Have you already been through menopause, or are you currently experiencing symptoms of:
– increased urinary frequency
– bulging sensations, or a
Chances are you may be experiencing what the scientists like to call vaginal decent changes…🤦🏽♀️ 🙅🏽♀️ Could they actually explain it in a more appealing way please!! This terminology is all over the research, so it’s hard to deny… but what does it really mean?
Let’s start firstly by changing it up a bit…. How about we call it pelvic floor change. Hmmm, yes that feels better.
In order to maintain our pelvic floor strength we need to be completing pelvic floor exercises at the very least once per week. If you want to make some real change do it daily, and therefore dramatically reduce the risk of various bladder, bowel, and prolapse symptoms associated with postmenopausal and perinatal women.
What I’ve found to be the best and most supportive platform to overcome these symptoms is clinical reformer Pilates. The equipment provides a supportive structure for you to build strength, confidence, and flexibility without the additional force of gravity. A typical class provides a variety of slow, continual movement using pelvic floor strength, and coordination.
As the founder Joseph Pilates would say – “In 10 sessions you will feel the difference, in 20 sessions you will see the difference, in 30 sessions you will have a new body”
As an exercise physiologist, I understand transitioning to functional mobility, as well as finding the motivation to train after childbirth or long sedentary periods can be hard, which is why I offer Clinical reformer Pilates to support you in this transition. I am trained to identify your areas of weakness, and help you strengthen them safely and efficiently.
I find reformer Pilates to be the most effective and achievable form of exercise for all ages groups. I can be working with a 28-year-old perinatal woman in the same class as a 70-year-old postmenopausal women, and both are adequately challenged and supported. Men are not excluded, but in this month’s blog the focus is on woman!
The majority of my clients start here, and when the confidence builds often they feel comfortable and motivated to continue with a home program. Others simply love coming on a weekly basis to maintain strength, stability and for the social aspect too.
If you can’t make a private session or a class, 5 easy and effective ways to increase your pelvic floor at home are;
1. THE HUNDREDS POSTURE – involves laying on your back with your legs up at table top position (forming a 90-degree angle), extend your arms along your side, palms facing downwards. Lengthen the back of your neck, by pulling your chin towards your chest and creating a double chin. Inhale and as your exhale, curl your head until you’re looking at your belly button, just the tips of your shoulder blades touching the floor. Keeping your abs contracted, move your arms rapidly and smoothly, up and down, breathing in for 5 counts and out for 5 counts. Repeat for 10 sets, working up to 100 counts.
2. ONE LEG CIRCLE – laying on your back with your legs straight, feet planted on the floor, toes pointed, arms extended along your side with your palms facing downwards. Engage your T-zone, pulling your belly button to the base of your spine, lift one leg up and begin forming small circles with your leg: inhale for the first half of each circle as your moves sideways and downward, and exhale for the second half, as you almost touch the ground and back up to the start. Pause briefly at the top of each round to acknowledge completion and control. Circle 5 times in one direction and 5 in the other with each leg. Repeat sequence 5 times.
3. TABLE TOP MARCH – laying on your back with your pelvis and spine in neutral position, bend your knees so your feet are stacked under your knees, shoulder width apart. Extend your arms along your side, palms facing downwards. Inhale pulling your belly button to the base of your spine, and on the exhale, lift your pelvis off the mat to level your middle spine and create a bridge. Keeping the bottom of your shoulders blades, just touching the floor. Now while maintaining the height of your pelvis, inhale and lift your left leg to form a table top (90-degree angle) and exhale, returning your leg to the floor without altering your pelvis or back. Inhale and lift your right knee and repeat as above 6 times each side.
4. BICYCLE TWIST – laying on your back with your knees bent in table top position, place your hands behind the lower part of your head and neck for support. On the inhale, extend your right leg out and downward as far as you can, while keeping your pelvis stable and abdominals engaged. At the same time bring your left knee toward your chest and rotate your upper body diagonally so that your right elbow touches your left knee, exhaling as you connect. Inhale and switch to the other side. Repeat 50 counts in total.
5. BANDED GLUTE BRIDGE – Lying on back, with knees bent, tie the band to a post and to the inside of the left leg, squeeze a ball/pillow between the knees. Inhale pulling your belly button to the base of your spine, and on the exhale, lift your pelvis off the mat, squeezing the glutes as you exhale and lifting the hips up until your back is level. Make sure not to hyperextend the lower back, while keeping hips level. When you lower the hips, stay just hovering off the ground. Repeat for 30 counts and repeat by tying the band to the right leg.
If you feel like you may need some more guidance we host a variety of reformer Pilates class in the Byron bay studio solely designed to…
increase pelvic floor
reduce urinary incontinence
increase bone mineral density
strengthen and tone
and empower women to feel strong and confident!
If you haven’t tried one of my classes before you will need to book in for a private, where one of our Exercise Physiologist’s will do a full musculoskeletal assessment to determine your areas of weakness, so we can be sure to specifically target those. We will also need to familiarise you with the equipment prior to joining a group.
There are 3-4 people per group
Classes range from $25 – $35 and are held 5 times per week – Click here for the schedules, and here for Pricing
If you are still wondering what reformer Pilates is, check out this video.