If you’ve always wanted to know what types of exercises I prescribe to my pelvic floor dysfunction clients for homework and why, today you’re in for a treat.
I’ll be featuring 3 clients that I’ve worked with over the last 12 months, all who have had success at different times, but mostly pretty quickly, simply because I set them the right things to do at exactly the right time.
Have a read, and if you want any clarification of any of the exercises – just ask!
Client one is a pregnant client presenting with stress incontinence at 20 weeks who’s been coming to my pregnancy Pilates classes since 14 weeks.
She noticed an increase in the incidence of “sneeze wee” now she’s getting a little further along, so enlisted my help one-on-one.
After assessment, my main focus for this client was glute activation and glute strengthening.
She appeared to have not a lot of connection to her butt (read that as: her glutes have been on holiday for a few decades!) so we set to work doing some squats, released out her dominant quads and hip flexor stretching.
Her foot mechanics were already pretty good because she’d been practising that from my pregnancy Pilates classes.
She saw a decrease in her symptoms after 3 weeks of seeing me one-on-one by doing just 5 exercises as homework.
Next up is to focus on labour prep as she enters her third trimester. Yay!
A 16-week postnatal client (third baby) with diastasis recti and stress incontinence with no previous exercise history with me.
Her pelvic floor. In fact, she’s one of the few clients that crossed my path recently who were more concerned about the aesthetics of her “mummy tummy” than the fact she’ll probably continue wetting herself every time she runs after her toddler, unless she makes some changes.
When a client presents with abdominal separation AND pelvic floor dysfunction, I always prioritise the pelvic floor because that’s the quality of life stuff right there.
On assessment, I noticed this client had a tendency to stand with her weight thrusted forwards, her feet were quite turned out, and she had one tight and weak ar*e!
So, for homework, I prescribed her standing posture, posterior chain mobilising and lengthening, lateral hip strength work (specifically monster walk), education on foot mechanics, and a discount code for Vivobarefoot shoes.
This client emailed me 4 days later to say she saw an improvement in her stress incontinence symptoms “by doing her exercises religiously” (I have some diligent clients, eh?).
Oh, and she returned to her next appointment wearing a shiny new pair of Vivos!
Next up is a 16-month postnatal client (second baby) with stress incontinence and no prior exercise history with me.
On assessment, this client had eye wateringly tight hamstrings, a posterior tilted pelvis (no surprises there!), and her job meant she was on her feet for 80% of her shift and 20% was seated at a computer.
So, I set her calf and hamstring stretching to do as homework, taught her how to sit and stand better, and educated her about the connection between tightness in the foot and tightness in the pelvic floor.
This amazing lady can now finally do things like run to the car to avoid a rain shower (and not leak!) after working with me for just 4 months.
I’d say that’s a pretty cool example of someone embracing the full-body approach and not even realising this stuff was working until her system was really put to the test.
She told me she rain to the car with her husband, and it wasn’t until she sat down that she said to him: “Oh, well, whatever Claire has me doing is clearly working, because normally I would’ve leaked then!”.
How cool is that?!
Have you checked out my Your Pelvic Matters online Teacher Training program?
YPM focuses a lot on foot mechanics, upper body and plenty of releasing of the pelvic muscles (just like the clients I’ve showcased above).
If these areas are gaps in your training, add your name to the Your Pelvic Matters waiting list below, where you too can find out how I address pelvic floor dysfunction the full-body, biomechanics way!