This blog will go over direct musculo-fascial connections to your pelvic floor and how to exercise your pelvic floor gravity assisted, with a Pilates prop, the MINIMAX, a version of a Pilates arc barrel.
The abdominals and the Obturator Internus (OI) are muscles that have a direct fascial link to your pelvic floor. For example, the Linea Alba, line of fascia connecting the left and side of your abdominals, attaches to your pubic bone and thereby to the front portion of your pelvic floor. The OI is part of your deep hip lateral rotators muscle group and turns your leg outward. Importantly, the OI lines the inside of your pelvis and thus supports your pelvic floor and even your bladder!
Fascia is the thin fibrous coverings of your muscles, which has also been found to dive deep into your muscles. Thus, fascia can aide muscular contractions and fascia has also been found to be highly proprioceptive and sensitive - giving your brain vital feedback on movements and tension.
The video depicts a woman, who has vaginally delivered 2 children, using the MINIMAX, a soft but supportive Pilates arc barrel, flipped over to lift her pelvis above her heart. This inverted position minimizes the downward pull of gravity on her pelvic floor. This is important because pelvic floor weakness and prolapse is common issue in women who have been pregnant and especially an issue with multiple vaginal births.
She has been instructed to draw her abdominals in (like a brace tightening around her midsection, activating abdominals) and to turn her legs outward (activating OI). Upon this organized position, she exhales as her legs move into an open scissor position and inhales as her legs come up toward the ceiling. It is very important to breathe and not to hold your breath because holding your breath will create a valsalva situation which will push downward on the pelvic floor (not recommended).
Hooked on Pilates You Tube channel has a full body home Pilates workout for strengthening your pelvic floor, on the MINIMAX, a version of a Pilates arc barrel.
If interested in a small piece of Pilates equipment that you can do a ton of exercises with, please consider the MINIMAX. It is lightweight and easily transported and stored by its handle. Thank you for your interest and support. If you find this information helpful, please share!