As a physical therapist and yoga instructor, I’ve worked with many women who have issues with their pelvic floors. We’re all unique, and so we all have our own unique struggles. But there’s one thing so many of my patients and clients share: believing some myths about the pelvic floor and core that do much more harm than good.
First, ask yourself if you suffer from back or hip pain, pelvic pain and pressure, or leaking (ie, urine incontinence). Perhaps a combination of all the above?
If you answered ‘yes,’ let’s look at what you believe about your pelvic floor and your core. Turns out, the pelvic floor and core myths you believe might actually be contributing to your problems!
Pelvic Floor & Core Myth #1: Tight Abs + Healthy Abs
Are you holding your breath? Constantly gripping your abs? If so, you’re not alone. We’ve somehow gotten it into our heads that strength is about gripping and holding and zipping up like Iron Man. But in fact, the opposite is true!
One of the best things you can actually do for your pelvic core is to practice relaxing it. You want to learn how to let things loosen and let things go.
You can start with this relaxing breathing technique I demonstrate in this quick video:
Myth #2: Leaking Is Normal For Mommas and Older Women
This may be one of the saddest pelvic floor myths, since incontinence can really affect your self-esteem, and it can even prevent you from doing certain activities.
So, let’s settle this once and for all: leaking is not a rite of passage for mothers. And it’s not a given, just because you’re getting older.
Instead, leaking is simply related to an imbalance in your pressure system. Breathing, posture, and the muscles you’re activating all play a role. Working on balancing these three areas can make a big difference in whether you leak or not.
If you are experiencing leaking, please know that you’re not alone, and that you’re not doomed to pads for the rest of your life! I also highly encourage you to check out the following resources:
- Strong Core and Pelvic Floor Exercises Beyond Kegels
- How To Stop Leaking When You Run
- Yoga For Pelvic Floor Prolapse
- Why Do I Pee When I Jump Rope?
Myth #3: Crunches Reduce Lower Belly Pooch
So many women would like to get rid of their lower belly pooch. And so many women think doing tons and tons of crunches is the way to accomplish this.
But if you’re doing tons and tons of crunches … how is that working out for you? Probably not very well, right?
Remember what we just covered, that breathing, posture, and muscle activation are all what matters when it comes to your pelvic floor? It’s the same when it comes to that pooch. Watch the video above to see the type of doming effect you can be causing in these types of activities when you work your core muscles. Working on avoiding this doming effect can help you actually work on that lower belly.