I wanted to answer a question from one of my loyal subscribers. Anna posted a question on the Exercises For Injuries Facebook Secret Group, a platform where my customers can ask questions. Usually, I do a written response or a video explaining things in a more detailed way.
If you want to learn how to activate your pelvic floor muscles in core exercises, then check out this video. Activating these pelvic floor muscles is good for people who are recovering from injuries or those who need to retrain their core area.
CLICK HERE to watch the YouTube video.
Anna asked, “How do you incorporate the pelvic floor muscles and the core muscles into the movements, especially the first three exercises: crawl up, side plank and bird dog?”
Pelvic floor muscles are pretty much your washer muscles. Targeting those muscles are important for someone recovering from an injury like back pain and hip pain or for mothers who just gave birth and need to retrain their whole core area. How to target pelvic floor muscles? Do a light contraction of the pelvic floor muscles, and then activate the core muscles.
Here are three core exercises to activate the pelvic floor.
1. Side Plank
In this position, you activate the pelvic floor and activate the core, like bracing for a punch. Protect yourself from that punch. This is a light contraction for the pelvic floor and the core.
Lie on your side on the floor, resting on your forearm. Lift your hips off the floor and hold that position for 5 seconds. Bring the hips back, relax the core and relax the pelvic floor.
For those who are in pain and recovering from injury or pregnancy, this is how to cue the pelvic floor properly. For healthy people, focus on the core by bracing the abdominal area like bracing for a punch, then move into the plank position. Maintain good alignment from your front and your side.
2. Bird Dog Exercise
Begin in a four-point position. Brace the abdominal area like bracing for a punch. Extend your left leg while reaching out with your right arm, hold that position for 1 to 2 seconds, and then return to the starting position. Relax and repeat the movement on the opposite side.
When you are fit, brace the abdominal area, hold the contraction and do the movements. Perform 5 reps on each side while keeping things tight.
Bird Dog Exercise
3. Crawl Up
Lie on your back on the floor with one leg straight. Put one hand underneath your back and the other hand behind your head. Relax the abdominal area. Crawl up by bending the upper body forward, return to the starting position, relax the rectus abdominis and pelvic floor. Repeat the movements.
The straight leg locks the pelvis and the hand underneath the back is there to prevent excess pressure in the hand while the hand behind the head helps to support the head.
For healthy people, there is no need to cue the pelvic floor. Proceed with the crawl up movement to target the rectus abdominis six-pack muscles.
There you go, Anna. Thank you very much for the question. Those are the three common movements to cue the pelvic floor with the core properly.
If you are looking for a core stability workout to help strengthen your core and back, flatten your belly and achieve your dream abs while keeping yourself injury-free, then check out the Invincible Core program, here!
Rick Kaselj, MS