The pelvic brace is your secret weapon when you are suffering from bladder, bowel, and organ prolapse, “mummy tummy” or back pain. It’s simple and easy- Read on
Everywhere I turn I see promises for a beautiful core. I see Apps, fitness programs, and even affirmations that promise you’ll have the abs of a 20-year-old in 5 minutes a day. They promise you a slim waistline, a sexy midsection, and to be able to fit in your skinny jeans. A strong core is something that I believe will help women reclaim their pelvic power and enhance their vitality and pelvic health. The problem that I find is that many of the ab exercises out there on the market today are outdated and can contribute to leaking, pelvic-back pain, and even for more pelvic pressure.
For starters, a strong and toned core can give you better posture, less back pain, less leaking, and pressure. A strong core healed of a Diastasis Recti ( abdominal separation) can also help to keep your organs in place.
My go-to core-kegel exercise that all women should be doing as part of their self-care program is the “Pelvic Brace.” The Pelvic Brace exercise is your secret weapon when you are suffering from pelvic organ prolapse, “mummy tummy”, low back pain, or leaking.
The pelvic brace protects you. You can use the pelvic brace while you’re changing positions, coughing, sneezing, or laughing and you will reduce your symptoms in NYC minute. I love to assign the Pelvic Brace as an exercise because it strengthens the pelvic floor muscles and the deepest core muscle( Transverse Abdominal Muscles) at the same time. This promotes function and not just vanity.
The pelvic brace is your secret weapon when you are suffering from bladder, bowel and organ prolapse, “mummy tummy” or poor pelvic stability.
A pelvic brace is a combination of a Tranverse belly-hold and a low-level Kegel contraction ( more instructions below). This amazing combo exercise can help decrease back pain, stabilize the sacroiliac joint, minimize mummy tummy, and prevent pelvic floor muscle dysfunction including pelvic organ prolapse and incontinence. All women should learn to use this pelvic brace to reduce strain through the abdomen and pelvic floor. This is the first exercise that I teach women in my pelvic healing programs.
For example, when log rolling out of bed, do a pelvic brace before you roll. Or, before you lift your child or groceries or move from sitting to standing, do a pelvic brace. Before you, cough sneeze or laugh do a pelvic brace, and you will leak less and feel less pressure in your pelvis. The pelvic brace exercise will help prepare the body for movements that place increased strain on the lower back, pelvic organs, and will keep your body protected. By performing the pelvic brace, you can prevent injury during difficult movements throughout the day, reduce your back pain, and indirectly strengthen your core.
The pelvic brace is the foundation of my core program, and you must master it without overdoing it. It is an art form. I see too many women performing abdominal exercises incorrectly. Most women do not know about the pelvic brace and actually bear down and push their organs out during abdominal exercises. Many women also hold their breath when they do core exercises: couple no pelvic brace with poor breathing and you have a recipe for pelvic disaster.
Follow these steps to learn how to do a pelvic brace
- Part 1. Baby Kegel: As you exhale, do a baby Kegel, or squeeze your pelvic floor muscles as if you are trying to stop the flow of urine or imagine that you are sucking up a marble with your vagina. This ensures you will not push down on the pelvic floor muscles, and instead initiate a lifting motion from the pelvic floor up to the TrA. This is a bottom-up kind of exercise.
- Part 2. Transverse (TrA) Belly Hold: Draw your belly button closer and more firmly toward the spine and up towards the heart in a scooping upward motion. As you pull in your abdominals up and in, try to imagine that you are squeezing into an old pair of jeans that don’t fit or fit tightly. Your belly button should actually lift upward toward your heart if you perform the exercise correctly. This is called a Transverse Abdominal Belly Hold (TrA)
- Avoid over-contracting the outer six-pack abdominals and the rectus abdominis ( six-pack muscles). Meaning this is a gentle exercise where you keep your efforts at 30%. So just contract your abdominal muscles a little NOT a lot.
- Try to think of the TrA contraction as 30 percent of your maximal effort; it is very subtle and precise effort:
Place index fingers where the X’s are, on the inside of the front of your hip bones. When you perform the TrA correctly, you should feel the muscles contract under your fingertips.
What To Watch Out For
- Do not hold your breath. Exhale as you perform the contraction.
- Once you establish the above movement, hold for five seconds, and repeat ten times. Do one to three sets per day to master this skill.
- Less is more with the pelvic brace combo exercise so keep contractions at 20-30 percent effort because if you don’t you risk having more pressure, leaking, and pain.
The trade secrets I have shared with you here make it possible for you to protect your “Lady Parts”, organs and will help you to build a strong womanly foundation. All you have to do is increase your awareness of body positioning, posture, body mechanics, and practice this exercise until you master it.
Make a conscious effort to incorporate changes and modifications into how you move your body every day and you will find that pelvic discomfort/pain will start to melt away. You will carry your body with more confidence and, as a result, you will simply start to feel better.