I’m Shira Kramer. As a women’s health physiotherapist and a fitness professional, I understand how important it is to not only do your pelvic floor exercises on a regular basis but also to make sure you’re doing them correctly. So today I’m going to share some tips with you about how to exercise this area effectively so you can enjoy the benefits of good pelvic floor health. So before we start with the exercises it is important to understand where the muscle’s located and how it functions. The pelvic floor muscle is part of a group of muscles called the core. Just like this water bottle the core’s got four components – it’s got the pelvic floor muscle at the bottom being the base, it’s got your diaphragm or your breathing muscle at the top or the lid, your deep abdominal muscles or your transversus abdominis being the front, and then your deep back muscles or multifidus being the back of that canister. All four components of this core, or your torso, need to work in harmony in order to have a good functioning base for the rest of your body and for your exercises. So the pelvic floor, like in this container, is the base of the core and it’s important in maintaining the pressure inside this container, or in this water bottle or it’s important in maintaining the pressure inside your torso. For example when you lift something, when you cough, sneeze and laugh or when you exercise, it’s important that the pressure in here stays stable so that you have good back health, no back pain and so that your pelvic floor is maintaining control of your bowel and bladder or continence and preventing any leakage. Such as this. So the pelvic floor has got a really important function in maintaining control of bowel and bladder to prevent leakage, to hold up the pelvic organs so the bowel, bladder, and in women the uterus, are held up by the pelvic floor and also has an important role to play in sexual function. So where’s this muscle located? It’s located within your pelvic cavity. It attaches at the front to the pubic bone, to the back to the tail bone or coccyx and then to each side on your sit bones. so it slings like a hammock from front to back and side to side. Once you get the exercise down pat, you’ll be able to integrate it quite easily into your daily routine and like brushing your teeth, it needs to become a habit. So let’s get into actually doing these pelvic floor muscle exercises. So we’ve got Samara, who is a fellow women’s health physiotherapist, who’s going to demonstrate the exercise today. We’re going to do them sitting on a fit ball or you can sit on a chair as well at home. So step 1 is finding your correct posture. So let’s find a nice tall posture Samara, I’ll get you to lengthen from the crown of your head relax your shoulders, relax your legs and toes and just have an elongated spine making sure that you’ve got the natural curve in your lower back so your neutral spine. Excellent. And then maintaining that posture, I’ll get you to relax all your muscles on the outside. So I’ll get you to relax your legs, relax your feet and then relax your abdominal muscles. So just let them all go. And then relax your pelvic floor muscles as well as if you’re trying to let go of wee. So it’s all nice and relaxed. So step 1 is to find good posture. Step 2 is to relax your pelvic floor and abdominal muscles. Step 3 we are now going to find those muscles. So Samara I’ll get you to tune into your pelvic floor area and I’ll get you to lift and squeeze around the back passage as if you are trying to stop wind. And then I’ll get you to bring that to the front as if you are trying to stop the flow of wee and lift and squeeze inside. Nice and strong whilst you keep breathing. And then let it go. Gently relax and let’s do that again. So starting from the back, I’ll get you to lift and squeeze as if you are trying to stop the flow of wind and then to the front as if you are trying to stop the flow of wee. Keep lifting as strong as you can. Keep breathing. Making sure you are breathing comfortably through that exercise. Make sure your buttocks are relaxed. Make sure your legs are relaxed. And then gently let it go. Excellent. So it’s important that your outside muscles are nice and relaxed when you do this. You shouldn’t feel anything working on the outside. It’s all internal. And making sure as we saw that the diaphragm is part of the core that you need to keep breathing through the exercise. It’s really important when practicing these exercises, between each lift, that you have a good rest time between. So the muscle does fatigue. It’s important to rest for a few seconds before you do the next repetition. We’re looking at doing one set being about 8 to 10 repetitions. Starting off with only just a couple of seconds. Maybe start with 2 to 3 seconds and over time slowly build up to 10 seconds. And repeating that about 3 times a day. But check in with your women’s health physiotherapist for more specific advice about technique correction, to see if the exercises are appropriate for you, and to see how many to do and how long to hold them for. So for more information, visit the Pelvic Floor First website for information about good bladder and bowel health, pelvic floor safe exercises and then if needed direction of where seek help. Thanks for joining us today and hopefully from the information given, you’ll be able to lift, laugh and exercise with confidence.