Updated: Sep 10, 2020
In class you'll often hear the term 'pelvic floor'. It's important to be able to distinguish this group of muscles and be able to activate it in isolation.
The pelvic floor muscles are a group of interrelated muscles, tendons, and ligaments that form a supportive hammock at the base of the pelvic bowl. They help to stabilize the pelvis and spine and support the pelvic organs. In Pilates, we refer to the ‘powerhouse’ which consists of the pelvic floor muscles and the deep muscles of the back and abdomen. This is what we are working on when we are developing our core strength.
The pelvic floor can be weakened by things like childbirth, chronic coughing, aging, injury and inactivity - a weakened pelvic floor can cause structural imbalances that lead to abdominal and back pain. This is when our body starts to compensate for asymmetries and results in poor biomechanics, inflammation, and injury.
The pelvic floor can be weakened by things like childbirth, chronic coughing, aging, injury and inactivity - a weakened pelvic floor can cause structural imbalances that lead to abdominal and back pain.
So, it’s important to train and keep our pelvic floor muscles strong throughout life. How do we recruit our pelvic floor muscles? One way is to try to stop the flow of urine midway through emptying the bladder on the toilet. It's not recommended that you do this regularly, but it’s a good way of identifying your pelvic floor muscles. Try to stop the flow of urine for a second or two, then relax and finish emptying. This should help you identify the pelvic floor and you can then try to recruit these muscles while not using the bathroom. Try doing your pelvic floor exercises every day, your body will thank you for it!