5 Pilates Exercises to Strengthen Pelvic Floor

Enhance core stability and address pelvic floor weakness with these exercises designed to support the body's foundation—your pelvic floor.

By URLife Team
07 Dec 2023

Performing pelvic floor exercises is akin to tidying and organising your room as an adult—a task you know you should do but often put off until things start feeling uncomfortable. Imagine your body as a house. The pelvic floor is like the foundation that holds everything together. Strengthening these muscles isn't just a workout fad, rather it is crucial because these muscles help with bladder control, support your organs, release your bowels and keep your core stability in top-notch shape.


The pelvic floor consists of the muscles that support the organs in the pelvis such as the bladder, rectum and uterus. From maintaining proper posture to supporting the spine during movement, these muscles play an important role in performing your everyday activities. Keeping them strong is like giving your body a sturdy foundation for a happy and healthy life.


Moreover, a strong pelvic floor also significantly impacts emotional well-being and confidence. When these muscles are strong and functioning well, it can alleviate concerns about accidental urine leaks (known as incontinence) or discomfort, allowing individuals to engage in daily activities or exercise without anxiety. This sense of assurance and comfort in one's body fosters a positive mindset and contributes to better mental health.


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Benefits of Strong Pelvic Floor

Prevents Urinary Incontinence

New mothers, have you ever laughed so hard you felt a small leak of urine? Blame it on weakened pelvic floor muscles. Strengthening them helps prevent urinary incontinence, which is a common issue and could be embarrassing for many individuals.This condition can affect both men and women and is often affected by factors such as childbirth, hormonal changes in women such as menopause, prostate issues in men, ageing, obesity, or neurological conditions. Urinary incontinence can be significantly reduced in intensity and frequency by strengthening the pelvic floor muscles, which also gives people more control and self-assurance while navigating their daily activities.


Enhances the Core Stability

A strong pelvic floor forms the foundation of your core. They work together with the abdominal and back muscles, supporting the spine and pelvis. Strong and active muscles help in reducing pressure on the spine and lowering the chances of back pain. This not only stabilises these muscles but also improves posture and spinal health. Exercises to strengthen the pelvic floor can reduce discomfort and reduce or eliminate back pain. In many instances, weak pelvic muscles can be a leading cause of back pain and this concern can often be effectively addressed through exercise.


Enhanced Intimate Wellness

A toned pelvic floor enhances sexual experiences. Stronger muscles can lead to increased sensitivity and more intense orgasms for both men and women. In women, firmer muscles can enhance pleasure, while in men, stronger muscles address concerns related to premature ejaculation.


Supports Pregnancy and Recovery

For moms-to-be, these muscles are crucial during pregnancy, childbirth, and postpartum recovery. Strong pelvic floor muscles help to bear the damage these muscles experience under the strain of carrying a growing child, when pregnant. Strengthening them beforehand can ease the delivery process, make it less risky and speed up postpartum recovery.


Related Post: 4 Moves For Strengthening Your Pelvic Floor


Pilates Exercises to Strengthen Pelvic Floor

Exercise 1: Pelvic Tilt

Step 1. Start by lying on your back with knees bent and feet flat on the floor.

Step 2. Inhale deeply and as you exhale, engage your pelvic muscles, gently tilting your pelvis upward.

Step 3. Imagine pressing your lower back into the floor. Hold this position for a few seconds, then release. 

Step 4. Repeat this movement, gradually increasing repetitions as you build strength.


Exercise 2: The Hundred

Step 1. Start lying on your back, lift your legs and bend them at a tabletop position with your arms by your sides.

Step 2. Inhale deeply and as you exhale, lift your head and shoulders off the floor, extending your legs outward at a 45-degree angle. 

Step 3. Pump your arms up and down firmly as you breathe in and out for a count of five. 

Step 4. To maintain stability in this exercise, focus on activating your pelvic floor muscles.


Exercise 3: Flat Back Hinge

Step 1. Stand tall with your feet about hip-width apart, knees slightly bent, and engage your abdominal muscles.

Step 2. Keep your back straight, shoulders relaxed, and gaze straight ahead.

Step 3. Hinge forward from your hips while maintaining a flat back. Your back should remain parallel to the floor as you lean forward.

Step 4. As you hinge, feel the stretch in your hamstrings and maintain a slight bend in your knees throughout the movement.

Step 5. Lower your upper body until you feel a comfortable stretch, ensuring your back stays flat without rounding.

Step 6. Hold this position for a while, then return to the starting position by engaging your core and using your hips to stand back up straight.

Step 7. Repeat this movement, focusing on keeping your back flat and engaging your core for stability.


Related Post: What You Need To Know About Tight Pelvic Floor


Exercise 4: Bird Dog

Step 1. Begin with hands and knees on the ground, ensuring your wrists are aligned under your shoulders and your knees under your hips.

Step 2. Engage your abdominal muscles to stabilise your core and maintain a neutral spine throughout the exercise.

Step 3. Extend your right leg straight back behind you, keeping it in line with your hips, while simultaneously reaching your left arm forward, parallel to the floor.

Step 4. Focus on lengthening through your extended arm and leg, keeping your hips squared to the floor.

Step 5. Hold this extended position briefly, ensuring your back remains stable and your core engaged.

Step 6. Return to the starting position by bringing your knee and elbow back to the floor under your body.

Step 7. Repeat this movement in a controlled manner, alternating sides for the desired number of repetitions.


Exercise 5: Scissors

Step 1. Lie on your back with your legs extended upward toward the ceiling.

Step 2. Engage your core muscles by pressing your lower back into the mat.

Step 3. Lower one leg down toward the ground while the other leg remains lifted toward the ceiling.

Step 4. Alternate the legs in a scissor-like motion, switching the position of your legs without letting them touch the ground.

Step 5. Inhale as you switch legs, exhale as you hold the position and engage your pelvic floor muscles.

Step 6. Repeat this movement for several sets.


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