Pelvic Floor Relaxation Exercises to Relieve Pelvic Pain

Is pelvic pain and spasm ruling your life?

Do you need pelvic floor relaxation exercises?

Regular pelvic floor relaxation exercises can help relieve painful muscle spasm and associated pelvic pain.

Video Contents:

Pelvic floor relaxation video presented by Pelvic Floor Physiotherapist Michelle Kenway demonstrating 3 pelvic floor relaxation exercises; deep breathing exercises, lower deep abdominal muscle relaxation and pelvic floor muscle relaxation technique.

Please scroll down below this video for written guidelines and more expert tips for pelvic floor relaxation exercises.

Best Position for Pelvic Floor Relaxation

For the purposes of this video all 3 exercises are demonstrated in sitting.

When starting out it is beneficial to position your body lying down for exercise 3 (pelvic floor relaxation).

If sitting or standing feels uncomfortable then start all these exercises lying down and progress to upright positions when tolerable.


Let’s now examine each of the 3 pelvic relaxation exercises in turn:

1. Deep breathing exercises
2. Lower deep abdominal muscle relaxation
3. Pelvic floor muscle relaxation

Pelvic Floor Relaxation Exercise 1: Deep Breathing Exercises

Deep breathing exercises help relieve pelvic floor muscle tension

Shallow upper chest breathing can be associated with pelvic floor tension.

If you’ve ever practiced Yoga breathing you will be familiar with the diaphragmatic breathing exercise technique.

Deep Breathing Exercise Technique:

  • Set your posture by lengthening your spine and lifting the crown of your head (if sitting or standing)
  • Place your hands above your waist either side of your lower rib cage
  • Inhale deeply bringing air into the base of your lungs – your hands should move outwards with the expansion of your rib cage
  • Your belly should move forwards or outwards with your deep inbreath
  • Exhale slowly and allow your rib cage to return to starting position

Pelvic Floor Relaxation Exercise 2: Lower Abdominal Muscle Relaxation

Many women habitually contract their lower abdominal muscles; sometimes as a result of intense core abdominal exercises with insufficient relaxation or in some cases to flatten the appearance of their belly.

Learning to relax the lower abdominal muscles helps to relax the pelvic floor muscles. Abdominal relaxation is also helped by the deep breathing exercises already described.

Abdominal Wall Relaxation Technique:

  • Position your hands over your lower abdomen (belly) beneath your navel where your underwear sits
  • If you are upright make sure that you sit or stand with tall posture
  • Allow your lower abdominal wall to relax and bulge forwards into your hands
  • Lower abdominal relaxation can be helped by practicing deep breathing at the same time.

Pelvic Floor Relaxation Exercise 3: Pelvic Floor Muscle Relaxation

If your pelvic floor muscles are in spasm it can be very difficult to feel whether they are contracted or relaxed.

The best position to start pelvic floor relaxation exercises is lying down in a comfortable position – either on your back with a pillow under your knees or side lying on your with a pillow between your thighs.

Take your time to learn to feel the difference between contracted and relaxed pelvic floor muscles- if your pelvic floor has been in spasm for a long time this can take a while to learn.

If you have pelvic floor spasm, pelvic floor contraction exercises should be avoided until you know how to relax your pelvic floor muscles.

Pelvic floor exercises for strengthening in the presence of pelvic muscle spasm can make symptoms much worse.

Pelvic Floor Muscle Relaxation Exercise Technique:

  • Identify your 3 pelvic openings – around the anus, vagina and urine tube (urethra)
  • Notice any feelings of tension or sensations in and around these 3 pelvic openings
  • Try to release and relax the muscles in and around your pelvic openings and allow your pelvic floor to move downwards
  • If you can’t feel your pelvic floor you may find that placing your hand outside the crotch in your briefs helps you relax your pelvic floor muscles
  • Incorporate the 2 previous exercise techniques (deep breathing and lower abdominal muscle relaxation) when practicing pelvic floor relaxation exercises.

Avoid bearing down or straining downwards on your pelvic floor during pelvic floor relaxation exercises – the correct action is to gently lower your pelvic floor and release your muscles as if opening in and around your three pelvic openings.

Pelvic floor relaxation exercises should never cause physical discomfort. In the unlikely event that you feel discomfort during or after relaxation exercises cease them and consult with your medical practitioner. Pelvic floor relaxation is usually performed at home as an adjunct to clinical therapy.

Pelvic Floor Muscle Relaxation Combo Pack

Pelvic Floor Relaxation Combo Pack Soft Pink

Relax your pelvic floor muscles and ease pelvic floor tension using the Pelvic Floor Relaxation Pack.

Pelvic Floor Combo Pack is designed for home self management of pelvic floor tension and includes this expert Pelvic Floor Relaxation CD and pelvic warm pack






  1. When you exhale do you ever slightly engage the belly in? For this video I see where you are saying when you exhale you keep the belly extended but let it go to the sides, but don’t you have to engage it somewhat?
    Thanks for all you share ;)

    • Michelle Kenway says:

      Hi Karen

      Thanks for your question. Yes I think that perhaps you’re thinking of the true Yoga-style diaphragmatic breathing that encourages some abdominal activation towards the end of the exhale. I deliberately don’t teach this breathing technique for women with pelvic floor muscle tension issues, the problem being that some of them automatically activate their pelvic floor and abdominal muscles at the same time. This breathing pattern is specifically to train pelvic floor relaxation so for this reason we try to let the air move from the lungs passively rather than through forceful expiration. Does this make sense?


      • Thanks Michelle for your quick reply ;)

        So yes, this does make sense for training that concept. And, one I need to adhere to in ordinary daily activities….I am constantly working on softening my belly because after I started feeling a bit of bladder prolapse I realized I have taken that belly in and up from my yoga practice into my daily life! So know it is a mindful act I work on, to soften both the belly and pelvic floor ( I think I am softening the pelvic floor ~ it doesn’t seem tense when I relax the belly).

        But, is it okay to exhale ~ belly in and up in my yoga practice as long as I keep it gentle? I teach my students to soften their belly on the inhale bringing that breath up expanding the rib cage and then the lungs, and gently engage the belly in and up on the exhale as they release all breath, is that ok?

        Thanks again, Karen

        • Michelle Kenway says:

          Hi Karen

          Yes I think gentle is the key when it comes to abdominal activation with the exhale in general classes particularly when working with women at risk of pelvic floor problems. Maybe you might practice the exhale without the abdo indraw initially and when you know you can relax your pelvic floor voluntarily exhale with a gentle abdo indraw and notice if this cuases any pelvic floor tightening. Definitely avoid the strong abdo indraw with all exercises.

          All the best

  2. Thank you Michelle. I find it very hard to relax my abdominal muscles. I feel constantly engaged in my torso area. I try to be mindful, however, I am always tense in this area.

    • Michelle Kenway says:

      Hi Mary
      You know I see this quite often – the trick is to breathe into the belly. Yes be mindful and when you notice remind yourself to breathe into your belly. It takes time and practice and it is very possible to untrain this inappropriate pattern of activation before training the correct pattern
      All the best

  3. I think it is so unfair that these exercises have been written for women. I am a male with pelvic floor issues and there are plenty other males around with these issues. Please be aware of that. Pelvic floor issues do not just relate to women. Thank you.

  4. Do we actually bulge the perineal area while the belly is in the outward position

    • Michelle Kenway Physiotherapist says:

      Good question Alex, I think in some women the perineum will bulge, in others it won’t however there will be a gentle downward force exerted against the perineum from within when the belly is voluntarily bulged outwards. it is this gentle pressure that we use to promote some pelvic floor relaxation and lengthening.

  5. Hi Michelle,

    Thank you so much for your generous advice to pelvic floor (PF) condition sufferers.

    I go through several episodes a day of PF painful spasms derived from a prostate radioactive brachytherapy (with perineal insertion of the radioactive “seeds”, 78 in my case, with the inherent trauma on the levator ani). I have been diagnosed by a urologist specialized on PF cases. I dislike enormously the intrusive transrectal manipulation of the pertinent muscles for it produces me very high psychological stress that in turn forces me to take prescribed sedatives that cause me cardiac arrhythmia (tachycardia AND extra palpitations)..I am trying to avoid, both, prescription muscle relaxants, and surgery. Hence, I am exploring the avenue you so generously offer.

    Please tell me how many exercise sets per day should be performed? And, how many repetitions of each exercise? What particular exercise(s) should be done to alleviate sudden (painful) spasms? Could permanent relief be ever achieved? If so, how long it takes (typical/average) if one follows “religiously” the exercise regime?

    Thank you again for all you do for us,


    • Michelle Kenway Physiotherapist says:

      Hi Rene

      Thank you for your comment/question. Pelvic floor relaxation is an excellent adjunct to managing pelvic floor spasm. Often this type of therapy is used along with manual therapy to promote pelvic floor relaxation. Rene there is no set number of exercises, ideally treatment involves a daily practice of lying down and including whole body relaxation along with specific pelvic floor relaxation. I think a really good place to learn to do this well is the Pelvic Floor Relaxation CD, it is inexpensive and equips you with the correct technique along with relaxation music it provides a very good routine for women to follow. Unfortunately I am not in a position to say whether permanent relief is possible for you, it is very individual. Rene you may also benefit from treatment with a Pelvic Floor Physio experienced in treating pelvic pain.

      I hope this provides you with some direction & wish you all the best

  6. shwetha says:

    Hi Michelle

    I am very impressed by your articles. I gave birth 3.5 months ago to a beautiful boy and suffered third degree tear with forceps. Ever since I am having severe pain during bowel movement and hours later even to sit down. Also I had bowel urgency which has improved a bit but not fully gone.

    After going through your articles I am hoping I can get to normal life someday. Need your advice how can I cope up with this ? Would a good physiotherapy help me ? Is this case of hypertonic PF ?

    Will look forward to hear back from you.
    Thanks a mil xx

    • Michelle Kenway Physiotherapist says:

      Hi Mil

      Yes I really think that an experienced pelvic floor physiotherapist will be able to help you with this and get back to normal life. It will take a thorough assessment and examination to know what’s going on and how to treat it appropriately, it may not necessarily be hypertonic pelvic floor. A pelvic floor physio will also be able to help you address your bowel urgency and bowel movements as well. The best course of action is to find a physiotherapist who has experience treating pelvic pain new mums. You may also like to watch this video on bowel movements while you are waiting for your appointment.

      Wishing you all the best and yes there is every likelihood that things will improve long-term.