or sexual function. These exercises form a comprehensive approach to improving core strength while enhancing muscle tone around the pelvis.

Remember: patience and consistency are key. Start with short sessions (3-5 times per week) and gradually increase as muscles adapt. Don’t hesitate to consult healthcare professionals for personalized guidance if necessary!

Empowered by knowledge, empowered by action!