Pelvic Floor Exercises
- Imagine you are in an elevator full of people, and you feel the urge to pass gas, so you tighten or pull in the ring of muscle around your rectum – your pelvic muscle. You should feel a lifting sensation in the area.
- You should be aware of a tightening or pulling-in sensation around the back passage (the rectum) and, in women, a lifting sensation in the vagina.
- You should not move or tense your stomach, buttocks, or thighs at all.
- After tightening the muscle, relax it. You have now completed one contraction.
- There are two types of pelvic floor muscle contractions – short (2 seconds) or quick contractions and slow (3, 5, or 10 seconds) or long contractions.
- Do the short or quick muscle contractions: contract or tighten the muscle quickly and hard, and immediately relax it.
- Do the slow or long (sustained) contractions: contract or tighten the muscle and hold for a count of 3, 5 or 10 seconds (as prescribed), then relax the muscle completely.
- When beginning to exercise, you may only be able to do the long contractions for a few seconds.
- Both types of contractions need to be repeated at least 8-10 times, giving a 3-10 second period of recovery between each repetition.
- Exercises should only take around 10 minutes and should be performed at least twice a day.
Concentrate and tighten only the pelvic floor muscle. Do not tighten thighs, buttocks or stomach. If you feel your stomach move, then you are also using these muscles. Do not hold your breath. Breathe normally and/or count out loud as you exercise.