Pelvic floor training at home
There are all kinds of ways to strengthen the pelvic floor: from classic yoga or Pilates through to hula hoops. We show you the options and how they work.
When the pelvic floor creates problems
Most people only think about their pelvic floor when they have a problem. This could be after childbirth, during menopause or after prostate surgery. Perhaps this is because the pelvic floor is less tangible than other muscles like the biceps. However, the pelvic floor muscles can be strengthened just as well as these. To begin with, however, it is essential to understand how the different layers of the pelvic floor are tightened.
Pelvic floor exercises: regularity is key
When strengthening the pelvic floor, fast progress is achieved if you do the exercises correctly and regularly, preferably every day. A lot of general exercise throughout the day is also important. Climbing stairs, for example, is good pelvic floor training.
Exercises, training methods and aids
The following training methods and aids are available to make the pelvic floor strong and resilient, but also to specifically relax it. This is because tightening the pelvic floor is not the only thing that's important – relaxing it is too. And this also applies to men.
Pilates exercises for the pelvic floor
Pilates specifically strengthens the muscles of the pelvic floor and the body's core. They are part of what’s known as the 'powerhouse'. In the video we show an effective 7-minute Pilates workout for the pelvic floor, which also includes relaxation.
Gymnastics ball aid
The gymnastics ball is suitable as an aid for gentle pelvic floor training during pregnancy, and also for incontinence. The exercises with the gymnastics ball are also an efficient whole-body workout.
Can a hula hoop be bad for the pelvic floor?
Swinging a hula hoop should be used as a preventive measure rather than for acute problems. Otherwise it can have the opposite effect and damage the pelvic floor.
Biofeedback involves inserting a device into the vagina or anus. This gives a visual report on how patients tighten their pelvic floor. Devices for use at home are often also connected via an app to a smartphone and offer mini training programmes.
Alternatively, there are hybrid training devices available that don't need to be inserted into the body. These consist of a mat on which you sit to do exercises, which has a built-in sensor that provides feedback by monitoring the muscles.
Training with yoga
Yoga in all its variations is an excellent form of pelvic floor training, including intensive Ashtanga yoga as well as the relaxing Yin yoga. One advantage of yoga is that it includes pelvic floor relaxation. A tense pelvic floor is often just as harmful as a weak one.