Pelvic floor conditioning

warning exclamation markSafety first!
Read safety
basics here

This is a Body MOT exer­cise. Click to find out why

What it’s good for Strengthens the web of muscles and tis­sues that keeps you in con­trol of when you go to the loo, help­ing to reduce or even reverse leaks of urine and incon­tin­ence. This affects every­one as we age: “stress” incon­tin­ence not only means we need to find a loo more fre­quently, but has the upset­ting effect of spill­ing little leaks of urine when we jump or run, sneeze or even laugh
How often to do it Every day, morn­ing, noon and night!
Equipment you’ll need None

Pelvic floor exer­cises will work best for you if you keep on doing them reg­u­larly through­out your life. While this sounds like a bur­den, once you’ve learnt the tech­nique, you can prac­tise them any time you are sit­ting still – watch­ing TV, out in the car or on the bus, in bor­ing meet­ings or at the cinema.

First you need to be sure you are get­ting the exer­cises right. The two main errors are:

  • Just squeez­ing your but­tock muscles together
  • Just pulling in your tummy

Both of these ver­sions will feel like they are work­ing in the right area, but they will not strengthen your pel­vic floor.

Try to ima­gine the muscles involved as a bit like the over­sized “nappy” worn by Sumo wrest­lers. The sling sec­tion, run­ning between your legs, needs to be sucked up hard – as though you are lit­er­ally pulling it into your body. For women this should feel like you are suck­ing up into your vagina. For men, focus on try­ing to lift your scro­tum as you pull up. In either case, no vis­ible move­ment occurs: it’s all internal.

You might also want to ima­gine try­ing to stop your­self from urin­at­ing and defec­at­ing, but the over­all effect is to strongly pull or suck up the whole of the nappy sling inside you.

Here’s the exer­cise tech­nique to learn:

  • Sit com­fort­ably in an upright chair, back sup­por­ted
  • Bundle all the bits of the ima­gin­ary pel­vic sling and suck or lift it all up, at first just inside, then increas­ing the pull a bit and finally lift­ing hard until it has all reached your belly but­ton inside
  • Hold for a couple of seconds, then slowly release the sling until you’ve reached ground level and your muscles are relaxed again

Don’t rush it and take great care to breathe through­out. Do 10 lift-​and-​lowers at a time, two or three times dur­ing the day.


Instead of suck­ing up and releas­ing slowly, try suck­ing up as hard and fast as you can, then releas­ing slowly. Do 10 rapid lift and slow lowers at one go, and try to prac­tice this ver­sion at least once a day.

Caution: do not prac­tise while you are actu­ally going to the toi­let; this can cause a urin­ary infec­tion

Now check out the mini-​tutorial ‘All about the pel­vis’ below and pel­vic tilt mobil­ity exer­cises.

Increase Text Size Increase Text Size

Comments are closed.