Pelvic floor training and pelvic floor trainer – Strengthen the muscles that you perceive the least
An unfulfilled sex life due to erection problems in men, incipient incontinence or even a weak abdomen after the birth of a child are typical consequences of weak pelvic floor muscles.
Wait, pelvic floor muscles? Yes, it's not visible from the outside and you can hardly feel it, but it's there. And if it's not strong enough, it can cause problems. You can prevent this by strengthening the pelvic floor muscles - for example with EMS (electrical muscle stimulation) and an appropriate EMS pelvic floor trainer.
EMS means "electrical muscle stimulation" and works by causing the pelvic floor trainer to emit electrical stimuli that are transmitted to the skin via electrodes. This stimulates the muscles under the skin. They tense up and as soon as the stimulus subsides, they relax again. In this way the muscles are trained. Especially in the pelvic floor area EMS is a wonderful support for better and sometimes faster training success.
One of the advantages, apart from the fact that it is painless and also suitable for beginners, is that it does not require an active pelvic floor muscle system for EMS monitoring. So you place the electrodes at specific points and start the pelvic floor trainer. It is only important to note that you should select an average intensity and an EMS trainer with several programs so that no habituation effect occurs.
Functions of the pelvic floor muscles
The muscles of the pelvic floor have different functions, which it can only fulfil if it is sufficiently strong.
- Holding and supporting the pelvic organs
- Safely support the sphincter muscles of the urethra and anus
- Support the remaining body muscles under high pressure, for example when lifting heavy objects
If the pelvic floor muscles are weak and untrained, the probability of an unwanted urine leakage is higher and the organs in the abdominal area may lower. The functions of the pelvic floor muscles consist in detail of ...
- to ensure continence and support the lower part of the urethra and the sphincters of the bladder and anus.
- to relax, which in turn enables conscious urination and defecation and supports sexual intercourse and childbirth in women and erection in men.
- to counteract the loss of urine in the event of sudden heavy strain (for example, when jumping, sneezing or coughing).
In summary and simplified one could write that the muscles protect the organs of the pelvis and the abdominal cavity and support the sphincters of the urethra and the rectum. "Secondary functions", if you want to call them that, consist in improving the libido and increasing sexual sensation in women.
Building of the pelvic floor and muscles
Figuratively speaking, the pelvic floor consists of muscles and connective tissue, which together form the floor of the abdominal cavity. One could therefore write that it separates the abdomen from the lower abdomen.
We are talking about three different muscle groups. The individual muscles of the pelvic floor muscles stretch from the pubic bone to the sacrum and coccyx. They also stretch laterally to the two ischial tuberosities. Only the urethra, rectum and, in women, the vagina pass through the muscles.
- The uppermost and also innermost muscle layer is that from the pubic bone to the coccyx. It looks like a net and is particularly strong.
- Then comes the middle muscle layer directly below the bladder. It stretches like a fan across between the two ischial tuberosities.
- The lower muscle layer runs around the body orifices like an eight. In a man, this means around the urethra and anus, in a woman it is also around the vagina. The perineum, which can be felt between the vagina and the anus or, in men, between the scrotum and the anus, is part of the muscle layer.
Note: In women, the lower muscle layer is wider in order to be more flexible during childbirth.
The pelvic floor muscles are composed of two types of muscle fibers, the short and the long, in both men and women. The short muscle fibres can contract quickly and strongly under sudden, strong pressure (e.g. when coughing and sneezing). The long muscle fibers can hold only weak tension, but are long lasting. An example of this is the longer retention time with a full bladder.
How to train the pelvic floor and thus the pelvic floor muscles as a woman or man
As a woman and as a man, you can continue to perform different exercises away from the electrical muscle stimulation, with which you can train your pelvic floor and the pelvic floor muscles. If you take a few minutes each day to do them, you can help yourself enormously. You are also welcome to do the pelvic floor exercises up to twice a day.
Recognize and avoid pelvic floor problems
Perceiving the muscles of the pelvic floor and strengthening them before problems arise should be a priority.
For example, you can feel the muscles when you try to stop the middle stream of urine when you urinate. In doing so, you challenge a substantial part of the musculature (as described above in the „relax“). But do not do this too often, because it can damage the bladder.
You can also try it without letting the water out. In this case you will also feel the organs in the pelvic area lifting up even better.
For men, there is also the option of provoking an erection and making the penis jump up and down. This also requires the PC muscle, the most important muscle of the pelvic floor muscles.
In view of the above, it is recommended that you intensify your pelvic floor training with these. Electrical muscle stimulation is certainly not a panacea, but it is a wonderfully supportive approach to training the pelvic floor.
Even more interesting is how you can tell if your pelvic floor is intact or not. But what is relevant for this is, for example, what causes weak muscles in the pelvic area in the first place.
- Congenital weak connective tissue
- Connective tissue swelling due to hormonal changes (menopause)
- Surgery in the pelvic area (for example, prostate surgery for men)
- Lowering of organs
- Chronic & environmental overload (e.g. due to asthma)
Symptoms of a weak pelvic floor: The symptoms are severe
- Feeding and draining of the inner and outer lungs
- back pain
- Pulling pelvic pain
- Sexual problems
Especially the bladder swelling is an important point. If you have the feeling that you have to go to the toilet more and more often and are losing droplets of urine, it is better to have yourself examined and treated by a doctor. Especially after pregnancies, about 30 percent of mothers suffer from stress incontinence quo. Apart from the pelvic floor muscles, this can also have to do with the prostate in men.
Come to the end of the chapter, …
What additionally damages the pelvic floor muscles
If the musculature is already weak, you should consider a few points that can make the muscles even more weak.
- A lot of sitting
- Poor posture
- Heavy lifting
- Strong pressing in case of blockage
- Too intensive running training
- Sports that involve a lot of jumping
- Estrogen deficiency (leads to loss of elasticity and resilience)
Finally, it should be mentioned that the pelvic floor muscles, if intact and strong, work automatically. And yet it can be controlled and trained at will.