Core and Pelvic Floor
Here are some core and pelvic exercises you can try this week.
Marching Hip Bridge
Focus: Pelvic stability
How to Perform: Lie on your back and place your hands by your sides. Lift the hips and hold a hip bridge. Lift the right foot off the floor to 90 degrees at the hip and knee. Return the foot onto the floor and then lift the left foot to 90 degrees; return to centre. Keep the hips lifted and maintain a neutral pelvis as you alternate leg lifts for 20 repetitions.
Less difficult: Hold a static hip bridge, keeping both feet on the floor for 30 or more seconds. Alternatively only lift your leg 3 to 4 inches from the ground before returning it.
How to perform: Place forearms on the floor with elbows aligned below shoulders and arms parallel to your body at about shoulder width. Keep your back straight. If flat palms bother your wrists, clasp your hands together.
Progression: Plant hands directly under shoulders (slightly wider than shoulder width) like you’re about to do a push-up.
Less difficult: Knee plank resting your knees on the ground puts less stress on your lower back. Rest your knees on a rolled-up mat or towel if they feel uncomfortable on the floor.
Focus: Core-Oblique muscles
How to perform: Stand with feet slightly wider than hip-distance apart, reach right arm to right toe, followed by left arm to left toe. Then reach right arm along the back of leg towards right heel, followed by left arm towards left heel. Avoid bending too much from the hips. Perform this move slowly for 30 seconds, faster for 30 seconds, then double-time for 30 seconds.
Progression: you can add weights in each hand or do the following. Stand with feet shoulder-width apart, hands behind head with elbows out to the sides. Shift weight onto the left leg and lift the right knee toward right elbow, engaging core to crunch to the right. Tap the right foot to the ground and stand tall to return to start.
Focus Pelvic floor muscles (for men and women)
How to perform: Sit, stand or lie comfortably with your knees slightly apart. Imagine that you are trying to stop yourself from passing wind at the same time as you are trying to stop passing urine; slowly squeeze and lift the muscles. A feeling of gentle tightening of the abdomen is normal. Try and avoid pulling in your stomach, squeezing your legs together, tightening your buttocks or holding your breath. This will ensure only your pelvic floor muscles are working. Hold up to 10 seconds the relax muscles for about 3 to 4 seconds before repeating. You can start with 5 times then build the repetition up over time.
Progression: Pull the muscles up quickly and tightly and then relax immediately. Start with 5 and increase the number over time.
Do your pelvic floor exercises at least 3 times a day.