Core + Floor
#blowbeforeyougo #restorethefloor #alignmentiskey
The pelvic floor is a layer of muscles that sit in the bottom of the pelvis and support the pelvic organs. A healthy pelvic floor is like a trampoline that stretches from your pubic bone at the front, to your tailbone at the back and side to side out to each of your SIT bones – the two bony points you can feel when you sit on your bottom. If you have a look at the diagram below you can see how the pelvic floor works to hold up the bladder, uterus and bowel. The pelvic floor has 3 passages where these organs pass through. In a normal functioning system, the pelvic floor muscles wrap tightly around these holes to keep the passages shut and stop or control the release of urine, faeces (poo) and wind.
There are a number of things that can cause loosening/weakening of the pelvic floor or a dysfunctional system – This is where a private woman’s health consult may come in handy for you. Some of these things include pregnancy and childbirth, constipation or straining on the toilet and heavy lifting coupled with breath holding.
Take a moment to think about what happens when you take a breath – the increased pressure in your tummy causes your diaphragm (big breathing muscle) to descend, pushing your organs and pelvic floor downwards. Studies have shown that if you hold your breath while you are lifting, that pressure in your tummy is increased even more, pushing down on your pelvic floor and causing it to lengthen and weaken.
Our “core” is often mistaken for our outer abdominal muscles (the muscles that give you a six pack), but it actually lives deeper down underneath these muscles. Historically, Physio’s have spent a lot of time assessing activation and control of the core muscles, however, evidence and thinking is now moving towards the idea that our core activates subconsciously, and by putting our bodies in their proper alignment we are able exploit this subconscious activation and create the best possible internal environment to support movement.
Below is a short 3-minute clip from the AMAZING women’s health Physiotherapist Julie Wiebe on how our alignment affects muscle activation (it’s well worth the 3 minutes!)
The take home message this week is that our bodies are strong and robust structures that are made for movement. In class we need to build confidence to exercise our bodies in a challenging way without the need to brace our tummies and hold our breath – which leads me to our homework for this week.
Single Leg Lifts