Five Reasons Why Pilates is Good for The Pelvic FloorMay 04, 2023
I have had the privilege of working alongside amazing pilates studios in the Atlanta area, like The Daily Pilates in Inman Park, either taking classes or providing workshops to their members. As a pelvic floor physical therapist, I am frequently asked if Pilates is a good activity to do for my clients rehabilitating various pelvic floor dysfunctions. It is a resounding yes, especially as a tool to extend their personal home exercises and reinforce their mind body connection. Here are some specific reasons why I believe Pilates is so good for the pelvic floor muscles:
- Pilates teaches you how to move with optimal spine alignment. Throughout the various exercises, your instructor will cue you how to align your spine and maintain it throughout the movement. When we are in better alignment, our core and pelvic floor can also work optimally.
- Pilates teaches you how to breathe with movement and exhale with effort. Instructors will also guide you through breath, for example with “the hundred” exercise, they may suggest inhaling for 5 counts and exhaling for 5 counts. If you are not holding your breath, chances are your pelvic floor is working dynamically to stabilize your abdominal muscles and spine.
- Pilates classes will often cue at the beginning and during class how to activate the pelvic floor muscles with the goal being awareness. In every class I have taken from several different studios in Atlanta, they cue through a pelvic floor and transverse abdominis contraction with the breath like, “as you exhale, draw your sits bones together without clenching your glutes, and draw your hip bones together - this is your deep core.”
- Pilates not only teaches pelvic floor connection, but also how to build endurance and coordination in relation to your core and whole body. Although some people benefit from specific kegel work, as a general rule, teaching awareness followed by breath to movement is the ultimate focus of a balanced nervous system and pelvic floor. Pilates teaches whole body health just like pelvic floor physical therapy.
- Pilates classes can provide stress relief through community engagement, accountability, physical activity, improved posture and a strong mind body connection.
If you are not sure where to begin, especially if you are pregnant or postpartum, seeing a pelvic floor physical therapist like myself can help establish what your pelvic floor and core can handle and how to make modifications so you can move and feel your best. We are located just minutes down the road from The Daily Pilates in Decatur, GA.
Dr. Krystal PT, DPT, CMTPT, RYT-200
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