The pelvic floor is made up of a group of muscles going in lots of directions at the lower end of the pelvis. Getting ahold of the pelvic floor is necessary for efficient and effective movement; it aids in smoothing out the movement, making the movement easier, and extending the range of movement.
For those of who have had children the “natural way”, you might remember your Kegel exercises you’re supposed to do after giving birth. To get ahold of the pelvic floor, imagine a 10% Kegel.
For those of you who haven’t had children, imagine that you’re at a beach party and you’ve just drunk a six-pack of your favorite beverage. Unfortunately, the outhouses are a 15-minute walk away and there are no bushes to hide behind. What muscles are you going to use to “hold it”? 🙂
One image that might be useful is picturing pulling a tissue out of a tissue box through the slit in the plastic. Or imagine that there’s a five-story building in your pelvis from the pubic bone to the belly button and it has an elevator in it. But you want to pull the elevator up only two floors, not the whole five.
Here’s what you can do to practice getting the pelvic floor: While lying on your back with your knees up, wrap your fingers around your “hip bones” – those pointy things I said were really called the ASISs. Now do a full-on, 100% Kegel. You should be able to feel that your fingertips got pushed out or the muscles tighten down pretty hard under your fingertips. Relax and repeat the Kegel at 50%. You should still be able to feel the muscles tighten up and still push your fingers out, just not as much. Relax and repeat the Kegel but at 25%. Again, you should still be able to feel the muscles tighten, but it’ll be much more subtle this time. Relax and repeat the Kegel one last time but at 10% of full strength. About the only thing you’ll feel this time is a very localized tightening in the pelvic floor, right around the perineum.
Keep in mind that while doing exercises, you’ll get ahold of the pelvic floor and then lose it right away. That’s okay; just keep trying.