Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Pelvic Floor Exercise or Senaman untuk *tut*

One of my students in last monday's session told me she feels a sore at the bottom of her tummy everytime she does a crunch. I immediately recognised her problem, it wasnt her tummy but her pelvic muscles. She was surprised when i said her pelvic muscle is weak. She was surprised because thats exactly what her doctor told her when she complained about the soreness to her doctor. When asked what the doctor recommended her to do, she says the doctor did not recommend anything specific.
I am not saying i am smarter than the doctor, but as a fitness trainer with so many years experience, ive seen cases worst than hers. I straight away recommended her to do Kegel exercises.
Have you heard of the Kegel exercise? A lot of people are too shy or probably think its a taboo to ask about these exercises. I always try to 'squeeze' in these exercises during my workouts without specifically telling the class whats its for. I hinted and perhaps most women especially the married ones understand what i am saying.

Kegel exercises are a series of pelvic muscle exercises designed to strengthen the muscles of the pelvic floor. I prefer to call it conditioning of the pelvic muscles or pelvic floor exercises.

The name Kegel comes from a Dr Arnold Kegel who invented or shall i say develop these exercises in the 40's. It is an exercise or a method for strenghthening the pelvic floor muscles which supports the uterus, bladder, bowel and is especially good for woman after childbirth.

These exercises will strengthen and toned your pelvic floor muscles when done regularly. It will also reduce the risk of incontinence or unable to control your bladder as you grow older.

Unfortunately for us women, we are always put into conditions that might affect our pelvic muscles. Conditions like pregnancy, childbirth, aging, overweight or sometimes a genetic weak tissue. Even a bad cough can put us into this condition if we are not careful or didnt bother to do anything about it.

I always find it difficult to explain when doing these exercises to a class. This is because it is not easy to teach the class how to identify which muscle they have to work on unless of course i have to put on a mask and be blatant about it. Its rather embarrassing when i keep telling the class to squeeze or contract the pelvic muscle and then relax them. Sometimes....... one fine lady will come up to me and ask me which muscle to contract!

Let me try to put it as simple as possible yea. Try stopping the flow of urine while you are going to the toilet. But dont make it a habit of starting and stopping your urine stream. Doing this exercise with a full bladder can actually weaken the muscles.

Once you have identify the muscles, empty your bladder.

You can start doing the exercise by sitting, lying down or just standing.

You must learn to isolate the correct muscle. A lot of people made a mistake by flexing the abdominals, thigh or the glutes.

Contract the pelvic floor muscles. Hold the contraction for 8 seconds and then relax for another 8 seconds. We'll call this a set. Repeat say for another 2 sets. Once perfected, try doing for 4 sets. Gradually increase the sets to 10 sets. Do it 3 times a day. This exercise is so accommodating because you can do it anytime, while washing your dishes, while doing household chores or even now, while reading this posting sitting down in your office or at home. Just relax, breathe normally and focus on tightening the muscle. Stick to this as your normal exercise program.

*Last but not least, these exercises, along with doctors counseling may be helpful to women who have problems reaching orgasm. ;)