| Caroline Knight
A tight pelvic floor (otherwise known as a hypertonic pelvic floor) is a very real problem afflicting modern women for a myriad reasons. There are a number of symptoms of a tight pelvic floor. For instance, you may find that you’ve got persistent pain in the pelvic area or coccyx, you need to pee urgently and frequently, your urine doesn’t flow steadily, you’re constipated often or sex is painful. You might also find that you have tightness in the hips, buttocks, thighs, hamstrings or abdominal muscles. If any of these things are happening to you, you might be asking yourself the question, how can I relax my pelvic muscles?
VuvaTech have a lot of experience with this problem, so we’re here to help. We want to point out that you should be careful not to confuse pelvic floor stretches with pelvic floor strengthening exercises (kegel exercises). The latter will tighten the pelvic muscles further, which is the last thing you want.
Below we’ll answer two of the most common questions we’re asked about relaxing pelvic muscles:
How can I relax my pelvic muscles?
Do some pelvic floor stretches
One of the best ways to relax your pelvic muscles is through pelvic floor stretches. Any yogi will tell you that these offer lots of relief… so you won’t be surprised to hear that most of the stretches are adapted from yoga postures. They will help you to release tightness from your abdomen, thighs and buttocks, and of course your internal pelvic muscles.
Below is a quick summary of our favorite stretching exercises for the pelvic floor. If you’re not familiar with the poses, you can find full details with accompanying images in our section on pelvic floor muscle stretches.
- Child’s pose (opens the hips and stretches the abdomen)
- Cobra pose (stretches out the abdominal muscles)
- Garland pose (a hip opening squat)
- Happy baby (another hip opener)
- Bound angle pose (a stretch for the hips, thighs and perineum)
- Half Lord of the Fishes pose (stretches the buttocks, outer thighs and lower back)
Remember that these poses are supposed to be relaxing so if you’re in pain at all, ease off and don’t push yourself too far. If you’re not used to stretching the pelvic floor and surrounding muscles it may feel more challenging until you have practiced more. However, doing these stretches once a day will surely help you to relax your pelvic muscles.
Try some abdominal breathing
Another great way to relax your pelvic muscles is through abdominal breathing. It’s a bit of a mind over matter thing, as you’re going to breathing deeply while focusing on releasing muscular constriction. Here are some abdominal breathing tips to relax your pelvic floor:
Lie down on your back and bend your knees (feet flat on the floor). Place a hand on the chest, and one on your abdominal area. While taking a long, deep breath in for around 3 seconds, allow the abdomen to rise to full capacity while visualizing your breath moving downward and your tight muscles releasing tension. Breathe out for the same amount of time, allowing the air to release from the ribs and then the pelvic floor. Aim for circular breathing (i.e. when your lungs are empty breath in immediately). We recommend doing this exercise for five minutes each day to relax your pelvic muscles consistently.
Help! I can’t relax my pelvic muscles…
If you are doing the above exercises but having no luck, it might be time to check in with your Doctor to see if there are any underlying issues you’re not aware of. It is also worth considering pelvic floor physical therapy, which is one of the best therapies for releasing tight pelvic muscles.
Finally, be aware of any detrimental habits you may have that are contributing to a tight pelvic floor. For example, if you’re doing heavy weights in the gym, jogging or running too much, or sitting around for several hours a day, you could find that your pelvic muscles are carrying tension. Posture may be another problem, so be careful to observe how you carry your body day to day. Thanks for reading, and we wish you the best of luck in releasing that troublesome tension!
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