VIDEO: How to Correctly Contract the Pelvic Floor Muscles

Clinical Expertise

May 28, 2021

Medical Reviewer: Hope Padgett, PT, DPT
Last Updated: June 21, 2021

Video Transcript

Hi, my name is Hope Padgett and I’m one of the pelvic health physical therapist here at Brooks Rehabilitation. And today I’m gonna talk to you about your pelvic floor.

One of the questions I get a lot is what is the pelvic floor? What does it do?

The pelvic floor are the muscles at the base of your pelvis and they act as a bowl. They help to support the organs. They also help for sexual function, bladder and bowel function. They also give us a lot of stability. So these are really important muscles.

Next, how do I contract my pelvic floor? If you’re a girl you wanna think of squeezing the area around the anus and vagina, and if you’re a boy you wanna think of squeezing the area around the anus. Lifting the pelvic floor up and in is the same for both sexes. We wanna make sure we’re not pushing down when we contract the pelvic floor, we’re not holding our breath and we’re not just squeezing our glutes. We really wanna think of lifting up and in for a proper pelvic floor contraction.

If you’re doing it right, most people won’t know that you’re actually doing it, there will be no movement. A lot of times when we use our glutes instead, there’ll be a little up and down as we squeeze, and we shouldn’t have that with a proper pelvic floor contraction.

Some other ways you can make sure that you’re doing it correctly is using a mirror to watch that the perineum is lifting up and in. You can also sit on a towel and see if you’re able to lift the pelvic floor up and away from the towel. One thing that’s really important is to make sure you’re not practicing these pelvic floor contractions while you’re peeing. It’s a common misinformation to practice contracting the pelvic floor while you’re urinating. I know we love to use that cue, we don’t wanna practice that as that can cause problems trapping urine in the urethra and potentially lead to a UTI.

So make sure you’re practicing safe pelvic floor contractions. If you’re still struggling to know if you’re properly contracting your pelvic floor, please get in contact with one of your friendly neighborhood pelvic health physical therapist.

Thank you for watching.

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Medical Reviewer

Hope Padgett, PT, DPT

Pelvic Health Physical Therapist
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