pelvic floor exercises

"Do Your Kegels" or Is it, "Never Kegel"?

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For years there’s been a trend to tell everyone to “do your kegels” and we are currently seeing a shift in the other direction. We’ve recently heard both other pre/postnatal professionals and pregnancy care providers telling women they should never kegel.

We’re here to help clear up that contradictory information and educate you on why we think a general statement one way or the other is dangerous.

If you've taken class with us, you are familiar with the cue, "Pump & Kegel".  We remind you to fire this inner core unit constantly.  But why are we so focused on that? 

The muscles of your pelvic floor support your uterus, bladder and bowel.  They are important for sexual function AND work with the rest of the muscles of the core to stabilize and support the spine.  They also support the extra weight of the uterus and growing baby during pregnancy.  

Many of us don't realize that the pelvic floor, like our diaphragm, is part of our core.  Having an over active or under active pelvic floor negatively effects all the functions associated with breathing, digestion, eliminating toxins and moving through our every day lives.  It also helps neutralize intra-abdominal pressure, making us less susceptible to developing a Diastasis Recti (abdominal separation).   Your pelvic floor should contract and release with every single diaphragmatic breath which is why we cue the contraction AND release in all our classes at FPC.

We are bringing a hyper awareness to what your core should be doing naturally because most of us are dysfunctional movers and breathers. We do this because training your muscles to move functionally means that they will be able to properly support you in your day to day movements outside of class as well.

This is why we disagree with the general, blanket advice to either A: do your kegels or B: never kegel. A fully functioning pelvic floor does both! Everyone should understand the muscles of their pelvic floor. Some women need to strengthen them, some need to learn to relax them. If this isn’t information you can assess on your own (many of us can’t), you should seek out someone who can help you assess whether or not you are doing kegels correctly and if you need to devote time to training them to function properly.

If you are given the advice to either kegel or never kegel, what should you do?

Ask follow up questions! Does your care provider notice something specific that has led them to make that recommendation? If so, ask them what they see and what are they concerned about. Another thing you should do is ask for a referral to see a pelvic floor therapist to address the issue. Your midwife or OB is excellent at what they do, but they don’t have the credentials to assess your pelvic floor and prescribe exercises in the way that specialist that can. It’s important to get the help you need.


Want to learn more? Join us for one of our upcoming Protecting your Core and Pelvic Floor for Birth and Postpartum workshops. We’ll teach you to assess your pelvic floor and give you all the information needed to understand how to exercise through pregnancy and postpartum safely.

The Best (at home) Post Pregnancy Exercises

Calling all new mamas!  

Use this 7 move workout that we put together with Coveteur on the days you can't make it to our Postpartum Rehab or Signature classes.  

Be sure to activate that "belly pump & kegel" with every exertion.  Regaining strength postpartum, is all about that inner core unit!  

 

 

 

 

 

Article By: Curranne Labercane

Photography: Alec Kugler

Outfit By: Outdoor Voices

Understanding Your DIAPHRAGM and Pelvic floor

FPC's foundation of "Pump & Kegel" is the secret to a stronger, easier pregnancy.  It's a foundational body system that enables us to move and breathe the way nature intended.  We are all born as fully functional movers and breathers but stress, body consciousness, poor posture, desk jobs, lack of activity, etc continue to move us farther away from it.  I always say, once you re-program this system, you will NOT go back to being a dysfunctional mover again.  Our bodies WANT to move this way.  

That being said, just because it's "natural" doesn't mean it's easy.  I love the video that our friend, Lindsey Vestal, M.S. OTR/L from The Functional Pelvis shared this week.  It gives you a few more images to help understand what the diaphragm and pelvic floor are doing and how they work together to strengthen and support you. 

Check it out below!  

 
 

Save the Date!  

Lindsey will be presenting a Pelvic Floor workshop on April 18th as part of the Wednesday night series at FPC! Mark your calendar and stay tuned for the sign up details next week!  

15-Minute At Home Glutes and Lower Body Workout X Parents.com

Don't let you butt disappear during pregnancy!  We partnered up with Parents.com to bring you this 15-minute glutes and lower body workout. Click on the image below to start working that booty!  

Postpartum "Rehab"

We are excited to introduce FPC's first postpartum class, "Rehab".  We LOVE the fitness scene, trying new classes and finding fun instructors around the city.  And as much as we love you, our goal is not to keep you at FPC forever.  Our mission is to guide you safely through pregnancy and rehab you post-birth so you can go back into the fitness scene with more strength, body intelligence and total confidence that you aren't doing anything to potentially harm your body.   

Having been through pregnancy ourselves, we recognize that getting that 6-week "OK to exercise" from our care providers provides a huge disservice.  Labor and delivery are a marathon and depending on the type of delivery you've had, your body may need some major (sometimes months) of rehab.  Unfortunately, our health care system hasn't caught up to our needs.  We feel every woman should go straight into working with a specialist in order to reconnect to her core, TVA and pelvic floor post birth.  And many of us also need to work on healing a diastasis recti, recover from a Cesarian birth or address any pelvic floor issues that have come up.  

If you've been down this road, you know that working with a specialist can be expensive and PT is not always covered by insurance.  Many of us give up and figure, oh well, these aches and pains, discomfort, tummy bulge, (insert any random ailment here) are all just part of being a mom.  

STOP right there!  None of that is true and we believe that in order for you for us to be the best moms possible, we need to first take care of ourselves.  Not to mention, babies demand a lot of heavy lifting.  We need to be sure our bodies can hold up to the task! 

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This is why we are introducing "Rehab".  It's the individualized care and knowlegde you would get from a specialist in an affordable, small group format.  This is the first step to getting yourself safely back into your favorite classes in the fitness world.  Your body will never be the same after pregnancy, and we don't mean that in a bad way.  We're here to help you honor the new you and teach you to be grateful for what your body has done.

"Rehab" is pre-crawler baby friendly so there is no excuse for not taking the time to devote to your healing and recovery. Whether you've had a Cesarian birth, natural birth, working through pelvic floor problems, or diastases, this class is safe and encouraged.  "Rehab" is taught by FPC co-founder, Joanie Johnson, who is a pre/postnatal corrective exercise specialist as well as diastasis and core consultant. We also work with women's health specialists and PTs and make further referrals as needed.  As with all our classes at FPC, you are in safe hands.