Stop Doing Kegels: Real Pelvic Floor Advice For Women (and Men)

This web article just came out today and we felt it was important to share. 

Nicole Crawford did a nice job with the article (LINK) and you need to read it.  The pelvic floor is a complicated place. There needs to be balanced muscular contraction and there has to be neutral pelvis and lumbar spine.  We have to agree with her comment:

A Kegel attempts to strengthen the pelvic floor, but it really only continues to pull the sacrum inward promoting even more weakness, and more PF (pelvic floor) gripping. The muscles that balance out the anterior pull on the sacrum are the glutes. A lack of glutes (having no butt) is what makes this group so much more susceptible to pelvic floor disorder (PFD). Zero lumbar curvature (missing the little curve at the small of the back) is the most telling sign that the pelvic floor is beginning to weaken. An easier way to say this is: Weak glutes + too many Kegels = PFD.

 There are too many people who have a shallow lumbar spine lordotic curve. These folks often hold the pelvis as neutrally as they can by keeping a constant squeeze of the glutes to “push” the pelvis “tipped up or levelled up” in the front when in fact the lower abdominals should “hold” them up in the front, to a notable degree.  It is easier for many to push the pelvis up with the glutes particularly when so many individuals are lacking in the abdominal compartment. 

We have so many of our patients learn the “potty squat” where the buttock is pushed backwards in a proper squatting technique.  We do this to reteach gluteal work, hamstring length in an environment of proper abdominal bracing. IT takes time to get the technique down, but it is worth it.  And, Crawford’s article gives it even more validity with its effect on the sacral posturing and impairing pelvic floor tension.

There is much good information in this article by Crawford.  It is worth everyone’s read. If you have been here with us on The Gait Guys for awhile you will know that we hold the mighty glutes on a high pedestal.  They are absolute key in gait and many folks do not use them properly.  After a few rough weeks practicing going gradually deeper as tissue length and strength is earned many of our patients have an epiphany of how little they were using their glutes, and how poorly they squat and how weak they were in the lower limbs.  Even our elderly patients in their 70s and 80s benefit from early shallow potty squat progressions.  We just put a chair behind them in case they fall back. It is never shocking to see what a few weeks of propper “potty-ing” will do to a person.  Do them alot, and do them often.

Good potty-ing to ya’ll.

Shawn and Ivo………Kings of our own Potty Thrones

Here is Crawford’s article link once again.