Pelvic Floor Safe Core Exercises | Physio Safe Core Exercises Video

Pelvic Floor Safe Core Exercises | Physio Safe Core Exercises Video

Hi everyone and welcome to Pelvic Exercises,
I’m Michelle Kenway. Today I’m going to teach you how to safely
strengthen your abdominal muscles after pelvic floor surgery. If you’re living with a prolapse
or incontinence issues. This is probably one of the most common issues that I’m asked by
women: what’s safe for an abdominal exercise and what’s not, if you’re living with pelvic
floor dysfunction? Many women need to know that if you place downward pressure (so remember
that your pelvic floor goes in the pelvis from the front bone here, to the back, and
it’s a network of muscles or a hammock. If you’re doing particular exercises such as
really strong intense core work (a lot of sit-up exercises, strong plank, strong hovers,)
those types of exercises actually increase the pressure down on the pelvic floor, mostly
making the pelvic floor move downwards. Studies have shown clearly that when you do those
types of core exercises for women who have had vaginal deliveries in particular, the
pelvic floor is forced downwards. This is definitely not the type of exercise you want
to do if you have a prolapse or following pelvic floor surgery, particularly if your
pelvic floor muscles aren’t working well. Pelvic muscles need to be very strong to withstand
that kind of downward force. So, exercises to avoid? Sit-up exercises,
ball crunches, tabletop exercises, any exercise, essentially, where you’ve got both legs raised
off the ground (that uses my upper abdominal muscles) or my head and shoulders lifting
off the ground. Those exercises will all increase the downward pressure and both at once; even
worse. So they’re the types of things we want to avoid, particularly if you have pelvic
floor dysfunction. So, some safe exercises: First of all we need
to think about how to activate the abdominal muscles properly. What I’ll get you to do
is lie down, or watch me lying down and practice this later on. I’m going to teach you how
to gently activate those deep core muscles. These are the muscles that actually wrap around
and attach to your spine. They’re not your six-pack muscles (the upper abdominal muscles.)
They’re the ones that help you cough, they’re the ones that help you to vomit, and they
increase that pressure downwards. So we’re not trying to train these ones, we’re trying
to train the lower ones and these ones that actually are felt lower, they actually wrap
right around, like a corset onto your spine. To activate them properly, it’s a very very
gentle contraction when lying down so if you stay in these exercises when you have approval
from your gynecologist to start exercises (particularly following surgery,) this is
how you’d start them. Lie down on your back. I like to keep my heels
about fist-width apart and my knees fist-width apart and my head is obviously down so I’m
not using my upper abdominal muscles. You need to have the normal curve in your back.
That means your back’s not flat and slumped. So try to keep that inward curve in your back.
Now, you can use your hands and gently feel, just inside those pelvic bones here (sometimes
you feel these bones and think they’re your hip bones; they’re actually pelvic bones)
You roll over the inside (and use your hands there,) and you can feel that area there.
When you activate these muscles properly it’s a very very gentle in-draw of the area below
your knickers, towards your spine. You’re not going to see a lot when I’m doing these
if you can just imagine that area below where my hands are showing you now. That area is
drawing inwards very very slightly. If I feel this area pulling at the same time I’m pulling
in too hard. It’s a very very gentle in-draw, and hold it. Sometimes when you’re contracting
those muscles, you’ll also feel your pelvic floor muscles contracting as well. So let’s
hold that and contract for ten seconds if you can. So, lying down, inward curve in your back,
heels in line with your bottom bone, knees fist-width apart, hands over that area and
just feel that area very gently activating, just gently drawing in towards your spine,
and holding it for one, two (keep breathing,) three, four (keep holding those muscles on,)
five, six, seven, eight, nine, ten, relax down slowly. If you’re having a lot of trouble
with that, an easy way to find them is by lying on your side. Lying on your side helps
you to identify those muscles I find, if you put your hand (again) over that lower abdominal
area. Let the abdomen bulge, and then very very gently, draw that area in a small amount,
again making sure that you’re not tensing these upper-abdominal muscles too strongly.
This area here should be pulling in hardly at all; down here, very gentle contraction.
Try to draw your lower abdominal wall in towards your spine just a little bit, one, two (keep
breathing,) three, four and five, six (can you hold it?), seven, eight, nine, ten and
relax down. Not necessarily as easy as it looks, is it? Let’s make that exercise a little bit more
challenging. These are some nice progressions you’ll actually use for that abdominal area,
and very safe ones as well. All right, so onto your back again, thinking about the exercise
that I just showed you, drawing your lower abdominal muscles in, I’m going to start with
a heel-slide exercise. Now, this is a nice one to do in bed (if you’re lying on a flat
bed, not a soft bed,) on a flat bed or on the floor in your home, even with a sock on
your foot so that it can slide quite readily. It’s called heel-slide so draw-in your abdominal
muscles in the way I just showed you and slow and steady, sliding your heel (one heel at
a time) down, down, down. Maintain that inward curve in your back. Sliding the heel back
up, slide slide slide, and relax down. Okay, let’s try the other side, slow and steady
again, slide that heel down, slide slide slide, keep your toe muscles on just gently as you
go down there, keep your inward curve in your back, slide the heel back, slide and relax.
Once again I can feel my muscles working there and working quite hard too, to control that
area. To progress that exercise, you can take it
into a leg extension with the foot raised off the floor. So you could take it into a
small lift and extend it, again, holding your tummy muscles on just gently. Another nice
abdominal exercise: bringing the leg back, and take it down. That’s not one you’d go into, early days postoperatively.
You can start your heel slides fairly soon post-op (as soon as you’re allowed to, as
soon as your gyne. says you can,) but then the lift and raise is a more advanced exercise,
and you’re probably thinking about starting that five to six weeks after surgery (again,
once you’ve had approval to do exercise your abdominal muscles.) So, you’ve got the advanced leg-extension,
and you’ve got the heel-slide exercise. Another lovely exercise for lower abdominal control
is called bent-knee fallouts. This exercise involves your… (and I’ll do this with my
left leg closest to you so you can see what I’m doing.) I’m imagining I’ve got a glass
of water balanced on my right knee, and my left leg is going to lower down to the side
just gently, without my hips rolling. I’m keeping that glass of water stable on that
right knee, not letting it tip over, bringing the leg back up slow and steady, slow and
steady and relaxing. Try not to tip that glass over, and not rolling my pelvis. You
can see that I can readily roll and move. I’m not doing it. I’m using my lower-abdominal
muscles to control my spine and control my trunk and stop that rolling movement. Let’s go again with the other side. This time
my glass of water is balanced on my left knee (my left knee stays pointing towards the ceiling,)
slowly lowering my right knee out to the side, slow and steady, bringing it back up slow
and steady. I just take it to point before where I feel my pelvis is about to start to
roll and you can repeat that, each side. For all the exercises we’ve done, you can
repeat them up to ten times. Just as you start to feel comfortable with them, working the
number that feels comfortable, and that’s the way to progress those exercises, bringing
back up, and relaxing. So, how did you go with all those exercises? We’ve done a couple
of great abdominal control exercises there. They’re for your T.A.’s, or transverse abdominis,
or deep abdominal control muscles. So, we’ve done our heel-slide exercises. We’ve
done our leg-lift and extend exercise and we’ve also done a very gentle bent-knee fallout
(once again just drawing the abdominal muscles in gently when you’re doing those exercises.)
Try to steer clear of sit-up exercises and intense core exercises. They will actually
place pressure on your pelvic floor. Well that’s it for me, for today. I’ve enjoyed
exercising with you and I hope you’ve enjoyed our exercise session. I look forward to exercising
with you again soon. If you’d like more information on safe exercise with pelvic floor issues,
please visit us at I’ll see you again soon. Bye for now.

100 comments on “Pelvic Floor Safe Core Exercises | Physio Safe Core Exercises Video

  1. Audrey Morgan Post author

    Fantastic information. THANK YOU. I will share this with my chiropractor and trainer.

  2. Celina Sanchez Post author

    Michelle I am 50 I need to know what to do about this prolapsed uterus and how much it costs for operation not mesh

  3. Amanda Hallmark Post author

    Hi I just saw your video. I have a 3 year old and an almost 2 year old and I think I developed SPD with my second pregnancy. My pain varies each day. I recently started Pilates but after watching this I'm wondering if I shouldn't do some of the exercises. I experience pain in my tailbone, low abdomen and the inside of my thighs and legs and my pain is much worse at night. I will see a physiotherapist next month but I'm wondering if I should try these in the meantime or if you have any suggestions. Thanks!

  4. Megan Overend Post author

    Hi Michelle, are you able to confirm whether or not strengthening the groin and inner thigh muscles assists with pelvic floor stability? I notice I stand on the outsides of my feet a lot. My yoga teacher has discussed with me how this can create an inbalance leaving the outer thighs stronger which can weaken your core and pelvic floor. Are you able to expand on this and/or provide any other exercises. Thanks

  5. Mary Conway Post author

    Michelle which is exercise would you recommend where the colon has descended and is putting pressure on pelvic floor?

  6. Ashley Carattini Post author

    Hi Michelle, My Dr. said I need to relax my pelvic floor muscles, he told me to basically do the opposite of Kegels. Do you have any recommendations
    for exercises to do ?

  7. Thais De Goes Post author

    Michelle, thank you for all of the work you have done to help us! I am reading your book and have watched many videos but I am still unsure about safe and unsafe exercises. I wish I could hire you as a trainer for a year. Would you please tell me if lifting legs is alright while standing as in ballet type movements? Thank you. And also if weight lifting of any kind standing up is wrong.

  8. Ever curious: Michelle Post author

    I'm looking to strengthen those "corset" muscles that you talk about but the instant I lay on my back my stomach naturally flattens in and the leg lift exercise is quite easy. The only time I can feel myself engaging those muscles is when I'm on my side. I'm pretty sure the reason it doesn't work when I'm on my back is because I have poor technique but I'm just wondering if anyone is having the same problem or any tips. (I have not had surgery or a prolapse or anything I just stumbled upon this video.)

  9. Stacy McDonough Post author

    I am having a problem recognizing if I am doing it correct. I was told it was like blowing a bunch of candles on a birthday cake. A total blow out of breath. Does this seem right?

  10. Andrea DN Post author

    Hi Michelle, I had a removal cyst almost 4 weeks ego, I have been walking in the treadmill and elliptical machine since the second week after my surgery, but I think I am still weak because my belly still swollen, I would like to know if I should wait to get better or do some specifics exercises. Thank you

  11. miss mum Post author

    hello, i am 3.5weeks pp and have what i am guessing is some kind of prolapse.. are these safe for someone so newly postpartum?

  12. The Food Diary Post author

    Hi Michelle, can this be helpful after a lapcroscopy surgery for stage 4 endometriosis ? i am currently trying to conceive and after my surgery 4 months ago i am finding it difficult still to find comffy exercise. I am also finding it hard to find a physeo in Sydney that helps with this
    thank you for your video !! it is so great xx

  13. amm amm Post author

    Hi Michelle i had baby 6 days ago n i feel like my cervix n bladder is low am i wondering is it prolapse ? Can i fix it with pelvic floor exercise ? I had been doing pelvic floor exercise during my pegnancy any idea or help ?i really Appreciate tht thanks

  14. Carly W Post author

    Are these exercises safe to do if you pelvic floor muscles that are too tight? I also have chronic back pain (mid back pain specifically), and have been told over and over that I need to strengthen my core, however I find myself limited to the types of exercises I can do because of my tense pelvic floor.

  15. Lills Jul Post author

    I have no idea if I am doing it right or not.  This does not work.  You need to point better.

  16. Olivia Fontaine Post author

    Hi Michelle,
    will these exercises help a bladder and bowel lining that has been damaged through radiation therapy and chemotherapy?
    If not, is surgery an option?
    Thank you for your video, it is inspiring.

  17. Kristina Henderickx Post author

    Hey Michelle,

    I want to train my abs and want to flatten my belly.
    The exercises you recommend, are Pelvic Floor safe, but can I get a flat tummy by doing these exercises?
    Or do I have to do more abs exercises to actually see result?

    P.s.: I really love your videos!

  18. Lulu Post author

    what do you do if you can't really feel if you're doing that? due to nerve damage, I really can't tell if I'm contracting them or not

  19. Bijou das Post author

    It is very well-explained in a clear and straightforward manner. Very much beneficial for women having complete hysterectomy.

  20. saira ali Post author

    hello Michille.i m 36 years old and i have 5 kids with normal delevery.i have bladder prolaps i m so worried plz plz help me.and guide me.

  21. Margot Robicheaux Post author

    Can these exercises help with vaginismus(I can't even manage more than a finger or a tampon)? I can't afford dilators and there are no pelvic floor psychical therapists in my country. I feel broken and like no one is going to love me.

  22. Michelle Lamond Post author

    Hi Michelle! I was wondering if you have any full body workouts that are safe for both pelvic prolapse and diastasis recti. I'm finding myself trying to piece together movements from videos, websites and physical therapy to build a total body workout that is safe for me to do but effective enough to strengthen my whole body and provide a little cardio (and lose weight.) I've seen and tried a few programs (Tupler Technique, Mutu, Dia Method) but none really have what I'm looking for. I'd love if you produced a 30 minute video I could follow along with without worrying my diastasis recti or pelvic prolapse.

  23. Una Cottrell Post author

    Hi Michelle. Is it recommended to do these exercises daily or if not, how often would you say to do them. Thanks

  24. Janet Sylviya Post author

    i am having inerted uterus.. what are all the exercises can i do to reduce my tummy…

  25. CrikeyMate Post author

    Thanks Michelle, I think your exercises are helping me, not sure how much, but I'll get there. As I'm a fit grannie of 70+ I'm determined to get there. I already get your letter, so just keep up the good work. Cheers, Annie xx

  26. Natalia Mendez Post author

    thank you. I've had hystorectomy and my bladder is prolapsing would this excercise help, would core strengthening help my prolapse bladder to avoid yet another surgery? thank you again

  27. Tami Spahr Post author

    Hi! I use your videos to workout (love them) and just recently joined Curves (a 30-minute circuit using hydraulic machines) here in the States. Unfortunately, after just 2 workouts I started having pelvic pain due to my pelvic floor dysfunction. If I were to send you a graphic of all the machines used in the circuit, could you possibly tell me which ones I should be avoiding? I would really appreciate it, as I'm just not sure who to ask for that information.The ladies that run the Curves gym really seem to have no idea. Thank you!

  28. Lama Alkhayat Post author

    Im 6 weeks pp and have bladder prolapse stage 2 ?
    Could you plz do a video to treat this kind of prolapse
    Thank u

  29. Oriet Recknell Post author

    So clear and easy to follow. I shall start this at once. Thank you for posting this useful video. I shall let you know how I get on. I am sick of leaking at the most inconvenient moments.

  30. Suzanne Dixon Post author

    Thank you so much. This is exactly what I needed to know. All your Youtube demo.s and your book and dvd are excellent.

  31. Vape Girl Post author

    I'm not sure what I've got to do ? Am I supposed to breath that area in ? Like suck it inwards hold the tension inwards ? Then relax

  32. Yvonne Quijada Post author

    when you slight the feet you a pressing down at the same time in the pelvic area?? Thanks

  33. Abo Omar Post author

    Your exersice is very very important . I belive to translate this exersice to all languge .thank you very very much.

  34. Jaikay1 Post author

    Gotta stop aiming all these video's at women, men have this problem too – it creates stigma. Great video though 🙂

  35. Jacquie B Post author

    I’ve been doing the exact core exercises that you advise to stay away from! I wasn’t doing my prolapsed bladder any favours. Thanks for the info!

  36. Yewande YorubaGyal Post author

    Far too much chat and hardly any interaction with queries. It's a big no for me. What's the point in doing all the work and not answering queries???

  37. Daniel Ramos Post author

    This is great. I teach pelvic floor and core in my yoga classes as best I can and I have found in my own practice it's helped me to not pee my pants when I sneeze or swing a kettlebell! But I have never had pelvic floor dysfunction or prolapse! I don't teach sit ups because I think their stupid and the core stuff i do is planks, shoulder taps in plank and BOAT! And that was the big WHOA, I need to understand there may be women who have had some pelvic floor dysfunction and maybe that isn't great for them. The only thing I dont understand is why when on your back, you wouldn't gently press the lower back into the mat. A lot of people have an overly curved lower back, causing tight hip flexors and weak glutes, hamstrings and core. If I lieon my back and draw TVA inward, my lower back gently presses itself into the mat and takes me out of the overly lordotic curve. I am aware our lower back has that natural curve and we want to repsect it and not straighten it out, but what about for those like me who have a tendancy towards a lordosis?

  38. Rebecca Miedema Post author

    Thank you so much for these videos I have pelvic floor dysfunction with lower abdominal weakness and finding videos on the topic is near impossible!

  39. Bumble Bee Post author

    My son had a hamegeric stroke and c v a lost all ability to feel #1 and # 2 so we have to use adult Pampers is this exercise will be able to help him; he only 44 years old if someone out there can help us please feel free to let us know thanks

  40. MsJaide Post author

    I'm doing these exercises because I have a very weak bladder. I've also had a csection plus a number of abdominal surgeries. I had a prolapse during my pregnancy too. How long will I need to do these exercises for before I can also work on my other core muscles (the 6 pac ones) because they need serious help too!? Do I wait until I feel like my bladder is completely healed or as soon as I start to see some results can I then start doing core work? Would really appreciate an answer. Thanks

  41. Renu Santhosh Post author


    Thank you for the informative video. Do these exercises help to revert slight pelvic organs prolapse? I am 14 weeks postpartum and have symptoms of slight POP.


  42. Natasha Artiushenko Post author

    Hello when you do heel slide exercise, do you still maintain low back curve in the spine for the right pelvic engagement?

  43. Heathtime with Dr Archana Bharti Post author

    Pelvic exercises are very important for preventing and managing urinary leakage

  44. Ash Qr Post author

    I have muscle weakness on the side area specifically where the love handles are , would that be good for that

  45. Elzbeth Immanuel Post author

    I gave birth a month ago via c-section (my second). How soon can I do this exercise?

  46. Rekha.B Rekha.B Post author

    Hi madam myomectomy operation was done for me for fibroid, it's done for me in June 2018, exactly 1 year gone, shall i do this excersie now is that helpful for me or not please reply me madam, I'm 26 unmarried, open surgery is done for me,I feel so worried after that operation, after that operation my body is very painful and i got back pain after that operation so I can't do my works also i feel so tired always, please reply me please madam

  47. Ali Bierman Post author

    Thank you so much for your informative video. I was about to see a doctor and I avoid doctors at all costs! 17 years post-hysterectomy I suddenly have a prolapsed vagina. ARGH! I was pretty sure it was weak pelvic floor muscles and had no idea why it took 17 years to happen and then I saw this video. Oh my! Some of the exercises I do may have caused this issue. I have been doing those exercises for over two years so I am not sure why I have the issue now. I do know to stop those particular workouts and check out your programs.

  48. Dana Free Post author

    Thanks for these exercises Michelle. Love that there is a routine that is safe and effective for prolapse sufferers!

  49. Eddie Lola Post author

    I’m 15 and I’m pretty sure I have a rectocele since I have been suffering with constipation my whole life, when I do go to the toilet it use to bleed a lot and would fill the water.I don’t know what to do since I’d find it awkward to visit the doctor and tell them it’s bulging into my vagina. It gives me a lot of pain and hassle since I can go days without for a poo. Also it’s making me worried for my future since I read it can affect you in many ways, it has also made me nervous to get into any relationship since I feel embarrassed to ever have sex since it is bulging into it. I read surgery is necessary (since it’s bulging a lot not just a bit). However I have my exams soon for school my final ones that I can’t miss and time out of school will affect my grades. I really have no clue what to do since it’s affecting me everyday. Any advice?

  50. gurmeet kaur Post author

    I am 29 and got endometriotic surgery 2 yrs back because i was suffering from severe pain in my lower abdomen in both right and left ovary and then they removed cyst through lazer. After tht pain disappered completly now when i try to go gym doing some cardio like cycling and runnig my pain gets back in my lower abdomen. Can you suggest me which excerciaea i shouldnt do?


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