I spend much of my day as a pelvic floor physical therapist educating women on the benefits of strengthening their pelvic floor muscles and how to do it. If you are not familiar with this area of your anatomy trying to contract these muscles can be a difficult task. The pelvic floor muscles make a hammock or sling from the pubic bone in front to the tailbone in back.
Pelvic Floor Muscle Location
Exercises that strengthen the pelvic floor muscles can help hold urine inside the bladder, preventing leakage. These are commonly called “Kegel” or pelvic floor muscle exercises, named after the doctor who developed them. Personally, I like to refer to them as pelvic floor muscle contractions.
There are several ways to find your pelvic floor muscle. When contracting the muscle, women will feel a slight pulling in the rectum and vagina. Men will feel a pulling in of the anus and movement of the penis. Every person is unique, and different techniques work for different people. Below I have outlined 2 techniques to help you find and isolate those muscles.
Everyone, at one time or another, has been in a crowded room and felt as if he or she were going to pass gas or “wind.” Imagine that this is happening to you. Most of us will try to squeeze the muscles of our anus to prevent the passing of gas. These muscles being squeezed are your pelvic floor muscles. If you feel a “pulling” sensation at the anus, you are using the right muscles.
For women, lie down and insert a finger into your vagina. Try to squeeze around your finger with your vaginal muscles. You should be able to feel the sensation in your vagina, and you may also be able to feel the pressure on your finger. If you can, then you are using the right muscles. If you cannot detect any movement with one finger, try two fingers.
It takes some practice to get used to contracting the muscles, so don’t give up on it.