Although it’s not something that everyone likes to talk about over Sunday brunch, bladder leakage is a very real, very common problem. As a matter of fact, a whopping 1 in 4 women over the age of 18 experience this pesky, often embarrassing issue. We’re hoping that handy statistic makes you feel a little less alone in your fight!
But, urinary incontinence solidarity aside, it’s important to note that you don’t have to carry an extra pair of undies in your purse to stay clean and odor-free down there. In fact, if you perform a couple of basic exercises daily, you will be able to shore up the muscles that control your bladder, muscles that may have weakened during pregnancy, childbirth, or menopause.
What’s great about these exercises is that they will both strengthen the pelvic floor — a key thing for fighting back against urinary incontinence! — and firm up those glutes and thighs. Talk about a win-win!
So, are you ready to save your favorite lingerie? If so, let’s get started!
March out that bridge
One of the most effective ways to quickly strengthen the pelvic floor is to perform exercises that focus on the surrounding set of muscles— i.e. those found in both the glutes and the core.
Start off by lying with your back flat on the ground, with your tailbone firmly (but comfortably) on the floor. Once in position, bend your knees so that they are completely parallel to the ceiling above you. Next, raise your hips skyward, all the while ensuring that your shoulders and chest are wide open and firmly planted. Once you have raised your hips as far as you can, keep them in the air and bring each knee in the direction of your chest, alternating between the two. Repeat 10x for up to 4 sets.
Do the sumo squat
Yet another effective pelvic wall exercise is the squat. If you’re a workout junkie, then you know that there isn’t simply “one” kind of squat; these days, fitness experts have taken the squat to a whole new level.
But for the pelvic floor, the deeper the squat, the better. This is why we’ve selected the “sumo squat” exercise for you today!
To get started on this one, stand with your legs far apart, about 1.5 shoulders-width distance from either foot. Be sure that your heels are firmly planted. Now, if you are in good shape, you can hold a 5-pound dumbbell parallel to your body, but if you aren’t used to the added weight, feel free to simply clasp your hands together in front of you. Now that you’re in position, lower your body while pushing your hips down and bending your knees. Give yourself a second when you can’t push down any further, then come back to the starting position. Repeat 6x for up to 4 sets
Pretty simple stuff, huh? Like we mentioned, these two exercises are great because they firm up that pelvic wall, as well as your glutes, thighs, and core!
Now, before you start these exercises, make sure that you check in with your doc about the bladder incontinence, just to make sure that you aren’t experiencing a more serious health problem. Better safe than sorry!
We’d love to hear your thoughts on all things leaky bladders. Do you suffer from bladder incontinence? If so, do you have any tips for beating it? Do you know of any other exercises that are helpful?