The Core and the Pelvic Floor

The pelvic floor muscles form the base of the group of muscles commonly called the ‘core’. These muscles work with the deep abdominal (tummy) and back muscles and the diaphragm (breathing muscle) to support the spine and control the pressure inside the abdomen.

During exercise, the internal pressure in the abdomen changes.

In the ideal situation, the regulation of pressure within the abdomen happens automatically. For example, when lifting a weight, the muscles of the ‘core’ work together well - the pelvic floor muscles lift, the abdominal and back muscles draw in to support the spine, and breathing is easy. In that case, the pelvic floor muscles respond appropriately to the increase in abdominal pressure.

If any of the muscles of the ‘core’, including the pelvic floor, are weakened or damaged, this coordinated automatic action may be altered. During this abnormal situation, exercises that increase the internal abdominal pressure, overload the pelvic floor causing weakness. If a problem already exists, then pelvic floor symptoms can potentially be worsened.

What was already being done:

  • The Pilates method introduced by Joseph Pilates attracts women because of its gentle but effective nature, as well as an effective method for instructing specific muscle re-training. Pilates was created to provide a widely accessible method of recovering or enhancing pelvic floor strength.
  • Alain P. Bourcier the visionary founder of Women Wellness Workout, proposed in 1997, a method that could offer gymnastics classes helping to develop a strong body awareness along with the pelvic floor training programs (Femina Gym®) and recently 2016 an updated method

This method develops strength, balance, flexibility, posture and good breathing techniques.

It’s a combination of yoga, Pilates and pelvic floor training performed in a flow of movement.

The different postures used:

  • Supine position: lying on the back with the face up
  • Prone position: lying on the chest with the face down
  • Kneeling : standing on both knees
  • All-fours: on hands and knees
  • Crouching: to lie close to the ground with legs bent
  • Squatting: the weight of the body is on the feet
  • Lunges: one leg forward with knee bent, the other leg behind
  • Standing: legs apart and external rotation of hips

You need to be informed that exercises that increase intra-abdominal pressure have the potential to place more stress on the pelvic floor, and should be avoided or modified for those with, or at risk of, pelvic floor problems. 

Examples of these exercises include:

  • Abdominal exercises (e.g. sit ups, curl ups, crunches, double leg lifts, exercises on machines)
  • Deep lunges or side lunges
  • Wide legged or deep squats
  • Jump squats
  • Lifting or pressing heavy weights
  • Leg press machine with heavy weights
  • High bench step up step down.

With our holistic pelvic core method abPelvicGym  we take care of women who want to have a stronger and better functioning pelvic floor that does its job when she practices sports, to protect her back and finally want to perform modern and effective way to strengthen her abdominals and pelvic floor that will last a life time.

We have an exercise program for every woman: young nulliparous women who love fitness, those who had given birth and wish to get back into shape and women at the age of 50 who must maintain the bone density. All of them have to take care of their pelvic floor!

You will be assessed prior to commencing a class to establish suitability for participation and to ensure that the exercises that you do are both safe and appropriate for your needs.

During your workout, you will be practicing, under the supervision of a specialized coach, breathing exercises, Kegels, planks, clamshell, squats, ab and back exercises. It is taught in small classes and offers a wide range of programs for the beginner (“Softly” level) to the advanced program (“Dynamic” level), lasting 45 minutes.

Our core fitness tips for women:

  • Rule one: Learn how to properly contract and relax your pelvic floor muscles. Insert a set of Kegels into your regular fitness routine (to do your abdominal work at the gym).
  • Rule two: Integrate your pelvic floor with movements that occur such as sitting, standing, and walking.
  • Rule three: “Zip” it up as you do Kegels, think of pulling the zipper up as you contract your abdominal muscles, finally, stand tall with your back straight.
  • Rule four: Remember to “zip” up before you prepare to do a task that requires (vacuuming, lifting weights at the gym). Hold the “zipped” position while you’re completing the task.