The Pelvic Floor and The Importance of Training It
In this week’s show, I have Priya on who runs a Pilates Studio and specialises in pre & post-natal Pilates. Our discussion focuses on exercising and strengthening our pelvic floor.
Things we cover:
- What is the pelvic floor and where is it?
- Comparing the pelvic floor to a trampoline.
- The pelvic floor is the foundation of our core.
- The holistic core restore training
- The importance of breathing to strengthen your pelvic floor
- The unexpected wee!
- Which exercises are best for strengthening?
Priya runs a Pilates Studio in Southampton and teaches alongside a team of 4 other teachers. Priya focuses on pre & post-natal pilates but also teaches reformer, the chair and normal classes as well.
Hi, and welcome to this week’s polities for busy people weekly show this week I have Priya true on with me. Welcome.
Hello. Thank you for having me.
Absolutely. pleasure. And thank you for coming. So would you like to tell us a little bit about yourself?
Hey, my name is Priya Chu and I run a plasma studio down in Southampton. I specialize in pre and postnatal work, but also teach the reformer and the chair and normal classes as well. And I’ve got a team of four other teachers that work with me.
All right, well done.
Yeah, that really helps, isn’t it? So? So today, I wanted to talk about the pelvic floor. Because it’s a really big thing for us women and men, actually, isn’t it? So they get involved in it as well. And so you specialize in the holistic core restore? is a course, isn’t it? Yeah. Can you tell us a little bit about that and, and the importance in terms of why we need a functional pelvic floor.
Love to say pelvic floor is something I’m really passionate about. Because I think it’s something that we just don’t talk about enough. So you might talk about I think my cause of it, we call you know, when I do such and such I get pain in my shoulder. But we don’t tend to talk to our friends about Oh, if I jump a little bit more, I’ve got pain in my pelvis, it’s not something we tend to do. But it’s another part of the body, which can really affect everything else that’s going on. So I’ve got Priscilla my pelvis hair, things inside, or you can see that here we’ve got the big bony part, the hit. And then right the back here, we’ve got the cock six and the sacrum, so you’ve got that end of your back is it that’s really good, because I just sorry, this is an aside because I’m always telling people about their concepts and trying to pull it underneath. And things like that to get that lovely curve. And so it’s quite nice to visually see it.
So this is what it looks like. But what’s really interesting is that your pelvic floor actually attaches right in to your clock sex. Some people describe it as a cock six is like the rudder of the ship. And it just is the way your spine goes. And it also can steer the direction your pelvic floor goes and has a big impact on that. So if you’ve got damaged your toxics that could affect your pelvic floor, for example. And then if we turn over, we get the side that we don’t look at so often, there’s not many people who kind of have a good view of their pelvic floor. But you can see how large the pelvic floor is. So I think a lot of the time people think about the pelvic floor be a muscle and it’s not, it’s a group of muscles, you have got fish your muscles, and we’ve got deeper muscles. So we have got here the pelvic floor attack into the cock six, as I said, but then it attaches into the bony protrusions here.
So this is basically your inner thighs, right? If your inner thighs are not very strong, or maybe you lean slightly to one side and one work stronger than the other, that’s going to affect your pelvic floor, this muscle will get food. And then we’ve also got the pelvic floor. It’s happening right in at the front. So I think most people know your pelvic floor attaches right at the front where the pubic bone is. Okay. So that’s kind of the interesting bit about the pelvic floor is it touches into so many muscles, and it attaches into the bony part of your purpose. And I don’t think many people realize that at all. I think you’re right. No, I think we assume because this is sometimes how it talks about, it’s a hammock that hangs between your legs. Hands down, and it’s magically holding itself there.
Actually, it’s quite securely attached. And I sometimes describe it as a trial. I’m playing no action points around the pelvis. And it’s quite security fastens. But with the trampoline, you could get a second one side. And the other side? Yeah, no, it’s true. When you bounce on it, is it? No, not at all.
And it’s the same with a perfect so. So the other thing I like to talk to people about in terms of habits, law, so I like to have toys. And this actually children’s toy is a really nice example of, for example, if one part of your body is too tight, or is pulling one direction. So if I hold this part and I pull, you can see the effects on the rest of the body. Yes, it’s the same with the pelvic floor.
If you’ve got one part of your pelvic floor that isn’t working as it should. They’re all one part your bodies. For example, say you’ve got a tight glutes, your bum is tight on one side, because perhaps you’ve been standing to one side holding a child on your hip for a period of time. Yeah. Everything in your body slightly skewed. And that’s going to also affect your pelvic floor. I see.
Yeah, happens a lot, doesn’t it? Because when we ever we focus on glute exercises and classes, classes, there’s always one weaker and the one, you know, stronger. And for all the reasons you said and for other reasons, as well. But yeah, yeah, but even if someone doesn’t show the rage, you know, your classic, squeeze your hips up and come back down, you’ll see that they lose sight to one side, or the person will feel Oh, this side stronger than that side. And it’s kind of like, why is that happening? And that will be having an impact on other things in the kinetic chain throughout the body. Yeah.
The Why am I so passionate about the pelvic floor, it would be because that’s pretty much our foundation. So when we talk about the call, we do talk about pelvic floors. But we also talked about the lower abdominals. And we talked about the obliques, and we talked about the lower back and the diaphragm, actually, the pelvic floor sits right at the base of all of that. So you’re able to build upon a strong foundation. And when we take a big inhale, so one of the first things I teach anyone, when they come to see me is breathing. And when we teach them as breathe, once be inhaling, sending that air into the ribs and into the tummy, but also down into the pelvis, this was really eye opening to me, I had no idea after all of my training, that when I breathed, air went into my pelvis.
So I was kind of like, you know, my tummy gets bigger, my lips expands, etc, etc. But I hadn’t actually felt my pelvic my pelvic floor, relax and thought about the idea of that as going into the there’s not a lot in there, no, this. It’s got to, it’s got to go there, it does go down there. And so when you exhale, you actually want to try and empty the air right from the bottom of your pelvis upwards. And often. We want to think beneath the belly button if we add to the belly button, and we don’t think about anything lower than the belly button, because that’s not so nice.
We just don’t talk about it enough to you, right? We just don’t talk about it at all. And if we can, but we all have issues, especially either after childbirth, or as we get older, which is probably from childbirth in the first place, isn’t it but also hormones. So when you get towards perimenopause and menopause, your hormone levels, levels of estrogen are going to decline that’s going to affect your pelvic floor.
So why do we as women just carry on with it and it stops us doing the things that we want to do? So I run? Don’t go on the trampoline anymore? Because I am at that multiples. But you know, I don’t I find the trampoline a hard thing to do now. But I shouldn’t do? Sure.
No, I mean, it’s great that you can run. And I think that there’s a lot of women who do get back into running. But even with running, you first you don’t get back to running too soon. No. So I always try and encourage my postnatal ladies to wait to six months, if I can get them to hold off that long, depending on their experience. I certainly got some marathon runners who will go back sooner than that. But you know, with running, you’ve got that impact that’s coming through your foot all the way up your leg into your pelvic floor.
And you do kind of I come across women who are going back to running and they can maybe do five K, but they can’t do any more than that. Because that’s when they get problems. Yeah, that’s just your pelvic floor saying I can withstand this much. Not enough. Yeah.
It’s not all just about the running is it or any other sport you want to do, especially when you’ve got that. And I know that that’s what you want to talk about as well is the impact. So I do parties for runners, which is specifically for runners. So we change it a little bit from normal polities classes. And there’s a lot of standing work. Because we’ve got other things that we need to work on as well. But you are going to focus more on the public floor Aren’t you with, with what you’re going to do I teach postnatal classes, my kind of progression with people as I have people join pregnancy, and I work with the mat. And then I have people postnatal and we have the babies in the session, and it’s cottage, but also a lot of fun. And we work on just the initial breathing and finding the pelvic floor and almost getting people back into community and moving. And then what I have found really works well is the holistic court restore, and branding.
So this is a group of courses, the initial one that I teach you something called every woman and this booklet for every woman. And this is all about getting women who have got some pelvic floor issues. So that might be that they leak a little bit when they jump on the trampoline. It could be easy. So the nice p it could just be that they’ve had a baby. And you know, it’s four months post baby, and they know that there’s some problems there. Or it could be that. That just in case we were you’re kind of seeming like I thought I don’t know if I can trust my perfect, yeah, so I’m gonna have to wait.
So it’s those kinds of things, or people we’ve got a small intimate separation. And this is a six week course, which takes you from how do you breathe to functional exercises that are going to help your pelvic floor. So everything is cute. So there are squats and lunges and band walk and all kinds of things in there. But is with a real focus on where to cook sex. Yeah. Whereas you keep it bone that’s engaged pelvic floor, let’s lift pelvic floor as we’re doing the movement. And the best thing I think about the course one of the best things is you get all your homework online.
Your way you do a face to face, you learn it, you go away, you do your homework, and then you come back and you tell everybody else how awful it was or how wonderful it was. And there’s a really nurturing kind of community around it. So my ladies this week, we always have an education heart. And so we might talk about when that’s always a great one we might talk about this week, it’s been nutrition a bit, it’s kind of a fun topic. And also I’m a dietician. And so that’s always a good one. And so they’re putting pictures of their meals up and what’s up group, everyone’s kind of containing and going back and forth and saying, Can I have that recipe?
Oh, that’s a really good one because of the fiber that’s in it. So it’s not just about pelvic floor, it was the whole, it’s the whole lifestyle thing again, isn’t it?
Basically, it’s a lifestyle thing and stress, for example, talk about stress, and because stress, a massive impact on the pelvic floor as well. If you’re stressed, you’re either going to be holding on as your pelvic floor and gripping from your work, or you’re just not going to be using it. So yeah. So these courses, I know that that you are specific trying to this and I know that a few other people, but people can go online and find out where the nearest classes for that, can’t they?
There is a holistic chorus or website and you can click to find the local coach to you. Yeah, but I’m sorry, I’m not sure who is who does it around here. So I need to look into that too. So I can put it be interesting to connect with them. Also, there are seven trainers who will do it online with us. If there’s no one local to you, you can then that’s brilliant. So so once, once people are starting to understand their pelvic floor, and they’re getting a little bit stronger with it, and you know, things are a lot easier for them, then what do you use? Sort of so someone did want to start running. But all other impact sports? I suppose it is really isn’t it? Yeah, what other things can they do, as well as doing it.
So when you’ve got somebody who is wants to get back to when you’re when you’re moving your body some stuff, you think about these bits here, your pelvic floor might not be so easy to see. But there’s four lakh bits of elastic, Karen is your pelvic floor, and these are your legs. And when you move your pelvic floor moves. Yeah, yeah. The same as when you if you were to squat down, then your pelvic floor is going to move as well. Yeah, I sense that we want to train the body in a functional way.
We want to use things like squats and lunges and going down to the floor and coming up. Because that’s what we do in everyday life. Yeah. Going back to running, that’s even more important to need to be able to work out, you know, how do you lift your leg up? How do you put it back down? Again? How do you suddenly leap, and you have it works. So the next stage and I think is something that’s really been missing. And I have started to launch something called athlete 12, which again, is part of the holistic course offerings. And this is really great, because all online quite a long period of time for you to work on it. And it’s 12 weeks of online classes, and you get a class or workout every week from Jenny borough who’s the founder, of course door, and then you get a workout every week for me. And mine’s going to have some more parties and stretch type things in there as well. Right? So it’s all about the impact. You also get the kind of capture around nutrition and stress reduction and sleep quality and all those things. And you get to kind of hang out with whoever else is doing the course and chat to them as well.
It’s like community, isn’t it, because when she I mean, you can see it and Facebook groups all over the place can do for whatever, whatever plot is running or whatever is just that starting to talk about the problems that you have. And knowing that you’re not alone, doing it, which I think is really, really important. So, so that sounds great. So if we put all the links below to your, your courses, and the ones, the athletic 12, which sounds fantastic, and a really good thing to do. Because you don’t as a woman, we don’t need to be having all these problems, we, you know, everything is, in the my eyes most things anyway. But
I think also, as women, we don’t always think that we need to train or that we need to get strong. Whereas athlete 12 is not about you know, it’s not about being a bodybuilder, and your body fitter and stronger. So you can go back to the next stage of life.
Yeah, and it was interesting, because weeks ago, and I’ll put the video up here, I never know which what side it is. I talked to a menopausal expert. And we were talking about the changes in your body, obviously, through the menopause, and how you needed to change your lifestyle and your exercise. And one of the things that was coming up through that was that you needed to do weight, she needed to do more functional training, not just go out for a run and hope that everything was going to be right. So I think as we start to get older that we need to realize that there’s other things we need to do so that we can do the things we love. Sorry, I got on a bit of a pedestal about it. But yes, brilliant, brilliant. So thank you so much for that prayer. That’s been excellent. And I hope people found it really, really lovely. And I love all the pelvic floor toys and stuff. So that’s made it for me. It’s made it so clear. And I know I know stuff about it. So yes. Brilliant. Thank you very much for coming on.