June 14, 2023
Breath work is often emphasized in pelvic floor physical therapy, and while it’s not something I focus on extensively in my approach, I do recognize its importance. In my work I prefer to prioritize movement and teaching you how to move better because that’s what I have found to be most effective in my clinical practice.
When I guide you through exercises, my main focus is on the quality of your movements. Are you maintaining proper alignment? Are you engaging the right muscles? These are the cues I want you to pay attention to during our workouts. By learning how to move better, you can achieve the best and fastest results in addressing pelvic floor issues like incontinence, prolapse, or pain.
That being said, breathing does play a role in pelvic floor function. The relationship between the diaphragm and the pelvic floor is significant. When you inhale, your diaphragm drops down, and your pelvic floor relaxes. As you exhale, your diaphragm lifts up, and your pelvic floor lifts as well. This coordination is important for proper support and function.
If you’re curious about how to breathe during your pelvic floor workouts, here’s a general guideline. Inhale as you initiate the movement and exhale for power or strength as you come out of the movement. For example, during squats or lunges, you would inhale as you go down into the movement and exhale as you come up.
However, when it comes to faster-paced exercises, such as speed drills, I don’t want you to focus too much on your breath. Instead, prioritize the movement and speed. Breathing will naturally fall into place as you establish a solid foundation of proper movement.
It’s important to remember that pelvic floor health is influenced by various factors, including movement, breath work, Kegels, diet, hormones, and more. It’s a comprehensive approach that requires all the pieces to come together. When you’re just starting, I recommend focusing on mastering the movement cues and gradually incorporating breath work. Remember, it’s a holistic approach that combines various elements to support your pelvic floor health.