I’m A PT And These Are The Exercises I Use To Train My Pelvic Floor

Woman performing glute bridge with exercise band
(Image credit: dangrytsku / iStock / Getty Images Plus)

If there’s a set of muscles that I think people neglect, it’s the pelvic floor and believe me when I say you want to be training these muscles.

Essentially, the pelvic floor muscles act like a sling, supporting the pelvic organs including the bladder and bowel, as well as the vagina and uterus in women. When these muscles are weak, it can lead to incontinence and even prolapse, as well as other issues.

When the pelvic floor muscles are strong, it can result in improved posture, a speedier recovery from childbirth, less chance of incontinence and even better sex!

“The pelvic floor muscles are also part of our bigger set of core muscles,” says my PT, Will Duru, “so strengthening them can help to strengthen your overall core too and your lower back.”

Although exercises such as Kegels are often associated with women, because hormones, pregnancy and childbirth can affect these muscles, men can also suffer from a weak pelvic floor so keeping them strong is important for everyone.

Will and I did a quick pelvic floor workout recently, and although it looks simple, if you move slowly enough through the exercises, I assure you, you will feel it the next day. 

1 Glute bridge with medicine ball hold

Sets 5 Time 5-10sec

Hold a medicine ball between your legs just above your knees, lift into a bridge position and hold. Press your knees together and squeeze your glutes. 

2 Plank into bear

Sets 3 Reps 10

Start in a high plank position. Keeping your core engaged and back flat throughout, step your feet in one at a time so your knees are bent to 90°, but keep your knees off the floor. Step your feet back one at a time.

3 Toe tap

Sets 3 Reps 10

Throughout, make sure the bottom of your lower back is touching the floor. This will require more core engagement as your foot gets closer to the floor. Move slowly to get more from the movement.

4 Glute bridge with band

Sets 3 Reps 10

At the top of the glute bridge, press both knees out so there is resistance in the band. Then slowly roll your back down, vertebrae by vertebrae. 

5 Kneeling exhale and inhale

Sets 3 Reps 10

The most simple pelvic floor exercise you can do can also be tricky to get right. As you inhale, expand the abdomen and rib cage and take in air, then exhale, and allow your stomach to soften and deflate. Breathe deeply and slowly.

“Breathing plays a crucial role in training the pelvic floor,” says Will. “Proper breathing is a key component of muscle contraction. Through mindful inhaling and exhaling, you can effectively contract your pelvic floor muscles.”

Lucy Gornall

Lucy is an experienced health and fitness journalist, and was formerly health editor for TI Media’s portfolio of women’s titles. Lucy qualified as a level 3 personal trainer with Train Fitness in 2016, and also holds qualifications in pre- and post-natal fitness, as well as in nutrition for exercise.