How to help stop those leaks.

Have you ever had one of those moments where you’ve bounced too much on the trampoline, coughed and sneezed too much or just bent down and leaked a little? Horrible to talk about but it happens.

One way to help with this is to practise and use core bracing. Any movement that increases the pressure inside your tummy can push pressure down on your pelvic floor. To help counter this you can brace the core. It’s like adjusting the tension on a trampoline so that when you jump you don’t touch the floor.

Use Your Core

Ready, Steady, BRACE:
As you breath out draw in the lower tummy muscles (tranversus abdominus) and the pelvic floor muscles too. Your transversus abdominus muscle is below your belly button, to find it you can slide your fingers just inside your hip bones and cough. That muscle that you feel move is the one to engage. To engage your pelvic floor think about lifting the muscles around your vagina and anus. It can take a bit of practice to engage your core and pelvic floor at the same time, but persevere it will come.


Practise this when doing everyday movements and it should become a habit. So whenever you cough, sneeze, lift something, bend, bounce, push something, extend away, reach or twist you can brace the core.

Pelvic Floor Muscles

Pelvic Floor, use it or lose it.

This week in my classes, the pelvic floor has come up a few times. Now as a dietitian I end up talking about bowels a lot and as a Pilates instructor I now get to talk about pelvic floors – you can see how glam I am 😉 , I thought I’d add a quick blog post on it to help you out.

In Pilates we use the “CORE” muscles these include the “transversus abdominis”  (TA) muscle, which is similar to a corset, wrapping round the  body, I describe it as being below the belly button, and the pelvic floor.

The muscles of the pelvic floor can be thought of as being like a hammock going from your front to your back passage, holding everything in! When these muscles are weak most people know it can result in stress incontinence, but did you also know the pelvic floor muscles aid the emptying of your bowel and bladder, and they can make sex more enjoyable!

Pelvic Floor Muscles
Pelvic Floor Muscles

So how do you find these muscles? It sounds crude but I’d suggest when you go for a wee try stopping the slow of urine part way through and this will show you were there muscles are. Or think about going on a long car journey and being desperate for a wee but having a husband (like mine) who refuses to pull into the services 😉 It’s those muscles you have to use to hold it in!

Your pelvic floor is pretty much like the foundation of  a house, if that is strong you’ll function better. After a while in Pilates you learn to get both your TA and pelvic floor muscles firing when you are doing exercises, but in the early stages you may need to remember to engage both of these seperately. What will end up happening is when you contract one the other will co-contract.

So I’d encourage you to start training your pelvic floor and keep using my reminders in class to check you’ve got your CORE engaged. Use it or Lose it 😉