Do you want to know some tricks to make Kegel exercises more efficient ?
Do you know how to enhance the benefits of your Kegel exercises ?
Have you heard about the abdomen, the core or the abdominal muscles, but you do not know how to locate it, or activate it correctly?
Stay with me in this video I explain how to do it.
Hello! How are you? I am Laura Rojas, physiotherapist specialized in pelvic floor and co-author of the blog “En Suelo Firme”.
In this video I will tell you some tricks to make more efficient Kegel exercises locating and activating the transverse muscle of the abdomen, the deepest of our abdominals.
Before sharing with you these tricks to locate and activate the transverse, I want you to understand why it is so important to work this muscle, both at the preventive level and at the level of pelvic floor treatment.
Why transverse of the abdomen is important for the pelvic floor
As you know, if you follow this channel and if you do not know this is the best time to subscribe, the pelvic floor does not work in isolation, but is related to the rest of the body and more specifically is integrated into what we call center or what we call CALP , as I told you in another of the videos of this channel , the abdomino lumbo pelvic complex.
I want you to imagine a kind of cylinder, in that cylinder that would make up our trunk we would find that base would be the muscles of the pelvic floor, to cover the cylinder that would be the diaphragm, the walls of that cylinder would be the transverse of the abdomen and in the posterior zone we would find the multifidids, very small muscles next to our spine.
The pelvic floor does not work properly in isolation, but in coordination with the core
This core should work in coordination, when we talk about training the pelvic floor we can not just stick to that part, to that base of the cylinder, we have to involve the rest of the elements, and one of those elements is the transverse of the abdomen.
I really like to use the image of a corset, the transverse of the abdomen is the true natural strip of our body, it wraps us from behind and acts by giving us support, giving us stability. In addition to that stability function works as a team and protects the pelvic floor .
What happens when the transverse is in good condition?
When the transverse is in good condition, that is, has a good tone, when there is a cough, a sneeze or we are fed up to laugh, that transverse muscle protects the pelvic floor, because it contracts and thus the pressure does not reach with such intensity to the pelvic floor.
What happens if our transverse is weakened?
That when that pressure increase occurs, for example, a cough, the transverse muscle does not stop that cough, and all the pressure that has increased in the abdomen will fall directly on our pelvic floor.
What are the harms of receiving so much pressure on the pelvic floor?
The already known weakness of this musculature, the possibility of suffering a pelvic organ descent, what we call a prolapse or the symptoms as annoying as urinary incontinence, incontinence of gases or feces.
Also, a competent transverse, as we call the physios, or a well-programmed transverse, will help us to make the Kegel exercises more efficient.
Tricks to make more efficient Kegel exercises locating and activating the transversus abdominis
Now that you know why this muscle, the transverse of the abdomen, is so important, we will see three tricks to locate and activate it while performing the Kegel exercises.
Lying on the side, hand on “hip bone”
The first trick is to feel the transverse of the abdomen lying on its side.
To do this you can lie on your left side by flexing your hips and knees about 90 degrees.
Remember, when we do Kegel exercises we do not contract the buttocks, we do not move the pelvis and we do not contract the musculature of the inner side of the thighs either . We only contract the muscles of the pelvic floor, those that surround the urethra, the vagina and the anus.
Lying sideways I want you to locate what we call iliac spines.
I want you to locate that bone of the hip, that when we are more skinny we are more noticeable and that with your fingertips you look for the internal ridge of that bone, the entire upper iliac spine.
With your relaxed gut you will perform a pelvic floor contraction. When you contract your perineal muscles you will notice that under the fingertips, in that area of the gut you are feeling, between your navel and your iliac spine, the muscles are slightly activated, tense.
You will notice that that side of your gut has gotten a bit inward. It is a slight sensation, at no time you should feel that the gut becomes very, very hard and that it makes it difficult, for example, breathing or talking at the same time.
I now feel that area that I explain, just the inner edge of the iliac spines, and I can activate it right now and keep talking to you.
It is important that when contracting the pelvic floor that tension you notice in the transverse is a gentle tension, that allows you to breathe and speak .
If you notice that your breathing is cut when you perform this Kegel exercise with transverse or that you find it difficult to talk, you are including another abdominal musculature that is not adequate, which would not be the transverse of the abdomen, such as the rectus abdominis, those vertical muscles that go from the ribs to the pubis.
Gather iliac spines / Raise the zipper
The second trick I want to share with you to activate the transverse while contracting your pelvic floor is to imagine that the bones that we have felt, those bones in front of our abdomen, I repeat that they are those that are marked when we are a little thinner, I want you to imagine that you want to join them towards the middle area of your body, towards the navel.
Another very graphic example that can help us is to imagine that you want to zip up a pair of trousers, without catching your pubis .
That gesture that we would make of introducing the abdomen, as of putting the navel inwards, is what we can imagine while performing the contraction of the pelvic floor.
In this way we will also be activating the transverse and making our Kegel exercises more efficient.
Imagine that you blow a candle, but without turning it off
The last trick that I want to share with you, for me is the most complete, because in addition to contracting the pelvic floor, in addition to activating the transverse of the abdomen, we are going to involve the diaphragm in this process. You remember that I told you that it was another element of the core, that upper stage of the cylinder.
How are we going to involve the diaphragm?
Including the breath in our Kegel exercises, and we will do it imagining that when we contract the pelvic floor we want to blow the flame of a candle and move it, but without turning it off .
Then, closing your perineal muscles around the urethra, the vagina and the anus, as you already know, and without contracting other accessory muscles such as the buttocks, without moving your pelvis, that is, keeping it in a neutral position, you will contract the floor pelvic and at the same time blow that imaginary candle, as if you wanted to move it without turning it off .
In this way, we involve the diaphragm, we imply the transverse that, again, I invite you to feel for the internal area of your iliac spines, in those points that we would say as the bikini line, where you will notice that gentle tension, which I repeat, should allow you to breathe or speak normally, if not, we are including some muscles that are not the transverse of the abdomen.
And this is all I wanted to share with you in today’s video.
I hope you tell us if you can locate and activate this muscle, if you have any doubt leave it in comments to answer to you and also help other channel followers.
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See you next week.
Thanks a lot for being here!