What Are Pelvic Floor Exercises?

Abdominals, glutes, working the core – these are major points of focus in any Pilates class, as core strength forms the foundation of a good Pilates workout. But did you know that these are also known as your pelvic floor? Yes, the pelvic floor is a group of muscles located at the base of your pelvis that supports your abdominal and pelvic organs, and forms the group of core muscles we focus on in Pilates.

And just like any other muscle in your body, these muscles can become weak from inactivity or overuse – which is where pelvic floor exercises come in!

What are pelvic floor exercises? Find out below…

What is the Pelvic Floor, Exactly?

The pelvic floor is a group of muscles and ligaments that stretch from the pubic bone to the tailbone, forming a hammock-like bowl that supports your pelvic organs. These muscles work together with your abdominal and back muscles to control your urine flow, help with bowel movements, and stabilize your pelvis during movement.

When these muscles are weak or not functioning properly, you may experience a variety of uncomfortable urinary and organific medical issues. Pelvic floor exercises are designed to strengthen these muscles, and can be done anywhere, anytime – no equipment necessary!

Is Pilates Good for Strengthening Pelvic Floor Muscles?

Yes! Pilates is an excellent way to strengthen the pelvic floor muscles, as well as the deep abdominal muscles that work alongside the pelvic floor.

Pilates exercises that focus on drawing the belly button towards the spine (known as “navel to spine”) are particularly helpful in activating and toning these muscles.

Additionally, any Pilates move that involves stabilizing the pelvis (think: any exercise done on your back with your legs in the air) will also help to strengthen and tone your pelvic floor. So, if you’re looking for a workout that will not only give you a strong core, but also help support your pelvic floor muscles, Pilates is a great option!

What Are Pelvic Floor Exercises? - Club Pilates instructor helping member on a reformer

How Pilates Strengthens the Pelvic Floor

Pilates exercises focus on pulling the belly button closer to the spine (sometimes known as “navel to spine”). Because of this, they particularly effective in activating and toning pelvic muscles. Any Pilates exercise that involves pelvic stability (for example, any back-bend with your legs in the air) will also aid in strengthening and tiring your pelvic floor.

So, if you want a workout that will not only strengthen your core but also help to support the pelvic floor muscles, visit a Club Pilates studio near you to get started in your Pilates journey!

Four Must-Do Pilates Exercises to Strengthen Pelvic Floor

Here are four essential Pilates exercises that will help to strengthen your pelvic floor muscles:

1. The Hundred

The Hundred is a fantastic exercise for toning the entire body, including the pelvic floor muscles. To do this exercise:

  • Lie on your back with your legs extended and your arms by your sides.
  • Lift your head and shoulders off the mat, and reach your arms towards your knees.
  • Pulse your arms up and down 100 times (hence the name of the exercise!).
  • Breathe deeply and focus on drawing your belly button towards your spine to engage your deep abdominal muscles.
What Are Pelvic Floor Exercises? - Club Pilates instructor helping member

2. Criss-Cross

Criss-Cross is another great Pilates exercise for toning the abs and pelvic floor. To do this exercise:

  • Lie on your back with your knees bent, feet flat on the ground, and arms by your sides.
  • Lift your head and shoulders off the mat, and reach your right arm across to touch your left knee.
  • As you do this, bring your left knee towards your right shoulder.
  • Switch sides, reaching your left arm across to touch your right knee as you bring your right knee towards your left shoulder.
  • Continue alternating sides for 10-15 reps.

3. Double Leg Kick

The Double Leg Kick is a Pilates classic that not only strengthens the abs and pelvic floor, but also gets the heart rate up! To do this exercise:

  • Lie on your back with your knees bent and feet flat on the ground.
  • Lift your head and shoulders off the mat, and reach your arms towards your knees.
  • Kick both legs straight out in front of you, then bring them back to starting position.
  • Repeat for 10-15 reps.

4. Pilates Scissor

Pilates Scissor is another excellent exercise for toning the abs and pelvic floor. To do this exercise:

  • Lie on your back with your legs in the air and your head and shoulders off the ground.
  • Reach your right hand to touch your left ankle, then switch sides and reach your left hand to touch your right ankle.
  • Continue alternating sides for 10-15 reps.
  • Remember to breathe deeply and focus on drawing your belly button towards your spine to engage your deep abdominal muscles.

Strengthen Your Core, Pelvic Floor,
& More at Club Pilates!

Whether you’re new to Pilates or a seasoned pro, Club Pilates offers a variety of classes for all levels of experience. Our certified instructors will guide you through a workout that will strengthen your core, pelvic floor, and so much more.

Don’t wait – find a Club Pilates location near you and get started on your fitness journey today!

Reformer Pilates Sunshine Coast - Club Pilates member on a reformer being helped by instructor