Before exercising, picture the pelvic muscles like a hammock hanging between the tailbone and the pelvic bone. After trauma or stress, the hammock can hang loose. Sometimes it will become too tense and tight with too much exercise, which can be an adverse effect of Kegels. (Think about doing too many bicep curls- working only one muscle makes it become grossly enlarged.)
When this happens with pelvic organs, it can result in pain or in problems with voiding. If you cross-train those muscles with a variety of exercise to strengthen and stretch the various pelvic muscles, you will have a stronger and more flexible “hammock” and a network of muscles that supports you.
The best way to cross-train is to do squats, to sit on an exercise ball instead of a chair, to trade running for brisk walking, and practice good posture to keep muscles in alignment. For help in locating which pelvic muscles to target, consult with a physical therapist that specializes in women’s health. Prevent straining the muscle by avoiding lifting heavy objects, slouching, and doing abdominal exercise like crunches, as they force pressure down.
Pelvic organ prolapse and issue affect a large portion of women, and it is nothing to be ashamed of. Many experts in the field are developing new ways to treat this problem, and a great way to start is to cross train those muscles in addition to Kegel exercises. With some effort and care, you can be as healthy, toned and comfortable as possible.