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The best pelvic floor exercises for at home

The best pelvic floor exercises for at home

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What is the pelvic floor?

The pelvic floor refers to the lower part of the pelvis, which closes the pelvis, supports the internal organs and keeps the body upright. It keeps the sphincters of the bladder and intestines going.

These three muscle layers above the pelvic outlet are only fist-sized and yet extremely important: they connect the legs and trunk and keep the body upright. Without this part of the body, we would not be able to stand on the floor, coordinate our gait and hold our bodies.

This also means that the better we train this body region, the smoother we move. When we move out of these muscles, we create a flat stomach, slim thighs and a protruding chest.

Conversely, if we cramp the pelvis in the long run, the weight is insufficiently transferred to the legs; so we overload the joints and hips and knees as well as the spine. Our movements appear "as if we had a stick in the rear".

Muscles and tissues

The pelvic floor consists of connective tissue and muscles and divides into the rear part of the pelvic floor, which is penetrated by the rectum, the front part, through which the urethra passes and the vagina of the woman - plus swelling and sphincters.

What is the pelvic floor for?

The connective tissue and muscles serve to tighten muscles, relax them and relieve pressure in the abdomen.

These functions can be disturbed by: obesity, overload, surgery and medication. Birth often weakens the muscles in the lower part of the pelvis, and this can lead to vaginal prolapse and lowering of the uterus. Special training counteracts this. In addition, women can control their orgasm and enjoy more with such exercises.

If the muscles at the end of the pelvis in women are permanently tense, this can cause a vaginal cramp. Sex causes them pain.

Usually the pelvic floor works without us controlling it at will. But this steering can be trained. The muscles of the pelvic floor are connected to the abdominal, back and respiratory muscles.

We work the muscles together?

Because the pelvic floor works together with the abdominal muscles, a trained stomach relieves it. The back muscles support the spine and hold the pelvis. If the back muscles are weak, this directly affects the pelvic floor.

The pelvic floor holds the abdomen together because it supports its organs. There is connective tissue between these organs that absorbs pressure. So the better the abdominal and back muscles are in shape, the more upright the abdomen is, the better it can withstand pressure - this in turn relieves the pelvis.

The bottom of the pelvis is also closely related to the bladder. When urine collects there, the muscles of the pelvic floor close off the urethra. If the bladder empties, the floor of the pelvic cavity relaxes beforehand. If it works, the muscles will then automatically tighten again. The pelvic floor muscle fibers keep the bladder tight, even when it's under stress.

The muscles in the lower part of the pelvis support the rectum. They tense up as the chair gathers and relax to release it.

The upper muscles of the pelvic floor enclose the cervix and vagina. These muscles are necessary for pregnant women to support the embryo and uterus. The muscles must also be flexible so that the child can enter the world through the vagina. That is why muscle training makes sense for pregnant women.

Caution: Women should not start exercising immediately after birth. The dam has to heal first and the overstretch has to go back.

Good sex

The lower part of the pelvis plays an important role in sex. If the muscles are in good shape here, that means they are well supplied with blood, this promotes sensitivity. These muscles regulate the size of the vagina, and exercise improves the ability to consciously contract or relax them. A trained pelvic floor helps men maintain an erection. Frequent mastrubation can also train the pelvic floor muscles.

Good breathing

A trained pelvis helps you exhale. The diaphragm sinks on inhalation and lifts on exhalation - the muscles of the pelvic floor move into the abdomen. If the muscles are in shape, the lungs can slowly release the air.

Last but not least, professional speakers also benefit from the training. If the corresponding muscles are in shape, this supports the speech apparatus.

When does the pelvic floor become weak?

- The strength of the pelvic floor muscles weakens in old age

- Overweight strains the muscles; the heavier a person is, the more the muscles have to work

- Births strain the body area, the more children a woman gives birth to, the more the ability to hold decreases

- Those who carry heavy loads frequently use this part of the body excessively

- If women go through menopause, the estrogen level weakens the muscles in the lower pelvic area

Overview of pelvic floor exercises

To train the pelvic floor, we start with breathing exercises. To do this, we lie down on the bridges, grip our legs and keep our feet flat on the ground. This is how the abdominal wall relaxes.

Then we put our hands on our stomach and breathe in and out calmly. If the abdominal wall rises and lowers when exhaling, we do it right.

We now take a deep breath and “pump up” our abdomen. So we move the pelvic floor down.

As we exhale, we let the air out of the abdomen, the abdominal wall retracts, and the pelvic floor moves back to its old place.

We repeat this inhalation and exhalation several times until we are familiar with it, because the other exercises for the pelvic floor are based on breathing.

Next, we develop a feel for the muscles of the pelvic floor

For this we bring the vagina or penis and anus closer together. This serves to pull the pelvic floor into the stomach. Then we bring the pubis and coccyx together. We then try to pull the anus together and act as if we were holding the urine.

So we are preparing to deliberately tense and relax the pelvic floor. If we succeed, we can start the exercises.

We are just tensing up the pelvic floor muscles as much as we can, all other muscles remain relaxed, and we hold the tension for about eight seconds. We repeat this exercise ten times and three times a day.

In the next exercise, we stand upright and put our hands on our bums. Then we try to pull the muscles in the lower part of the pelvis upwards and inwards at the same time. We repeat the exercise several times.

Then we kneel on the floor, open our legs so that the feet touch. We put our heads on our hands, we push our buttocks up, close our knees and contract our muscles on the pelvic floor. We repeat the process six times.

We do another exercise cross-legged. We keep our backs straight and support our hands on both sides. Then we lift the muscles upwards and inwards. We conduct this training eight times.

Then we lie on our backs and pull our knees up, exhale and lift our buttocks. We briefly pull in the stomach. We repeat this exercise eight times.

In the end we sit on a chair with our feet firmly on the floor. We raise the legs so that they don't touch the floor, keep the knees closed and the back straight. Then we tense the muscles on the abdomen and buttocks and exhale. When we inhale again, we put our feet on the floor. We repeat that ten times.

Prevention in everyday life

We can not only train the pelvic floor, but also take care not to put unnecessary strain on it in everyday life by:

- tense him up when coughing

- When lifting heavy things, keep your back straight and tighten the muscles in your stomach and pelvis

- do not stand too long if it can be avoided

- lay on our backs in between and raise our legs

A strengthened pelvic floor keeps all internal organs in place, thus improving our body awareness, posture and sexual experience. (Dr. Utz Anhalt)
(Silhouette images: Vektormaus / fotolia.com)

Author and source information

This text corresponds to the specifications of the medical literature, medical guidelines and current studies and has been checked by medical doctors.

Dr. phil. Utz Anhalt, Barbara Schindewolf-Lensch


  • Beate Carrière: pelvic floor, Thieme, 2012
  • Marion Stüwe: Post-gymnastics and regression gymnastics, Thieme, 2004
  • Guido F. Meert: The pelvis from an osteopathic perspective: Functional relationships based on the tensegrity model - with access to the medical world, Urban & Fischer; Edition: 4 (May 4, 2017)
  • Grace Dorey, Sonja Soeder: All man !: All fit - the pelvic floor training for more potency and continence, TRIAS; Edition: 1 (October 21, 2009)

Video: 5 Pilates Exercises for Pelvic Floor Muscles (September 2022).