High impact exercise for our Wimbledon Ladies could mean a grand-slam to their pelvic floor muscles. While we’re all busy tucking into strawberries and cream and watching the talented sportswomen of Wimbledon pound their way around the court, spare a thought for what the high impact sport does for their pelvic floor.
Many women think that by pounding the pavements and doing lots of other high impact exercise, they are working hard to keep in shape and look after their pelvic floor – but this isn’t correct. Regular high impact exercise puts lots of pressure on the pelvic floor and can in turn lead to incontinence, and in the worst case, prolapse.
High Impact Exercise - Can It Ever Be Pelvic Floor Safe?
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High impact exercise can damage a weak pelvic floor or cause prolapse[/caption]
Let’s face it, we all want a flat stomach, but endless crunches aren’t the best way to achieve it. Not only do intense abdominal exercises put extra pressure on your pelvic floor, they also won’t completely flatten your stomach if your pelvic floor muscles underneath are weak and sagging - we recommend pelvic floor exercises with a Kegel8 Ultra 20 Pelvic Toner
to strengthen your core from the inside out.. If you’re going to do crunches and sit ups, make sure that you brace your pelvic floor before you do them – that way, your pelvic floor muscles will be more protected.
To really protect your pelvic floor, high impact exercise involving pounding the pavements or running around a tennis court isn’t the way forward. Especially if you have undergone some form of pelvic surgery, such as a prolapse repair, it’s much better to stick to exercises that are less ‘jarring’ for the body such as using the cross-trainer, swimming, or walking on a treadmill. Many people underestimate how good walking is for the body!
The main thing to remember is to listen to your body – if your leg, arm and abdominal muscles are getting tired, chances are so are your pelvic floor muscles, so take time to rest between exercise sessions to allow your body to recover.
If you find that your pelvic floor muscles are really tight and tense after exercise (tennis players take note!) you can use a tennis ball to help treat the tightness – many yoga therapists recommend to ladies to sit on a tennis ball – yes that’s right! To do this, place the ball under your perineum (the area between your vagina and anus), and gently lower your body weight down onto the ball. At first, if your muscles are tight, this may feel a little tender, but done 5-10 minutes a day, you will really start to feel a difference.
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Inside Out Pelvic Exercise by Physio Michelle Kenway[/caption]
For more advice on pelvic floor safe exercises, we really recommend the fantastic Inside Out by Michelle Kenway
, and the Hab-It DVD
by Tasha Mulligan, both available from our friends at www.stressnomore.co.uk.
So, ladies of Wimbledon, we hope that those grunts as you smash the ball across the court is because you are doing your Kegels with such enthusiasm, and not because you’re really straining your body!