Strengthen Your Pelvic Floor to Improve Your Sex Life
A woman’s body never stops changing; it’s part of the beauty of life. Of course, you may not love all the changes you experience, and some you may want to avoid entirely.
Targeting your pelvic floor muscles is a great way to keep your urological and reproductive health from changing for the worse, and doing so has benefits for your sex life to boot.
What are pelvic floor muscles?
Pelvic floor muscles stretch from the front of your pubic bone to your tailbone in your lower abdomen. They support your bladder, bowel and uterus, as well as the openings for the urethra, vagina and anus. These muscles are essential for your mobility, abdominal flexibility, and increased sexual function and sensitivity.
Over time, the pelvic floor muscles may lose strength, a process that can be expedited by persistent coughing, heavy lifting, obesity and childbirth. Weakened pelvic floor muscles can compromise how your lower abdominal organs and openings are supported. Fortunately, in most cases, women can perform simple exercises, at any age and in any condition, that will help keep their pelvic floor strong.
The exercises are important for overall sexual performance, stamina and pleasure. A strong pelvic floor can also decrease your risk of hernia, uterine slippage and bladder incontinence.
And, men, pay attention because you can reap similar benefits from strengthening your pelvic floor.
Kegels for a strong pelvic floor
Kegel exercises, named after the doctor who invented them, are the most common pelvic floor exercises. These are targeted muscle contractions that will help strengthen the vaginal wall and the surrounding muscles that support your abdominal organs.
You can perform Kegel exercises in any position, but first you have to identify the correct muscles. If you have never tried, practice stopping the flow of urine during urination: These are the same muscles you would use for a Kegel. (Don’t hold your flow on a regular basis, as it could cause bladder or kidney issues.)
Alternate between clenching and releasing for a few seconds each, working up to 10 seconds. Do this three to five times a day. The best part of Kegels is they can be done discreetly, anywhere, anytime: putting on makeup, watching TV or even during sex.
Pilates for a strong pelvic floor
Pilates is a workout that utilizes your own body weight to tone and strengthen muscles and create lean muscle mass. Pilates strengthens your core, which tightens your pelvic floor and vaginal wall, increasing flexibility, stamina, and pleasure for both you and your partner during intercourse.
Some of the best Pilates moves to strengthen your abdominal wall include the following:
- Shoulder bridge
- Single-leg bridge
For an added benefit, use the clenching strategy of Kegels while performing the moves above, which will enhance your core engagement and strengthen your pelvic floor faster.
Yoga poses for a strong pelvic floor
Yoga is very similar to Pilates in structure, but the goal of yoga is to hold one position for a specific length of time, while Pilates involves repeating the move for a specific number of repetitions. Like Pilates, yoga has its own set of positions that can strengthen your abdominal wall:
- Happy baby
- Locust pose
Adding these poses and more to your daily workout will also improve your flexibility, increase strength and release stress, all of which can lead to a better bedroom experience. Not only will you be more flexible and stronger, you’ll have more confidence in what your body can do.
Overall pelvic floor health is often forgotten in daily fitness and lifestyle goals, but with a few minor adaptations with these workouts and exercises, you can maintain your fitness, improve your vaginal health, and increase your sexual performance.