Pelvic floor exercises for women in 3 simple steps for beginners with Pelvic Floor Physiotherapist Michelle Kenway.
This Physiotherapist guided video teaches you:
- 3 essential steps for doing pelvic floor exercises (Kegel exercises)
- Best positions for beginners and then for progressing pelvic floor exercises for women
Pelvic Floor Exercises for Women Video
0:00 Pelvic floor exercises for women
0:59 Starting position for beginners
1:11 Locating pelvic floor muscles
2:39 Pelvic floor exercise mistakes to avoid
2:51 Step 1 pelvic floor exercises
3:46 Step 2 pelvic floor exercises
5:05 Step 3 pelvic floor exercises
6:44 Positions for pelvic floor exercises (beginners)
7:13 Positions for progressing pelvic floor exercises
Pelvic Floor Exercises Daily Workout TRAINING
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Strengthen your pelvic floor with daily Kegel exercises.
This evidence-based pelvic floor training workout guides you step by step towards a strong well functioning pelvic floor. Presented by Pelvic Floor Physiotherapist Michelle Kenway
Track 1 – Introduction to Successful Strengthening
Track 2 – Finding your Pelvic Floor
Track 3 – Feeling your Pelvic Floor Muscles
Track 4 – Using the Correct Pelvic Floor Exercise Technique
Track 5 – Beginners Pelvic Floor Exercises Workout
Track 6 – Intermediate Pelvic Floor Exercises Workout
Track 7 – Progressing and Maintaining your Strength
Pelvic Floor Muscles Location
The female pelvic floor muscles sit at the base of the pelvis, shown in red in the anatomical model below.
You can see how the pelvic floor muscles encircle the female pelvic openings; the anus, vagina and urethra (sits in front of the vagina).
Pelvic Floor Exercises for Women in 3 Steps
The correct action when doing pelvic floor exercises for women is to squeeze and lift the pelvic floor muscles inside and around these 3 pelvic openings shown above. Then relax the muscles back to resting position for one complete pelvic floor exercise.
- Squeeze and lift inwards contracting the pelvic floor muscles that wrap around the anus (shown below).
- This action is similar to contracting around the anus as if to stop gas from passing.
- Relax these muscles after contracting them and allow them to briefly rest.
- Keep the buttock muscles relaxed throughout this exercise.
- Squeeze and lift the pelvic floor muscles in and around the vagina (shown below).
- This action is similar to resisting withdrawing a tampon using the pelvic floor muscles.
- Relax and rest these muscles after contracting them.
- Keep the upper abdominal muscles relaxed throughout. It’s quite normal to feel the pelvic floor muscles around the anus to contract at the same time and to feel the lower abdominal muscles tense slightly1.
- Squeeze and lift the pelvic floor muscles around the urethra (urine tube).
- Relax and rest these muscles after contracting them.
- Breathe normally throughout this exercise and avoid holding your breath.
- It’s quite normal to feel the pelvic floor muscles around the vagina and anus contract at the same time.
Pelvic Floor Exercises for Women Combining Steps 1-3
- Pelvic floor exercises for women combine steps 1-3 by squeezing and lifting inwards around the anus, vagina and urethra all at once.
- The pelvic floor muscles are then relaxed back to resting position to allow muscle recovery before attempting the next exercise.
3 Best Positions for Pelvic Floor Exercises
Progressing pelvic floor exercise positions involves adopting pelvic exercise positions that progressively increase the resistance force of gravity acting on the pelvic floor muscles 2.
1. Lying Down
The best position for beginners to start their pelvic floor exercises is usually lying down. This position avoids lifting the pelvic floor muscles and the weight of the pelvic contents up against gravity which occurs in upright positions.
Suitable lying down pelvic floor exercise positions include:
- lying on the back with knees bent (shown below)
- lying prone on the belly
2. Sitting Upright
Progressing pelvic floor exercises from lying down often involves doing pelvic floor exercises sitting. When using this position sit away from the back of the chair to optimize pelvic floor muscle action.
Pelvic floor exercises performed sitting on the arm of a chair3 or a towel roll (shown below) can improve feedback about whether the pelvic floor muscles are contracting and relaxing. A towel roll pressing into the pelvic floor can also provide a reference point to lift the muscles away from.
3. Standing Upright
Advanced pelvic floor exercises are usually performed standing upright. The pelvic floor muscles are required to work harder lifting the weight of the pelvic contents against the force of gravity in the upright standing position. Standing is also the best functional training position for pelvic floor exercises because this is the position that the pelvic floor muscles need to work when a woman is standing and walking during the course of the day.
Women who are at beginners and intermediate level are also encouraged to work towards doing their pelvic floor exercises standing upright as soon as they feel confident to do so.
1 Sapsford RR, Hodges PW, Richardson CA, Cooper DH, Markwell SJ, Jull GA. Co-activation of the abdominal and pelvic floor muscles during voluntary exercises. Neurourol Urodyn. 2001;20(1):31-42. doi: 10.1002/1520-6777(2001)20:1<31::aid-nau5>3.0.co;2-p. PMID: 11135380.
2 Bø, K., Talseth, T., & Holme, I. (1999). Single blind, randomised controlled trial of pelvic floor exercises, electrical stimulation, vaginal cones, and no treatment in management of genuine stress incontinence in women. Bmj, 318(7182), 487-493. https://www.bmj.com/content/318/7182/487.short
3 Bø, Kari & Mørkved, Siv & Aschehoug, Arve. Chapter 6. (2104) Pelvic floor and exercise science. In Bo, K., Berghmans, B., Morkved, S., & Van Kampen, M. Evidence-based physical therapy for the pelvic floor: bridging science and clinical practice. Elsevier health sciences. 10.1016/B978-0-7020-4443-4.00006-6.