Ask Amy: Should I Be Working My Pelvic Floor?
We’re proud to have Amy Hoover on board as P.volve’s Doctor of Physical Therapy, where she’s able to consult the entire community about the method and how it impacts the body. In our Ask Amy series, she’s answering your questions first hand so you can get the most out of your work with P.volve. First, she discussed how P.volve can work seamlessly with pregnancy, and this time around, she’s exploring the topic of the pelvic floor.
We can work all day long to tone the arms with the p.band and glide our way to leaner legs with gliders, but according to Dr. Amy Hoover, there’s a whole other area most of us forget about: the pelvic floor. This set of muscles helps support the pelvic organs, and more importantly, can help give your body the balance it requires for life’s daily movements.
Most would probably be surprised to learn that the pelvic floor also includes the core—a major focal point of the P.volve workout. “All the core muscles (back, abs, pelvic floor) need to work in balance in order to really give you the stability and strength that your body needs. The core is not just your abs!” Dr. Amy explains.
Ahead, she’s diving deeper into this topic and answering reader questions about how our classes can work in tandem with other best practices for pelvic floor activation.
What exactly is the pelvic floor, and why is it important for women to pay attention to?
The pelvic floor is a bowl or sling-shaped group of skeletal muscle at the bottom of the pelvis. It plays an important role in supporting the pelvic organs, including the bladder, uterus and rectum in women. It also helps support the functions of these organs, specifically bowel, bladder and sexual function. So it is pretty important! Keeping it strong can help maintain these functions and prevent things like pelvic organ prolapse and urinary incontinence.
How and why is it relevant to the P.volve method?
The method involves core activation which includes the pelvic floor. Since your pelvic floor is involved in stabilizing your core, it is also important for maintaining good posture and form during your P.volve workouts.
How can I make sure I’m properly activating these areas?
When you hear the trainers cue for the core, include your pelvic floor. Draw your lower abs in and contract your pelvic floor, and then go into your p.sit. This will help maintain good pelvic and lumbar alignment during class and help to take the stress off of your lower back so that you can perform the moves more effectively.
What about kegels?
A kegel is simply a pelvic floor contraction. If you are doing true isolated kegels, you should not be using your gluteals, abdominals or other hip or thigh muscles. You are tightening the muscles between the sit bones that run from pubic bone to tailbone. As stated above, you need to kegel WITH your abdominal activation and keep your breath moving for ALL core and abdominal work. Work on kegels alone, but include the kegel with your abdominal work.
As always, Dr. Amy suggests starting slow and paying close attention to the tiny details in every P.volve movement. "P.volve offers many opportunities to engage your pelvic floor," she says. "Listen to when trainers cue for the core, and do this together with kegels!"
We are proud to announce Amy as P.volve’s Doctor of Physical Therapy, consulting the entire community about their work with our method. She’ll be continually providing feedback and answering important questions for the P.volve community, so keep an eye out for her advice on the blog. Feel free to email firstname.lastname@example.org for topics you’d like Amy to cover!
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