Alex Richardson is a Registered Nurse and qualified Pilates Instructor who has combined her love of Pilates and experiences as a Nurse, to form a passion for educating and inspiring people to use Pilates and movement as a preventative to many health problems. In 2016, Alex opened up her first Pilates studio, Duo Pilates in Morningside, Brisbane.
Okay, sure, Pilates makes you feel stronger, more flexible and hotter in a pair of yoga pants. These things alone can make us feel sexier and more confident in the bedroom but what I am about to share with you, is the real underlying reason why Pilates helps to improve your sex life. HINT: It doesn’t have anything to do with any of the above!
The secret: Pelvic floor muscles
Pilates strengthens your pelvic floor muscles and your pelvic floor muscles strengthen your sex life. Simple as that. I urge you to read on though. I am going to explain to you how that is and give you two exercises you can do to practice.
What is the pelvic floor?
The pelvic floor muscles act like a sling, resting on the base of your pelvis and have a number of important roles, the biggest being, to stop our organs falling out, and no one needs that in their life! The pelvic floor muscles are also responsible for supporting our lower back, improving our core strength, improving our sex life and helping us to keep our bladder and bowel control in check! Pretty important things, right? Unfortunately, though, these muscles often get neglected, despite there being super simple, easy exercises that you can do to strengthen them. It is all too common for women to have a laugh about ‘weeing themselves’ when they walk, laugh and squat. The truth is—it most definitely does not need to be like that. Pelvic floor exercises can be done absolutely anywhere (even while you are having sex), and it is possible to strengthen them with in a matter of weeks.
Pelvic floor muscles & sex
The pelvic floor muscles are so important for so many reasons but for now, I am going to explain how your pelvic floor muscles can improve your sex life and well, help you get a better grip! The most important pelvic floor muscle is called the pubococcygeus (also known as the PC). It is the deepest pelvic floor muscle and largely responsible for the amount of sensation that a woman can feel during intercourse. If your partner is male, then it can also increase the amount of sensation for them as well. Put it this way—you can get a better grip!
Pilates is centred around stretching and strengthening exercises to create a more balanced body. A large component of this is focused on strengthening the core to improve posture, balance, flexibility and strength. The pelvic floor muscles play a small role in improving your overall core strength by working closely with a muscle called the transverse abdominus (the deepest abdominal muscle). Go to any Pilates class and you will hear your instructor tell you to engage your pelvic floor. So you are probably wondering how it is that you can strengthen your pelvic floor muscles? Below I am going to show you two exercises that you can practice at home, in order to strengthen your pelvic floor muscles.
Pelvic floor exercise no.1:
1. Lie down on your back with your knees bent and feet flat. I suggest doing this lying down because I want you to keep your abdominals relaxed while you perform the exercise. 2. In a moment, I want you to take a deep breath in and then a deep breath out. At the very end of the breath out I want you to imagine that you are stopping yourself from doing a wee and in doing so, you will squeeze your pelvic floor muscles correctly. Try and hold this squeeze for 10 seconds but don’t be worried if you feel the muscles fizzle off before then! 3. I then want you to try and do 10 sets of 10 second holds in a row. Practice this once through. 4. If you can’t make it to 10 seconds every time, don’t stress! Practice makes perfect! Now move on to pelvic floor exercise no.2.
Pelvic floor exercise no.2:
1. Lie down in the same position as exercise 1. 2. Again, imagine that you are trying to stop yourself from doing a wee but this time I want you to perform 20 quick squeezes rather than holding on for 10 seconds at a time. So you are going to squeeze, release, squeeze, release x20. If you can’t make it to 20, that’s completely fine! Continue to practice each day and it will get easier each time. I suggest practicing them 3-4 times per week until you have the hang of it. Best of luck and I wish you well in the bedroom! Visit www.duopilates.com.au for more and be sure to check out Alex’s online program, The Duo Pilates Method.