Focus of the week 5.29
Pelvic Floor Power for Flatter Abs
Think of your pelvic floor muscles as if they are the bottom of a grocery bag. The pelvic floor is a set of muscles that supports all the organs and structures up above. This set of muscles not only support your organs, and stabilizes the pelvis but also assist in activating the deep abdominal/ab flattening muscles.
The way your pelvic floor muscles differ from other muscles in your body is that they do not move any bones or joints, therefore, the way we train them is different too. For example, if you want to strengthen your biceps you would do bicep curls but when doing a kegel none of your joints visibly move. Therefore, there are 3 key differences strengthening and toning the pelvic floor.
1. Less is more - 25% - 30% contraction is best. Try this: Kegel as hard as you can. Notice, is it harder to breathe? Relax the muscles of the pelvic floor till your breathing becomes natural. It is often recommended by health care professionals that a 25% - 30% contraction is best.
2. Work with other muscles - Sure kegeling at a red light does have some benefit but your pelvic floor is part of a whole system and studies show that back pain and urinary incontinence decreased at a higher rate when performed in conjunction with exercises. Your goal, especially this week, is to contract and train the correct part of the pelvic floor to facilitate the simultaneous tightening of the low abs and inner thighs. Pelvic floor muscles are part of a whole system.
3. Maintain a 25% kegel throughout an exercise. Pressing your toes in or pointing your feet, squeezing the ball and exhaling out will assist your pelvic floor muscles in staying engaged.
See you in class!
“Van Alstine’s Structural Integration Exercise” Paul Van Alstine, advanced Rolfer® and Pilates instructor at Studio One Pilates, is the founder of VASIE.
VASIE is based on the exercise system devised by Joseph Pilates and the movement and postural concepts of “Structural Integration” developed by Ida P. Rolf. Had J. Pilates and I. Rolf collaborated to find the Unifying Theory of Exercise™ this holistic exercise program may have been developed long ago. Both were pioneers of powerful systems designed to change the body at a core level. Combining these systems VASIE is designed to make changes to the bone structure, re-ignite the link between breath and movement, and tone the fascia, as well as the muscular system. Unlike other workouts, VASIE builds physical, energetic, and emotional balance in the body.