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Five Exercises to Strengthen Your Pelvic Floor

June 20, 2024

Person practicing pelvic floor exercises in a serene yoga studio with natural light.

The pelvic floor is a group of muscles that play a crucial role in supporting various organs, including the bladder, uterus, and bowels, as well as supporting sexual function. However, these muscles often go unnoticed or are forgotten and should be addressed in our regular fitness routines. Weak pelvic floor muscles can lead to various issues, such as urinary incontinence and pelvic organ prolapse. Incorporating specific exercises into your overall fitness routine can help strengthen your pelvic floor muscles and reduce the severity of symptoms of certain underlying conditions. Here are five pelvic floor exercises you can try at home.

Key Takeaways

  • Kegels are one of the most common exercises recommended for strengthening the pelvic floor muscles.
  • Quick Flick Kegels involve rapid contractions of the pelvic floor muscles to improve their strength and responsiveness.
  • Happy Baby Pose, a yoga-inspired exercise, helps in stretching and strengthening the pelvic floor muscles.
  • Toe Taps engage the pelvic floor muscles and help in improving their coordination and strength.
  • Diaphragmatic Breathing connects breath with pelvic floor movement, promoting relaxation and muscle engagement.

1. Kegels

Illustration of a person doing Kegel exercises to strengthen pelvic floor muscles.

Kegels are easy and beneficial exercises for the pelvic floor. Simply contract and relax the pelvic muscles. Properly locate the pelvic floor by picturing the muscles used to stop urinating. Squeeze and hold these muscles for the first rep. The pelvic floor rises up and inwards. Hold for 5 seconds then release. Repeat the exercise for 3 sets of 10-15 reps. Do this Kegel regimen daily. Over time, controlling the pelvic floor becomes easier. The best part: Kegels can be done anywhere in secret.

Benefits of Kegels

Doing Kegels can help with issues such as:

  • Urinary incontinence (leaking pee).
  • Urge incontinence (an urgent need to pee).
  • Fecal incontinence (leaking poop).
  • Pelvic organ prolapse (pelvic organs sagging or bulging into your vagina).

Kegels can also improve your sexual health and help improve your orgasms. Men or people assigned male at birth (AMAB) and women or people assigned female at birth (AFAB) can benefit from Kegel exercises.

How to Perform Kegel Exercises

  1. First, locate your pelvic floor muscles (using the steps above).
  2. Start by tightening your pelvic floor muscles for three seconds, then relaxing for three seconds. This is one Kegel.
  3. Try to repeat this 10 times. If 10 feels too hard, reduce this to five times until you get stronger. This is called a set.
  4. Do one set in the morning and one set at night.
  5. As you gain strength, try increasing these numbers. For example, instead of holding your Kegels for three seconds and relaxing for three seconds, increase to five seconds each.

Sample Schedule for Kegels

You perform Kegel exercises by lifting and holding and then relaxing your pelvic floor muscles. Start by doing a few Kegels at a time, then gradually increase both the length of time and the number of Kegels you’re doing in each ‘session’ (or set). You should perform at least two to three sets of these exercises per day.

For additional support, consider using period underwear for women from Etrendix. These specialized garments can provide comfort and confidence while performing your exercises.

2. Quick Flick Kegels

Person lying on a yoga mat performing Quick Flick Kegels to strengthen the pelvic floor muscles.

Quick Flick Kegels are a variation of the traditional Kegel exercises, designed to provide rapid contractions and releases of the pelvic floor muscles. These exercises are particularly beneficial for those looking to strengthen their pelvic floor quickly and effectively.

To perform Quick Flick Kegels, follow this step-by-step guide:

  1. First, locate your pelvic floor muscles by picturing the muscles used to stop urinating.
  2. Quickly contract these muscles for two to three seconds.
  3. Release the contraction for another two to three seconds.
  4. Repeat this process 10 times to complete one set.
  5. Aim to perform three sets daily.

Over time, these quick contractions help activate the muscles faster and stronger, which can be particularly useful in preventing leaks upon sneezing or coughing. As with traditional Kegels, consistency is key. Practicing these exercises regularly will make controlling the pelvic floor easier.

For additional support, consider using period underwear from Etrendix, which can provide extra confidence during your exercise routine.

3. Happy Baby Pose

Person performing Happy Baby Pose on a yoga mat, holding feet with hands, knees bent and spread apart.

The Happy Baby Pose, also known as Ananda Balasana, is a beneficial addition to any pelvic floor strengthening routine. This pose is particularly effective for elongating the pelvic floor muscles and stretching the surrounding muscles of the hips and pelvis, which can contribute to pelvic floor tightness.

To perform the Happy Baby Pose, follow these steps:

  1. Lie face up on the floor.
  2. Bring your knees toward your chest so your legs form 90-degree angles in the air.
  3. Position your feet so the soles are facing toward the ceiling.
  4. Keeping your head on the floor, grab the outsides of both your feet.
  5. Hold this position for two to three minutes, breathing deeply but gently.

Regular practice of this pose can lead to significant improvements in pelvic floor flexibility and strength. For additional support, consider using period underwear during your exercises to ensure comfort and hygiene. For more information, visit this link.

4. Toe Taps

Toe taps increase core stability and help engage and activate the pelvic muscles. Start by laying on your back with your knees bent and your feet on the floor. Keep your pelvis tilted slightly forward by keeping your lower back flat on the floor. Slowly lift both legs to a tabletop position. Next, gently bring one leg down with your knee bent, contracting your core muscles and lightly tapping your toe on the floor. After returning this leg to tabletop position, repeat the exercise with your other leg, keeping your core and pelvic muscles engaged. Continue alternating legs for 12 to 20 repetitions.

Toe taps are particularly effective for those looking to enhance their pelvic floor strength. For added comfort during these exercises, consider wearing period underwear from Etrendix. This specialized underwear provides the necessary support and comfort, ensuring an uninterrupted workout session.

5. Diaphragmatic Breathing

Person lying on a yoga mat with hands on abdomen, practicing diaphragmatic breathing for pelvic floor strengthening.

Diaphragmatic breathing encourages the functional relationship between the diaphragm and the pelvic floor. It may also help reduce stress. This exercise allows the pelvic floor muscles to work efficiently, aids in stress management, and promotes relaxation.

To perform diaphragmatic breathing, follow these steps:

  1. Begin by lying on the floor with your knees bent and pelvis in a neutral position.
  2. Inhale into the rib cage, then exhale through the mouth, letting your ribs naturally compress.
  3. Draw your pelvic floor up, lock in your core, and slide your right heel away from you. Only go as far as possible without losing your connection to your deep core.
  4. Find the bottom position, then inhale and bring your leg back to the starting position.
  5. Repeat several times while keeping one hand on the chest and one on the stomach.

Diaphragmatic breathing can be practiced in various positions, such as sitting, side-lying, hands and knees, standing, and lying on the back or abdomen. For those who experience leakage, incorporating period underwear can provide additional comfort and confidence during these exercises.


Strengthening your pelvic floor muscles is an essential aspect of overall health and well-being. The exercises discussed in this article, including Kegels, lunges, squats, and yoga-inspired movements, offer a comprehensive approach to targeting these often-overlooked muscles. By incorporating these exercises into your regular fitness routine, you can improve bladder control, support pelvic organs, and enhance sexual function. Consistency is key, so make these exercises a part of your daily regimen. If you experience any difficulties or have underlying health conditions, consult a healthcare professional for personalized advice. Prioritizing your pelvic floor health can lead to significant improvements in your quality of life.

Frequently Asked Questions

What are Kegel exercises?

Kegel exercises involve contracting and relaxing the pelvic floor muscles to strengthen them. They can be done in various positions such as lying down, sitting, or standing.

How often should I do pelvic floor exercises?

Consistency is key for pelvic floor exercises. Aim to do these exercises daily for the best results.

Can men benefit from pelvic floor exercises?

Yes, men can also benefit from pelvic floor exercises. They help in improving bladder control and sexual health.

What are the signs of a weak pelvic floor?

Signs of a weak pelvic floor include urinary incontinence, pelvic organ prolapse, and reduced sexual sensation.

Is it safe to do pelvic floor exercises during pregnancy?

Yes, pelvic floor exercises are generally safe during pregnancy and can help in preparing for childbirth and recovery.

How can I locate my pelvic floor muscles?

One way to locate your pelvic floor muscles is to try stopping the flow of urine mid-stream. However, do this only to identify the muscles and not as a regular practice.

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