The Relationship Between Gymnastics and the Pelvic Floor
With the 2019 Gymnastics World Cup quickly approaching, it won’t be long until we see some amazingly-talented athletes demonstrate their ability in a world-class performance. But, the physical demands of the sport also challenge the ability of the pelvic floor.
Your pelvic floor is vital in supporting your pelvic organs and for controlling your bladder and bowel. Yet 3 in 5 gymnasts suffer from urine leakage. Read on to discover the relationship between gymnastics and the pelvic floor…
How does Gymnastics affect the Pelvic Floor?
Women’s health physiotherapist, Emma Brockwell, notes that ground reaction force in high impact exercise is thought to be between 2.5 to 3 times your body weight. Your body needs to be able to manage this load.
Excess pressure on the pelvic floor muscles can lead to a variety of pelvic floor disorders including:
- Bladder weakness
- Loss of control of bowel and bladder
- Pelvic organ prolapse
- Decreased intimate sensation
Stress urinary incontinence is the most common form of incontinence experienced during high impact activities, including jumping and running.
It was even the case back in 2005, when gold-medal winning French Gymnast, Émilie Le Pennec leaked during a routine. Discover more here...
As a result of constant downward pressure on the pelvic floor, elite female athletes may also experience:
- Painful intercourse
- Lower back and hip pain
- Pelvic pain
How Can the Pelvic Floor be Protected?
An athlete’s pelvic floor must be much stronger than non-athletes to be able to counteract these excess forces.
A strong pelvic floor muscle training programme should be in place for gymnasts of a professional level. But, once the pelvic floor is extremely weakened, manual Kegels may not be an effective solution.
An electronic pelvic floor toner can stimulate a strong and effect pelvic floor muscle contraction with the push of a button. A Kegel exerciser such as the Kegel8 Ultra 20 Electronic Pelvic Floor Toner has physiotherapist-devised programmes to target a range of pelvic floor conditions. These programmes are clinically designed to stimulate both your slow-twitch and fast-twitch muscle fibres.
Reviews for the Kegel8 Ultra 20 Electronic Pelvic Toner
Micha - Quick Results!
"I have not used the Kegel8 Ultra 20 as much as I should have, but have noticed improvements. It adds another stronger dimension to the pelvic floor exercises provided by doctors. Also results are quicker and better with Kegel8. I am very happy with the product and can recommend any person to buy and use one . Especially if they have stress incontinence or age related pelvic floor weakness. I am 56 and was affected by both, and the stress incontinence now does not happen and my pelvic floor feels stronger.”
Sarah - Fabulous Results!
"I have been using my Kegel8 Ultra 20 for a few weeks and have noticed fantastic improvements. I am definitely tighter which has given me more confidence sexually. I can almost stop my urine flow now by tensing my muscles midstream and had no hope of being able to do this before which shows how this has strengthened my pelvic floor! So pleased. I just wish I had got one sooner."
Bo, K. et al. Evidence-Based Physical Therapy for the Pelvic Floor [Ebook]. London: Elsevier, 2015. Pp. 401-402.
Bo, K. (2004) Urinary incontinence, pelvic floor dysfunction, exercise and sport. Sports Med. 34(7): 451-464. Available from https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/15233598
Thyssen, HH. Et al. (2002) Urinary incontinence in elite female athletes and dancers. Int Urogynecol J Pelvic Floor Dysfunct. 13(1): 15-17. Available from https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/11999199