The Quick 10 Second Workout You Can do Right Now

Written by Lauren Peterson, Clinical Director at FYZICAL Therapy & Balance Centers, OK 

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You know you need regular exercise. You know you need to plan your schedule each week. You have leg day, you have arm day, you get ample cardio and your weekly yoga sessions keep you limber, but there is one day you skip every week. You might not notice today or tomorrow, but it will catch up to you. You’ve been skipping Pelvic Floor Day. 

What is my Pelvic Floor?

You might be skipping pelvic floor day because you don’t even know what your pelvic floor is, so let’s start there. Your pelvic floor is the group of muscles at the base of your core; they are the foundation for your core. These muscles stretch from your pubic bone in the front to your tailbone (coccyx) in the back, and from side to side. They form a sort of sling or hammock for all your internal organs.

Why Should You Care About your Pelvic Floor?

Until a minute ago, you weren’t even sure what your pelvic floor was, so why should you care? Your pelvic floor is vital to a variety of daily activities including walking, running, and dancing, control over your bowel and bladder, and control over your sexual functioning. 

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If your pelvic floor isn’t healthy and you’re not doing bladder exercises to help strengthen it, you may be the 1 in 3 women with bladder leaks, or your erectile dysfunction may not be responding to “the little blue pill.” You may not be able to sneeze, laugh, or cough without leaking urine, and your normal fitness routine may be out the window. High impact exercises like running and jumping increase the strain on your pelvic floor muscles making it more likely that you will end up with some form of pelvic floor dysfunction.

Your pelvic floor is responsible for supporting your bladder, bowels, and sex organs (including your uterus). Functionally, your pelvic floor is responsible for eliminating your bowels and bladder, and it is vital for your sexual functioning. When you push to pee or poop, you are activating the muscles of your pelvic floor. They are the most important muscles in this important part of your day. 

For men, your pelvic floor muscles hold up your penis during intercourse. An unhealthy pelvic floor can result in difficulty with these daily activities, but it can also lead to severe pain and even prolapse of your uterus or rectum. This is where quick exercises for strengthening your pelvic floor come in handy. 

What are the Best Kegel Exercises to Get a Healthy Pelvic Floor?

If you didn’t already have pelvic floor exercises as part of your weekly routine, then you might be figuring out how to make the time. The nice part about pelvic floor day, is you don’t really need to schedule it separately from any other exercise day. Really, working out you pelvic floor muscle is only about a 10 second exercise, and when done properly, this kegel workout can dramatically change your life. The best part, you can do it anywhere. 

Your Pelvic Floor Muscles can be strained by heavy lifting, straining on the toilet, high impact exercise, age, obesity, and especially pregnancy and child birth. But just like the rest of your core or any other muscle, you can strengthen the muscles of your pelvic floor. There are 2 primary bladder exercises that constitute proper Pelvic Floor Muscle Exercises, or “Kegels”:

Sustained Kegel Exercises

A sustained Kegel workout consists of a pelvic floor muscle contraction that is held for 10 seconds before being fully released. A healthy pelvic floor should be able to do a set of 10 sustained Kegels, but you might have to start with a shorter duration and work your way to a full 10 seconds of exercises. You should focus on continued breathing and you should not be co-contracting your butt. The only thing you should co-contract during kegel muscle contractions is your abdomen.

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Quick Flick Kegel Workout

Quick flicks are one of the best kegel exercises. This quick exercise consists of 10 rapid cycles of contraction and relaxation of your pelvic floor muscles. You should complete all 10 cycles in 10 seconds. This should feel like you are lifting and letting your pelvic floor down quickly. Again, maintain steady breathing throughout this cycle.

Proper coordination of breathing and limiting contraction of other muscles is key to getting the most out of your 10 second exercise.

Who Should I Talk With About Quick Exercises for My Pelvic Floor?

Just like with any new exercise, you get the most benefit when you are doing it properly. Unfortunately, it is very hard to see whether you are doing a pelvic floor contraction properly.  Proper Kegel exercises can be identified by a specialist (like a urologist, or your OB/GYN), but when it comes to learning how to do a pelvic floor contraction properly, there is really only one specialist you should seek out. 

A Pelvic Floor Physical Therapist is trained in how to properly identify the contraction and relaxation of your pelvic floor muscles. They can test your muscle strength with an internal examination, but they can also coach you on the proper muscles to contract and how to properly coordinate your breathing when it comes to a kegel workout. They may even be able to help you feel a proper, strong contraction using biofeedback or electrical stimulation. 

When it comes to your pelvic floor, talk to someone. Using the BetterPT website or mobile app, you can find a pelvic floor physical therapist faster and easier than ever. You don’t even need a referral! With direct access, you can book your PT appointment for your pelvic floor at FYZICAL Therapy & Balance Centers or a clinic near you and bypass the usual headaches. Take advantage of this convenience and find your pelvic floor PT today.

Lauren Peterson is the Owner and Clinical Director of FYZICAL Therapy & Balance Centers of Oklahoma City. The clinic specializes in Falls Prevention (including vestibular rehabilitation for BPPV & Vertigo) and Pelvic Floor Dysfunction. They take pride in helping patients love their lives.

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